The Wisconsin Tibetan Association (WTA) was established by Tibetans as an organization to meet the needs of the growing Tibetan immigrant population. The initial 82 Tibetans who arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, as part of the Tibetan US Resettlement project, started in 1989 when the United States Congress granted 1000 immigrant visas; were later joined by their family members. We now have more than 400 Tibetans or of about 125 families in Madison. The Wisconsin Tibetan Association (WTA) is a 501 © (3) non-profit charitable organization and it is the official body of the Tibetan community in Madison. .
In this day of modernity, the need to maintain focused in the present, yet strive to preserve a culture from the past, poses much challenge in finding the balance within the many present-day distractions. The need to focus on raising a generation of children in exile who are committed to preserving the precious aspects of a culture in danger of disappearing is felt crucial and most urgent. In this respect, WTA has managed to open the Saturday Tibetan Language and Culture School in 1999, supported by parents and tutors. It has been a successful project serving the Tibetan community in Madison and the surrounding areas. .
The classes are held at the Dale Heights Presbyterian Church from 9.30 A.M. to 1.30 P.M., every Saturday, throughout the year. Currently there are 48 students ranging from ages 6 – 20 years. The students are categorized into levels or classes 1 to 5, based on levels of their knowledge in Tibetan language reading and writing.
The school is run mainly on donations given by the concerned parents.
The school is assisted by a local Managing Committee. WTA Representative Tsering Namgyal is the Cashier, School Representative Kalsang Gyatso is the Program Administrator and Accountant, and the Parent’s Representative Jampa Yonten is in charge of snacks provided by the parents, during the 25 minute recesses. Snacks for extra dance practices that are occasionally held other than Saturdays are paid for by the Wisconsin Tibetan Association.
The school regularly conducts its Annual Parent Teacher Meeting at the end of the school year in July. The meeting is presided by the President of the Wisconsin Tibetan Association. The Annual Statement of Accounts is presented, review of the last year’s minutes and notes for necessary changes for further improvement during the coming year are made.
We have visualized many ways of improving and enhancing the quality of education, but lack the funds for it. With no other sources of income for the running of the school, donations made out to the Wisconsin Tibetan Association would be deeply appreciated. For further information on the school, the following personnel can be contacted:
Kalsang Gyatso: Program Administrator, Saturday Tibetan Language & Culture School. Telephone: (608) 236 9151