Newsletter: February - 2010
NORTH SOUTH FOUNDATION


MATHCOUNTS coaching
Math core team at NSF has initiated a coaching program in MATHCOUNTS competitions. NSF received overwhelming response from 500 parents when it announced the program for children in sixth thru eighth grades to compete. Math core team had no resources to handle this kind of volume. To fill the void, about 20 parents came forward to coach! Over the next two weeks, these parent volunteers have quickly put together a program using Internet to coach children remotely. Weekly coaching classes have begun. Coaches have weekly conf calls to share their experiences and help each other to improve their coaching. Two members of the math core team attend these calls each week to provide guidance to the coaches. MATHCOUNTS coaching team has become the first Self Organizing Network at NSF. NSF is grateful to the volunteers who are making a difference by contributing to the future of our children. Registration for coaching is over for this year. Please wait for next year's announcement if you missed the registration this year.

Science Bee
Parents have been requesting a science bee at NSF for some time. With a push from Ashwin Malynur, a high school student from Portland , OR chapter, science bee is quickly becoming a reality for 2010. Nearly 70 parents have come forward to help jump start this new contest. In a short span of 4 four weeks, they have come up with a syllabus and are now preparing the question bank. It is amazing to see the enthusiasm and passion of our youth and parent volunteers in systematically addressing all the complex issues surrounding the startup of the science bee as well as coming up with new innovative ideas to carry out their individual tasks to meet the tight deadlines for the 2010 launch.

NSF Board
NSF Board filled two vacancies. Presannan Pillai agreed to serve as a director to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Raghavendra Paturi. Sanjiv Modi agreed to serve as the Secretary to replace Samit Bhattacharya. Both have been NSF volunteers for many years. North South Foundation, its Board Members and Officers, express deepest gratitude to Samit Bhattacharya and Raghavendra Paturi for their outstanding contribution to the growth of the organization.

Financial Statements
NSF Auditors are currently reviewing financial statements for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2009. Once completed, their review will be posted on the NSF website.

Organizational Structure
To meet new challenges posed by the exponential growth at NSF over the last five years, the Board formally approved an organization structure with the roles and responsibilities of various teams clearly defined. Board also approved the formation of several new bodies:Management Committee, Board Advisory Council, Investment Advisory Council, and Board Nominating Committee. Board Nominating Committee (BNC) will initially consists of Venkatesh Raghavendra and Presannan Pillai. Venkatesh worked for Ashoka (Ashoka.org) and is currently the Senior Director of Philanthropy at the American India Foundation (AIF.org). Recommendations of qualified people along with their resumes can be submitted to the Nomination Committee. BNC will screen people for consideration to be a Board Member. Board makes the final decision on the nominees.


Nagercoil Awards Ceremony By Madavi Oliver

Last Saturday I was honored to represent each and every NSF donor and on behalf of them present NSF scholarships to five first year engineering college students from Kanyakumari District. Kanyakumari district is one of 32 districts in Tamil Nadu and is officially the southern most district in India. The awards ceremony took place at RedEgg InfoExpert, a company located in Nagercoil which is the district capital.

I had previously met these scholars when they came for the interview. Ernest Vijay, the Nagercoil chapter coordinator conducted the interview. I remember Ruth and her mother from the interview. Ruth was timid and couldn't speak much English so she introduced herself in Tamil. Her father had recently passed away and her mother works as a baby sitter in the local Nuclear power project plant earning a monthly income of Rs 2,000 (equivalent of about $45 USD). Sivakumar told us he was the first college going student in the family. His father works for daily wages as a trench worker (about Rs 100/day). During summer holidays Sivakumar also used to work as an agricultural laborer for daily wages. Suyambulingesh wanted to be different from his elder brother who dropped out of school. He studied hard and was happy to see the letter calling him for interview. His father is a farm worker and moves from farm to farm. Sumitra told us how her father works long hours in a cycle workshop to make enough money for them to eat and pay rent, but not enough to send her to college. Murugan saw the advertisement in Dinamalar newspaper and applied from Salem (another district). His family has always worked as coolies in farms. He was very quiet and did not open his mouth for long time. He is now studying in Erode. All five of them were selected for the scholarship based on their academic merit.

The awards ceremony was attended by selected candidates, parents of candidates, scholars from last year (who are in the process of applying for renewal), and employees of RedEgg. We were honored by the serendipitous presence of Dr. Ratnam Chitturi (NSF Founder) who happened to be visiting Nagercoil during this time. Gaugarin Oliver, CEO of RedEgg gave an overview of NSF. We viewed the NSF video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5447650072832048609&hl=en#) and Dr Chitturi addressed the gathering. His talk was later translated to Tamil so the scholars could understand and take home his message. His main message was that the future of India is in its youth.

The scholars were also given an opportunity to say a few words. This was the first step in their journey to success. Imagine standing in front of a crowd of 150 people - all new faces, professionals, people who speak better English than you - holding a mike for the first time in your life and saying a few words. It left me shaking with pride (I am no public speaker and I avoid it as much as I can, I only presented the checks!!). Proud of being able to make a difference in the life of five underprevileged but deserving students.

On behalf oF NSF I thank RedEgg for encouraging corporate social responsibility among its employees. This gang of youngsters wrote letters to hundreds of high school head masters, churches, and temples. They advertised in local newspapers, participated in the selection process and put up a nice awards ceremony to encourage the scholars. I also take this opportunity to thank Janani Venkatapathy, NSF MA volunteer for getting us free advertisements in Dinamalar a popular Tamil newspaper. Janani has been getting us free coverage in all the editions of this Newspaper, for the entire state of Tamil Nadu, for the past 5 years.

Pictures link - http://picasaweb.google.com/nsfeventphotos/NSFNagercoilAwardsNov2009#

NSF INDIA Scholarships Update
NSF-India under the able leadership of Dr. Kalahasti Rayudu is busy receiving applications and approving scholarships. Results from the few centers, who have completed the process are listed below. So far NSF has disbursed 410 scholarships for 2009-10 academic year. Some centers have not yet completed the process. Total applications by chapter are as below:

Madurai 47
Nagercoil 5
Kochi 9
Chennai 3
Pune 17
Kolkata 71
Andhra Pradesh 82
Orissa 176

NSF is yet to reach many other parts of India. We don't have contacts to establish local chapters and help us select deserving candidates. We only have sparse presence in North India. We need help to reach local media contacts, visit government high schools, etc. If you would like to nominate a person in India to help us open new chapters and/or participate in NSF scholarship activities in order to make a difference please email madavioliver@gmail.com

NEW VIDEO ABOUT NSF INDIA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFQl5ybNVck

NSF Scholar Database Update
NSF- India with the help of Padmaja Vuyyuru (NSF-Kansas parent originally from Hyderabad) is making an on-line database of past and present NSF Scholars. This is the first step towards improving the visibility of NSF-Scholars. In the pipeline are ideas to enable donors to communicate with scholars, scholar on-line collaboration, scholar alumni association etc. Have suggestions? ideas? Email madavioliver@gmail.com.

For most of our readers Mr.Mirle Shivashankar needs no special introduction. He is the father and coach of Kavya Shivashankar, winner of 2009 Scripps Spelling Bee. In this interview, Mr.Shivashankar shares his experiences coaching his daughter, with our newsletter editor Madhav Durbha. Read on!

Madhav: Hello Shivashankar! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Tell our readers about yourself!

Shivashankar:I was born in Mysore and I migrated to Boca Raton, Florida back in the early 90's to pursue a Master's Degree. When I was down in Florida, playing Beach Volleyball was my favorite pastime. I even played in the local leagues at one point. I was not able to continue my passion towards volleyball, however, when we moved to Kansas in the year 2000. A few years after moving to Kansas, I picked up my interest in "spelling" - thanks to Kavya. Currently, I work for a Paris based global IT consulting firm that has a strong presence in NA and India.

Madhav:Well! For a lot of our readers you are known as Kavya's Dad & Coach. But it is very nice to know these details about you. Sounds like you have a very busy professional & social life! How do you strike the balance between being a parent coach and various other hats you need to wear on a day-to-day basis?

Shivashankar: My job requires me to travel almost all the time. The fact that I am away from home during the week makes it very hard to strike a work-life balance. I do, however, make it a point to call and talk to the family at least twice a day during the week. As far as the weekends go, I set my "priorities" and it works most of the time. That is the only way I can effectively play different roles.

Madhav: How did your children get into academic contests? How much of it was their initiative and how much of it was you as a parent cultivating that interest in them?

Shivashankar: Spelling just clicked for Kavya since the time she first competed in the NSF regional spelling bee in 2003 at the age of 6. Right from the beginning I have seen a spark in her eyes for learning. Although Kavya did not qualify for the nationals that year, both of us continued working on spelling together since we enjoyed it, regardless of how she placed at the contests. Both of us fed on each other's passion to learn spelling and the interest was mutual. It is because of Kavya's qualities of being a great student that I have come to be known as a coach and hence the reason you are talking with me today. Just like the saying goes, we can only drag the horse to the water, but we cannot make it drink. In my mentee's case - she had plenty of appetite for learning.

Madhav: Several of our NSF children have their parents as coaches for preparing for academic contests or otherwise. From your personal experience can you talk about what are the challenges, I am sure there are plenty, of playing the dual role of a parent coach? What are the pros and cons?

Shivashankar:The one common question regarding the challenges that I have always heard is "How do you keep the children motivated?" The answer is getting involved with the children and make learning fun and interesting. Coaching spelling, in my case, was not just limited to quizzing words; I was lot more involved than that.

Madhav: Where and how do you draw the line between being a parent and being a coach?

Shivashankar:For the most part, I would say my wife has played a marvelous role of a parent and has taught the children to be humble. She has also inculcated moral values such as respect, care, responsibility, hard-work and honesty. During the 2009 Scripps Spelling Bee Finals, it felt like ESPN wanted to start a rivalry between Kavya and other participants in an effort to create media hype. In one of the live interviews on ESPN while responding to a question, Kavya said, without hesitation, that she is "only competing against the dictionary. All of the participants at the bee are friendly and that all of the competitors cheer for each other." In my opinion, implanting such life skills is where the parenting responsibility needs to take the better of the coach.

Madhav: How important are the "Rules of the house" in inculcating a sense of discipline in a child? Any specific examples you can share?

Shivashankar: Kavya is very passionate about her goals and she enjoys spelling. As much as Kavya wanted to work on spelling as soon she found some time, we wanted to make sure that she also followed up on her school home work and other activities. The priorities for Kavya were very clear - school work, dance, violin, and then spelling, ONLY if time permitted. The other challenge we had with Kavya was that she is allergy prone and has a tendency to catch a cold at any given time. We had to remind Kavya to eat well, drink enough water every day, and ensure that she got enough sleep to stay healthy.

Madhav: Even the best performers, whether they are athletes or entertainers or professionals, have their ups and downs! When a child is simply not in the mental state of mind to focus on any preparation, how should a parent coach handle that? Anything you can relate from personal experience?

Shivashankar: Watching the documentary 'Spellbound' together as a family was one way that Kavya preferred to get inspired. It was her choice! We have watched it so many times that even Vanya, my younger daughter, can recite many of the lines from the documentary.

Madhav: Would you like to share any motivational techniques you used with your children? What were the carrots? What were the sticks? What worked and what did not work?

Shivashankar: Kavya did not need any carrots or sticks; my wife and I feel blessed for that. Right from the time we started working together on spelling, I have observed her to be always focused on her goals. When I came home during the weekends Kavya would be very enthusiastic about having spelling sessions with me. When she won the NSF Junior Spelling Bee Championship in 2004, we asked her what she would like as a gift. All she wanted was to receive violin lessons, because she had watched Nupur Lala play the violin in 'Spellbound'!!

Madhav:As a coach it is important for you to be motivated as well. What kept you going? Any specific techniques you used to keep yourself completely engaged?

Shivashankar: I did not need much to keep me going - I just needed to see Kavya in her eyes. The spark in her eyes sufficed.

Madhav:We often hear the phrase "Failures are the stepping stones to success". I have to admit I agree with that only partially. Unless one can turn failures into positive reinforcements, they probably don't do much good. Your success did not happen overnight. I'm sure you had to put up with several disappointments along the way. How did you deal with them and how did you turn them into positive reinforcements?

Shivashankar: It depends on how "failure" and "success" are perceived. In regards to our spelling bee journey that began in 2003, Kavya did not always come back with a championship trophy. However, there were so many successes every time that she prepared and participated in a spelling bee. On every occasion, as a coach, I needed to identify areas where she did well and the areas that needed improvement. We viewed the opportunity of identifying areas of improvement as a success!! When Kavya participated in the first spelling bee back in 2003, she was asked to spell 'parabola'. We had reviewed the word, but we had learned it with an incorrect pronunciation that made Kavya to misspell on the stage. However, we succeeded on learning to check up each and every word in the dictionary for the accurate pronunciation. Later, in 2005 Kavya was competing in the local bees leading up to the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the first time. Her quest to qualify for the national event ended in the county bee, when she misspelled 'mosaic'. She was in a hurry and accidentally spelled 'm-o-s-i-a-c'. We took back lessons for both of us on how to prevent such situations. This is when we crafted her "signature" style of writing on her palm before spelling the words. There was never a slip-of-the-tongue in a spelling bee for Kavya after that. In a way, we succeeded in learning from every experience and making improvements after each experience.

Madhav:One common challenge I hear from parents is that the children need them to be sitting next to them to prepare for anything. This may or may not work given the parents' other commitments. So, how does one motivate children to self-study?

Shivashankar: Years ago, I came across this quote "The best thing you can spend on your children is - time". My wife and I strongly believe in that and we set our priorities accordingly, to make as much time as possible for the kids. By being involved and helping the children set reasonable goals, as well as helping them work towards their goals, is something that we believe that parents should do. Of course, we still need to be able to set our priorities between helping the children and "other" commitments.

Madhav: How effective is it for both parents to serve as coaches in Bee preparation? Any pros and cons you would like to share?

Shivashankar: Although, I am regarded as the coach, I don't think I could have helped Kavya without the help of my wife Sandhya. She would take care of all of the chores at home, which allowed me to spend time on preparing. She also was another great source of encouragement and support for Kavya. It was purely team work!!

Madhav: How much did you have to prepare to be a Spelling bee coach? How much effort did it take?

Shivashankar: It took quite a bit of effort and time, actually. I had to learn the root words and etymological patterns. I also spent time reading about past spelling bees and spelling bee words. I used my spare time to watch tapes of spelling bees from previous years. I was very involved, but it did not really feel like it was an "effort" because I enjoyed doing that.

Madhav: If you don't mind me asking, I heard from some other NSF parents that you could have given a tough competition to any top finisher at Scripps if you yourself had competed.. ! How true is that?

Shivashankar: Every child that qualifies for the Scripps National Spelling bee, let alone the top finishers, is extremely well prepared. I really don't believe that I could best those kids in spelling. I guess you could look at me like any other coach in sports; American football, for example. Do you think those NCAAF coaches can play as good as the wide receivers or quarterbacks? I don't think so!!!

Madhav: I do understand you volunteered for NSF on several occasions, including conducting Spelling Bee workshops, etc. What was your first introduction to NSF?

Shivashankar: Back in 2002, the first year the NSF Center in Kansas was started, the Pastapur family informed us that Aishwarya had participated in a spelling bee that took place at the Hindu Temple of Kansas City. We thought we should also give it a try the next year and we did in 2003.

Madhav: Did NSF play a role in the success of your children? How?

Shivashankar:Absolutely!! NSF has played a great role in the success of my child. We have been to Scripps National Spelling Bee for multiple years and I can say, by far, the NSF kids are better equipped than most of their competition. Just the experience of competing in the NSF contests puts our kids ahead. I would not hesitate to say that Kavya has been a beneficiary of the opportunities that NSF offers. Besides gaining on the academic front, there are many other things that our kids can learn from being involved in NSF. The organization has also provided a platform for us, parents, to be able to foster the art of "giving" to the kids.

Madhav: Before we finish, any words of advice to our NSF parents?

Shivashankar:I believe that all children have immense potential for developing many skills. As parents, it is important to identify their strengths during the early years of their childhood and lead them to the right opportunity, as well as to provide encouragement, direction, and equip them with the right tools.

Madhav: Shivashankar! Thanks for taking the time. It's been a real pleasure!

Shivashankar: Thank you for giving me the opportunity and I am proud to be part of the NSF family!!

Most parents know NSF for the educational contests such as spelling bee, vocabulary bee, geography bee or math bee. However, contests are simply a way for one to benchmark themselves against their peers. At NSF we take pride in placing as much emphasis on the process of preparing for the contests and learning something new along the way. As the old adage goes practice makes one perfect. That is where the NSF educational workshops play a role.

NSF has been conducting workshops for several years and takes pride in the quality of its educational workshops. The material for the workshops is prepared by experts in the subject area and each workshop took hundreds of volunteer hours to prepare. There is a technical team for each of the NSF educational contests. For example the spelling bee team helps to update the material for spelling workshop and so on. The coordinator organizing the workshops is aware that the highest priority of the workshop is ensuring that we have most qualified and engaging teachers. The teachers can be professionals in academics, parent volunteers, or college students, who love to teach.

Preparation is the key ingredient for success in any contest. Most children participating for the spelling or vocabulary bee put in countless hours as they memorize the words and their spelling. However, there are well known methods and techniques to make this preparation a lot easier. That is where the workshop material comes in handy as it has been developed by the experts. So, get ready to unravel the intricacies of math formulas or spelling through the workshops. Parents are encouraged to join the workshops, especially, to help their younger children. This can go a long way, as parents can reinforce the learning through practice at home. In the past few years, only about a third of the NSF chapters organized the workshops.

While a workshop can be organized with very little effort, most chapter coordinators generally may not be aware of this. In this twentieth anniversary of NSF, organizing a workshop in every chapter can be the greatest tribute to its accomplishments. More importantly, the children participating in these workshops will be the greatest beneficiaries. As with all the NSF activities, the volunteers put in their valuable time and effort so that the money raised from the workshop fees goes to help the underprivileged children in India . With the regional contests about to start in March 2010, now may be the time to think about a workshop at a chapter near you. The chapter coordinators can contact the national workshop coordinators (Mrs. Viji Vijay at dvijay@aim.com or Mr.Venkat Gade at venkatgade1@yahoo.com) for help with getting started.

'My Ruined Artwork' by Navina Magesh Kumar

About the Author:
Navina Magesh Kumar is a fifth grader from Dayton, New Jersey. Here is what Navina says:My favorite subjects are math, reading, and writing. I love to sit down in a corner and just read a book. I play the piano and violin and am also a good singer. Friendly, responsible, unique, funny, and creative are some of the words that describe my personality. My favorite color is blue and my favorite animal is a tiger... I even touched one in a safari when I was four!!!


A rush of excitement passed through my body as I entered the art room. We were going to paint the roses we made out of clay last week. I was going to give them to my mom as a delayed Mother's Day gift.

There were some cups of paint sitting on all of the tables. Everyone sat down on their chair eager to start working. Mrs.Ewaskiewicz handed out our roses. Then she called out our tables so we could go to the front div and find out what we do. I was at the blue div. "Blue div" she boomed. "You are going to get a paint brush from that can" Mrs.Ewaskiewicz explained as she pointed to a blue can near the sink. "Then take a little bit of the color you want to use for your rose and paint. But do NOT use water."

Simran's hand shot up in the air as soon as Mrs.Ewaskiewicz finished speaking. "Can we mix colors?" she asked. "Yes, you may" replied the teacher. Goodie I thought.

So we all went back to our tables and started working. I had made two roses last class because I finished my work quickly. One of my roses looked like a bud and the other one looked like a medium sized rose. "I'm painting the bud yellow and the other one a magenta color by mixing the red and the light pink together" I told my friend Simran who sits next to me. "And the leaf is green, of course" I continued. "That would be pretty" Simran answered politely. "Mine's going to be lavender so I am mixing purple and light pink" Simran said. I nodded and gave her a thumbs up.

Steadily I painted my roses and put them on the drying rack. After the roses dried we could take them home. I was very proud of the way my work turned out. Finally it was time to go home. I didn't put my clay rose in my backpack because I didn't want it to break into pieces. Slowly I climbed on my bus and then slumped down in my assigned seat. "That's very pretty!" exclaimed the bus driver eyeing my hand. "Thank you" I replied grinning.

Thud!! The bus bounced because of a bump on the gravel road. My artwork slipped out of my grip and in a second.Crash! It landed on the dirty floor. I was stunned for a moment and just stood there completely frozen not at all comprehending what had happened. After the moment of shock was over, I slowly realized what happened and quickly picked up all the pieces of painted clay. My yellow rose was perfectly fine but my magenta rose.my favorite one. was broken. I stared at the window gazing at the houses and fields we were passing by. I tightly held onto whatever was left of my roses after the sudden "accident". I had a blank, empty feeling in me that was getting ready to burst into tears. Thoughts were buzzing around in my head. I could feel my eyes stinging and burning. A tiny tear slid down my cheek. I brushed it away. The bus jerked forward and screeched with a halt at the last stop, my house. I zoomed all the way to my house hoping nobody could notice the tear on my cheek.

Then an idea popped into my head. Maybe I could try and use glue I thought. Mrs. Ewaskiewicz had made us use hot glue guns to put the roses together. It was worth a try. I zoomed up the shiny wooden stairs and into my room. Still holding my roses in my hand I took the glue and gently stuck the pieces together. I hope it works, I hope it works I prayed. And it did!!!

After it had dried (which took a while) I decided it was time to give the roses to my mom. So I hurried down the stairs. "Happy belated Mother's Day!" I yelled as I gave her the roses. "Thank you!" my mom exclaimed. I will never forget that day in my life.

A year has passed by now and I still remember every single moment like it was yesterday. I've learned a very good lesson that I bet you've heard before --- If you have a problem deal with it and try to find a solution! Don't just sit there crying because crying isn't going to help you in any way. I guarantee you it will not and if you don't believe me now it doesn't matter because I know that you will someday realized it yourself! Whether it is now or ten years from now!

The Enchanted Forest by Ritika Pansare (8yr old NSF Child)

Listen to the wind rustle between the leaves,
Hear the whispering of the trees shake gently through my dreams,
When I hear the first drops of rain trickle through the leaves,
I alert my ears saying drizzle drizzle drop,
In my dreams I can hear the enchanted forest.

It was my fifteenth birthday. As with most teenagers, I wanted to celebrate with friends bowling or doing something outdoors as it was in the middle of summer. But I was thousands of miles away visiting grandparents in India . The swine flu epidemic was rampant in town. I was supposed to visit a school for organizing an English workshop. My dad planned it with his friend, an official on the board of Shankarji Memorial Girls High School . Most of the children attending this school are generally from underprivileged families. However, the children at this school could speak in English unlike my earlier workshop in a rural school. We went to the school, where the principal helped arrange the facilities and prepared the schedule.

The next day started with pouring rain and the streets were clogged with flood water. As I entered the room for workshop, the girls in uniform were filing in. I looked over the printed copy of workshop with notes including main rules, prefixes and suffixes, Greek and Latin roots and contest words. While the children were initially a bit apprehensive, they really got into it within a few minutes. As we discussed the rules of spelling, the girls would raise hands to answer and tried to outwit each other; even teachers got into the act. I was pleasantly surprised by their ability to not only understand the rules, but also not having any trouble understanding my American accent. Their motivation helped me review the practice words and contest rules to prepare them for the spelling bee.

After a couple of days, the teachers conducted the spelling bee by pronouncing the words and helping with scoring the results. My mom gave dictionaries as awards for top ten students in each class. The English workshop was unexpected by the children and they never even heard of such an opportunity. So, the awards were just icing on the cake for motivating them to study. We gave certificates to every participant to encourage further learning. While NSF provides financial help to bright kids from poor families in India , this workshop should open up more opportunities for them to realize their dreams for academic excellence. As per me, I am can't wait to do this again next year.

Aparna Ghosh received Michigan's top youth volunteer award in Washington DC on 2nd May from Mrs. Laura Bush. The news item was published in Detroit free press, India Abroad and AA news. Aparna participated in NSF contests for years and is now an active youth volunteer of Ann Arbor chapter. She is in her freshman year at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Here are the links covering her achievements:
http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2009/03/pioneer_highs_aparna_ghosh_nam.html

Hema Karunakaram was a semifinalist in Jeopardy teen championship contest which was broadcast in NBC in November. Hema has been participating in NSF regionals and national finals for the last 8 years. She is actively volunteering for Spelling and Vocabulary bee contests as pronouncer since 2007. She is a senior in Saline High school. Hema's parents, Aruna and Krishna are active NSF volunteers, helping regional contests for the last two years.

NSF Annual Summit for Regional Coordinators:
The NSF National strategy team will be hosting the first annual summit for NSF Regional coordinators as well as members of NSF core teams on January 17, 2010 from 2PM-5PM EST through a web based medium. The objective of this summit is to develop common understanding of the NSF goals and vision for the coming years and develop strategies and plans for the execution of all NSF activities in US and India for future years. The summit will also facilitate discussion among the NSF coordinators and core team volunteers to spur ideas for growing NSF through increased participation. Please send us an e-mail (yalvigis99@gmail.com) with your questions and comments.

NSF Logo Contest:

NSF is 20 years old and NSF needs a new logo

The designer of the selected logo will receive US$200.00 (Two Hundred USD)

The guidelines for preparing and submission of designs are listed below:

1. Submissions are welcome from NSF families including parents and children. Open to all ages.

2. The logo should generally represent NSF's mission - Encouraging Excellence in Education both in USA and India

3. The logo should be versatile enough to be used on printed matter, NSF website, and NSF Newsletter.

4. No copyrighted or trademarked images should be included in submissions.

5. The selected logo becomes the property of the NSF, and may be used for any purpose determined by NSF. The basic elements of the logo may be used by NSF as a template and modified.

6. If the design is submitted by a team of 2 or more persons, the team will divide the winning proceeds.

7. Submissions should be in a JPEG or GIF format and submitted as an attachment by email to nsfstrat@gmail.com

8. Deadline for all submissions is Feb 15, 2010.

9. A panel of judges appointed by NSF will determine the winning logo design.

10. Prize money will be given only if NSF adopts the logo.

11. Winner will be recognized at the local chapter's Regional contest awards ceremony

Do you have a passion to write? Do you have an interesting story, poem, article, essay, or any of your literary work you would like to share with our readers? Please send an e-mail with your literary work to mdurbha@yahoo.com and surendra_d@hotmail.com

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