April 18th &19th- Training for our Colab collaborator from Kenya

Mary Ottieno, our long time colab member from Kenya, came to Golestan for two days of training, including visits to Edible school yard (below) and Maker ED

April 17th 2019- A site Visit from an Ashoka Fellow from India

Deep Jyoti Sonu Brahma, and Ashoka Fellow and founder of  Farm2Food Foundation was a guest of Sharon Danks of Green Schoolyard America and visited Golestan to learn about our program.

September 2017- A site visit from Dr. Saya Shiriash from Japan!

Dr. Shiriashi, a cultural anthropologist, visited Golestan to learn about our unique approach to education.

site visit

September 2016- A special visitor from Nepal!

On September 18 Bikash, the program supervisor and head teacher from Sunsar Maya Nepal, travelled 13’000 miles from Kathmandu to Berkeley California. The purpose of the trip was for him to receive training at Golestan and go back and share what he has learnt with the staff at Sunsar Maya and help raise the educational standard even more for the underprivileged children attending the Sunsar Maya after school program.

During his time here, Golestan Colab planned extensive training both at Golestan and with experts in the field of education from within the Golestan Network, including the opportunity to sit in an OT session, an art class and a second grade classroom!

Bikash spent several days observing our after school program. Here is talking to the kids about the Sunsar Maya program and answering their questions about his trip.


We connected him with Jen Burkes, an amazing art teacher. Bikash got a chance to observe her in action, teaching her class at YAZ:



We also coordinated a visit and tour of the Edible Schoolyards gardens and kitchen. We hope it will inspire gardening and cooking in the SuMa afterschool!


Here we are seeing Bikash off with Jehan, the founder of Sunsar Maya. We look forward to future collaborations and seeing the children of SuMa afterschool flourish even more with Bikash’s help.


April 2016 – Joint Project between Sunsar Maya Kids in Nepal and Golestan Kids in Berkeley:  What do you love about your country?

During the month of April one of the countries our kids learn about is Nepal. This year, we asked the kids at the Sunsar Maya after school program (one of the organizations the Colab supports) to draw what they love about their country. Once we received their drawings, we printed them out and shared them with the children at Golestan. In return our kids drew what they love about their country or hometown to share with the kids in Nepal.

Our kids really enjoyed seeing the drawings. They were so curious and examined each drawing with much attention!


In this picture the afterschool kids have posted both the drawings from the kids at Sunsar Maya school and the drawings from the kids at Golestan on the wall!


April 2016 – “Green School Yards Principle Institute” tours our Golestan Schoolyard

One of the organizations the Colab collaborates with is  Green Schoolyards America, an national organization focused on inspiring and enabling communities across the United States to enrich their school grounds and use them to improve children’s well-being, learning and play .  On April 7th members of the  Green School Yards Principles Institute visited our Golestan schoolyard as a sample of a “living and green” schoolyard:



August 2015- “Golestan Spreads it’s Wings” Event

On august 22, Golestan Education held an event celebrating the work of the Golestan’s Colab. It was a lovely evening with live music, a fun auction, delicious foods and Golestan’s wonderful friends and community.



Maz Jobrani was the event MC and made the evening extra special and fun!!!



May 2015- IAAB Persian Language Educator’s Symposium

This year Golestan had the honor to  host the second IAAB Persian Language Educators’ Symposium. Over fifty educators from around the country (and one from Canada) gathered to collaborate and share best practices.


The ED of Golestan /Colab, Yalda Modabber held two workshops; one workshop shared best practices for teacher training and another workshop focused on hands-on methods for teaching language. Below is a photo of the second workshop:


We ended our day with a garden party hosted by Golestan Colab and IAAB :


Yalda and Colab members:( from left to right)  Bahar Kids (Irvine), Ferdows Kids ( Toronto) , Boostan Kids ( San Mateo)


January 2015- Updated  Photos from Nepal!

The new dining room and the children playing with the Legos provided by the Golestan community!



November 2014- Colab team in Nepal

Here are some photos of our team in Nepal, where we are helping another NGO, Sunsar Maya, set up an after school program using our model for orphaned children. Check back soon for updates!

1512516_10152814552259467_114329247120991646_nDay 1 of our trip: We flew from San Francisco to New York to Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu, about 36 hours with layovers and all!!

1891163_10152818383464467_7148034671557483413_nThis is a view from the outside of the orphanage the children live in. It has just the bare necessities and the children’s living environment is anything but home like.





524106_10152818388149467_4347303451475500292_n-1 After coming “home” from school the children spend all their time in this room. As you can see there is nothing here for the children to play with or read; No engaging activities, no constructive mental or physical stimulation, sadly only a TV.


1529778_10152820391269467_5048067533036806117_oDay 1 of Training