New Book Tells Early History of SBS

Sant Bani School is pleased to announce that Founding Head of School Kent Bicknell has written an in-depth account of the school’s early years. Stepping Stones: The First Five Years of Sant Bani School (1973-1978) examines the school’s spiritual and educational roots and narrates its rapid growth into a dynamic educational day program in central New Hampshire.

Along with a description of the relation of the school to both Master Kirpal Singh and Sant Ajaib Singh, Kent provides a link to the educational theories of the 19th century Transcendentalists, Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Alcotts. Contemporary newspaper articles and photographs from these years help bring the story to life.

It is available from Amazon, in Kindle or print format.

Excerpts of Selected Reviews

Stepping Stones is so engaging I finished it in one sitting. In this valuable and fascinating book Kent Bicknell provides a snapshot of what the school and the times were like in the early years. The book illustrates the diverse strands that went into building the foundation of the school, which continues today.” – Russell Perkins, an independent scholar who has written a number of books, holds an MTS from Harvard University and taught at Sant Bani School for many years.

Stepping Stones offers both the early history of a unique and noteworthy school and valuable insights in what carefully constructed education for the mind, body, and spirit can look like… What fascinates me is the way in which SBS anticipated both what brain science now tells us about how we learn best and what schools everywhere are embracing in the name of 21st century education.” – Michael Brosnan is an experienced author and editor, with a particular focus on education. From 1997 to 2017, he was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Independent School magazine, flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools.

“This is a heart-warming and inspirational tour de force of a dream becoming a reality. The Nobel Prize winning poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) wrote, ‘You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.’ Likewise you cannot start a school simply by hanging up your shingle and hoping someone shows up. The Bicknells and others connected to Sant Bani Ashram did not stand and stare; they set out to cross the sea. It may not always have been smooth sailing, but, as this book clearly shows, from its beginning Sant Bani School has always had a clear direction in which to sail and fierce champions to guide it on the way.” – Rev. John R. Fortin, O.S.B., Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College who served for several years as superintendent of Catholic schools in NH.

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