Sangha School - Children’s Program
The Sangha School program is run from September through early May every Sunday at 10:00 am during the adult service. It is facilitated by Rev. Suseon Kathryn Doran-Fisher, the Family Programs Abbot.
Activities in Sangha School focus on peace, cooperation, mindfulness, and basic Buddhist concepts such as the Life of the Buddha, the Four Noble Truths, the Six Paramitas, and the Five Basic Precepts through the medium of play, arts and crafts, songs, stories and more. There is also a brief (2-3 minutes) of meditation each class.
Right now our program is ideally designed for children ages 5 - 12 but younger children may attend with a parent or guardian present. Parents are always welcome to stay if their child feels more comfortable with them there and many parents really enjoy participating in Sangha School with their child.
When service ends at 11:00 AM parents should immediately come downstairs to pick-up their children. Please remember that at any other time children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian when they are downstairs and in the library room for safety.
There is no fee for the program though parents are encouraged to make a regular general donation to the temple. Children are not required to sign-up, sign-in, nor attend every single week. Drop-ins are welcome.
Year One - The Life of the Buddha
Year Two - 16 Guidelines for Life (Patience, Kindness, Gratitude, etc.)
Year Three - Basic Buddhist Teachings, Bodhisattvas, and Children’s Precepts
Parents can sign-up for the Sangha School Weekly newsletter (below) to find out what was covered in Sangha School, view special requests for supplies or craft items, and be informed of any upcoming events relevant to the Family Program.
Children’s Precepts Ceremony
Children ages 10-12 who have attended Sangha School for a minimum of three years can decide to participate in a formal ceremony as a “graduation” from Sangha School. This ceremony is held every three years (2019, 2022, 2025…) on the first Sunday in May during our Children’s Day All-Sangha Service.
During Sangha School, Preceptors will have studied, memorized, and practiced the Five Children’s Precepts:
Do No Harm but Protect and Cherish all Life
Do Not Steal but Practice Generosity
Do Not Disrespect Boundaries but Honor People’s Space
Do Not Lie but Practice Mindfulness of Speech
Do Not Overdo It but Take Care of Your Body and Mind
During the ceremony, Preceptors will then agree to do their best to follow and practice those precepts. They will then receive a temporary mark (stamp) on their forearm to remind them of their promise, receive a mala (beaded necklace), and will be given a “Dharma Nickname”. This ceremony “mirrors” the adult precept ceremony and is a very special event for Buddhist families.