Children's Program

Children’s Program—Sangha School

September-May
(Temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Sangha School program is run from September through early May every Sunday during the adult service. For updates, check the Calendar.

Activities:

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 (two-three minutes) of meditation each class.

Our program is ideally designed for children ages five-twelve 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 a.m. parents should come downstairs immediately to pick-up their children. Please remember that at any other time when children under the age of 12 are downstairs or in the library, they must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for their safety.

Although there is no fee for the program, parents are encouraged to make a regular donation to the temple. Children are not required to sign-up, sign-in, nor attend every single week. Drop-ins are welcome.

Study Focus:

Year One: The Life of the Buddha, The Five Eyes of Meditation
Year Two: 16 Guidelines for Life (Patience, Kindness, Gratitude, etc.)
Year Three: Basic Buddhist Teachings, Bodhisattvas, and Children’s Precepts

Parents should subscribe to the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple Weekly Newsletter to keep informed to 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 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.

Storytime: The Life of the Buddha

Arts and Crafts

Children's Precept Ceremony