Little Buddhas Program Overview
We believe that human nature, and particularly children, are inherently good and that our natural desire is to be free and connected, and to help others be the same. We call this life force Bodhicitta. The purpose of the Little Buddhas’ program is to nurture and awaken this inherent life energy, through activities that serve the well-being of children, their caregivers, and community.
One aspect of this is to offer a children’s program during the 1st and 3rd Sunday Services, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., for kids approximately age four and up (they must be potty-trained, and otherwise developmentally able to participate and cooperate). Younger children are always welcome provided they attend with a caregiver.
The Little Buddhas is not a Sunday school where we teach doctrine. It is also not just babysitting. It is a cooperative enrichment program inspired by Buddha dharma, intended to nurture creativity, play, and social-emotional well-being.
However, the vision is not simply to provide a children’s program for the benefit of the children. The vision is also that we are able to provide parents with an opportunity they might not have otherwise- to attend services, and be with the community. This is only possible with the volunteer help of nonparents. The program is simply not sustainable if only parents volunteer.
This shared responsibility is so beneficial in that the children have the opportunity to interact with the Sangha, and we all get to know one another, and learn from each other. As well, because of the diversity of volunteers, Little Buddhas activities are as varied as the people who attend our sangha. For example, volunteers might make cookies with the kids, share a craft, play games, read stories, or sing with the children. We encourage volunteers to be inventive with the activities in which they intend the children to participate. The large pool of volunteers keeps the program both sustainable and fresh. We offer a high adult-to-child ratio, which supports safety and fun. In addition to parents and various sangha members, volunteers include educators, teenage members of the sangha and other community friends.
The application packet must be submitted and reviewed before children attend the program.