Article by Marcia Kahn
Bright Way Zen’s Strategic Plan aims not only to deepen the engagement of current members (Goal One) but also to share the Dharma with more people (Goal Two) and our Children’s Program hits both of these targets. Plus it’s fun and rewarding for kids and adults alike.
The Children’s Program has been growing ever since it’s first Sunday morning class last September. Because it is so engaging, the program almost grows by itself — all it needs is the care of some dedicated and generous volunteers.
On the first Tuesday of every month, Zack Bartel is at the zendo to meet parents who want to introduce their kids to Buddhist practice. He is available to answer any of the parents’ questions.
On Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11, parents from around the neighboring community as well as Bright Way Zen bring their kids to Mindfulness for Preschoolers. They learn about integrating meditation and mindfulness practices into family life. As co-teacher, Shoketsu Ellen Carlin helps make the classes fun, flexible, and adapted to the children who attend that day.
Returning on Sunday, September 8 from 10:20 to 11:00, the Second Sunday classes for children rounds out the Children’s Program. Music, singing, and storytelling entertain the kids and offer them a child sized portion of the Dharma plus a cookie.
This program wouldn’t work at all without the help of many volunteers. Beyond those already mentioned are Domyo Burk, Sabrina Eveland, Marta Farris, Cameron Kidd, Jill Otermat, Janelle Schaffner, and Stephanie Valenti.
And then there’s you! As with all aspects of our Strategic Plan, the Children’s Program is always open to your ideas and your support.