From Rubbish to Art – A Day of Recycling

A Day of Recycling – a summer art class—was hosted by Hsi Lai Temple’s TAG (Three Acts of Goodness) School at Hsi Lai Temple on July 24, and taught by professional Art Teacher Lisa Chen. Fifteen students and their parents happily worked together to create magnificent marine life artwork from an array of recycled materials carrying a strong, positive environmental message.

Teacher Lisa explained the powerful impact that recycling has on our environment, and helped the children to understand the dangers of marine life accidentally eating plastic bags. Through active interaction, students’ questions were answered, and they began creating a seascape with treasured sea creatures.

Recycled and reclaimed materials were used, such as cardboard toilet paper rolls, bubble wrap, egg cartons, wrapping paper, cardboard, plastic bags, etc. Cardboard toilet paper rolls and colored paper transformed into colorful fish, egg cartons into turtle shells, cardboard into vibrant ocean waves after a little coloring, and wrapping paper, bubble wrap, and plastic bags turned into clouds and jellyfish. Students and parents worked together — coloring, stapling, and pasting — and their art projects greatly enhanced parent-child interaction and bonding. Teacher Lisa encouraged students to be creative and put fish, jellyfish, clouds, and turtles on their masterpieces wherever they wished.

Four-year-old Ryan, at the beginning of class, was rather shy and hesitant to interact with others; however, it wasn’t long before he was happily working together with classmates. Rekha, a mother of two daughters, expressed, “The pandemic has made children forget about and afraid of interpersonal interactions. Thanks to Hsi Lai Temple for reopening onsite classes, so students can find friendship again!”

Monastic Advisor Ven. Zhi Ching praised, “You are very creative and your parents are very supportive. I would like to especially thank Teacher Lisa for being our volunteer teacher. Your final artwork will be displayed at Hsi Lai Temple to help raise public awareness on environmental protection issues. And, your artwork will make more students want to come to TAG School, making all of you good helpers of recruitment.” The class ended with contentment.