Nurturing Families - TAG School Opening Ceremony

Three Acts of Goodness (TAG) School of Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple welcomed the spring semester with an opening ceremony on March 3, 2024. More than 200 teachers, students, and parents gathered in the Auditorium for the celebration which featured highlights from previous semesters, a Fo Guang Shan knowledge quiz, the presentation of Appointment Letters to volunteer teachers, and an introduction to the upcoming semester's curriculum. Following the ceremony, students and parents engaged in fun-filled, interactive activities and shared the anticipated excitement for the new semester.

Ven. Hui Cheng, the Guiding Venerable for TAG School, extended a warm welcome to students upon their return and urged them to carry forward the Three Acts of Goodness—performing good deeds, speaking kind words, and cultivating positive thoughts—in their daily lives. Additionally, classes for Preschool, Kids, Junior, Youth, and Parents were also announced. And, everyone was invited to attend the collective spring outing on April 7th, with special surprise guests. Ven. Hui Cheng urged parents to actively join the parent classes, emphasizing parents are the ‘true teachers’ of their children. Thus, they should not only teach their children the Three Acts of Goodness but also become examples themselves, so the whole family can practice together.

New parent Austin Minnich was grateful for the opportunity his family had together as they visited Buddhist temples in Korea and created unforgettable memories. Upon returning to Los Angeles, he vowed to take his daughters, Ava and Amelia, to a temple to learn Buddhism. Through research online, he discovered that Hsi Lai Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the United States with excellent children's classes, and he was delighted to enroll his daughters. He hoped, by practicing TAG teachings, they would be nurtured with kindness and compassion, and grow into outstanding, wise young women.

Kennedy Hart, a 16-year-old, who was a student in the youth class four years ago, has now stepped into the role of assistant teacher. She believes that TAG thinking and actions have become an integral part of her life. Through two years of volunteering, she has grown significantly, particularly in the ways of learning how to take on more responsibility.

Graciela, a new kids’ class assistant teacher, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn about Buddhism through a Chan meditation experience during camp at Hsi Lai Temple last June. Not only does she volunteer herself, but she also influenced her nephew to enroll in TAG School. She shared her belief that TAG philosophy transcends religion and ethnicity and is something everyone needs. Buddhism can benefit every child in school and at home, and she encourages everyone to learn Buddhism.

Ten-year-old Steven Zhao, a kids’ class student for the third semester, has already witnessed significant changes since joining TAG School. His mother, Celine Huang, is delighted to see improvements in their parent-child relationship, as well as Steven's newfound sense of dedication and respect. After he completed one semester, he began to volunteer in the Main Shrine every week, where he welcomes visitors in both Chinese and English and provides answers to questions regarding Buddhism.

Guests at the ceremony included Alex Wu, President of BLIA Los Angeles Chapter, and president of BLIA Los Angeles Chapter Elder Advisor Committee, Zhao Linfeng, who presented Appointment Letters to volunteer teachers.

The opening celebratory ceremony infused hearts with vitality and joyful anticipation of another growth-filled semester about to unfold. Parents looked forward to their children continuing to learn and to grow taller and wiser during springtime, as the seeds of Buddhism are nurtured within and shared with families, friends and spread throughout the world.

(Photos provided by Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple)