Environmental Protection Assembly March 2013 at Fred Ekstrand Elementary School

Ekstrand students turning food scraps into compost. Teaching to cherish the Earth's resources, the Tzu Chi Education foundation worked with Fred Ekstrand Elementary in March 2013 to create an indoor assembly about composting. The students and teachers learned about converting food scraps into compost. Tzu Chi volunteers worked with students to mix green and browns in a 1:3 ratio. After the event, Tzu Chi donated a refurbished compost bin to Ekstrand Elementary school. Inspired by the lesson, a school teacher converted an unused flower bed into a nursery to teach the children how to grow vegetables. Principal Newton was grateful to the efforts of the foundation and hopes the seeds of goodness can blossom in the student's hearts. She said, "The more the students understand about the world, the more they know how to care for the Earth."



Stars of Compassion Assembly October 2012 at Charles Lee Elementary School

Motivated to help students and school staff become aware of the devastation effects of Hurricane Sandy, the Tzu Chi Education Team worked with principal Hector Alegria of Charles H. Lee Elementary to present the Stars of Compassion" assembly. Using a multimedia presentation, the team showed videos and pictures of not only the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but also the compassionate acts of people around the world. Through the presentation, the students could see that if they lend a helping hand, they will make a difference in other people's lives.
The students had impressive answers to the question of how to help the Hurricane Sandy victims. They suggested that we donate something to eat, something to drink, and something to wear. Through the assembly, the students and teachers comprehended the situation through the powerful images they saw. Our meeting with the teachers and students enhanced their understanding of Tzu Chi's mission and the spirit of compassion and giving that lies behind Tzu Chi's character education program. All the teachers were supportive and expressed eagerness to help with fundraising. A teacher at Charles Lee Elementary said, "Even adults like her need to be reminded sometimes to always have a compassionate heart and to never turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering endured by other human beings."