GOLD MOUNTAIN INSTILLING VIRTUE ELEMENTARY 
SCHOOL SUMMER SESSION

In coordination with Dharma Realm Buddhist University's summer session, GMIV Elementary School will hold its first summer school program on the grounds of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas near Talmage, California.

The school, dedicated to assisting children as individuals and as members of society, recognizes the need for developing academic skills as part of the larger scope of emotional, physical, and intellectual development. We are concerned with the over-all well being and happiness of the children as well as with the society in which they live. Besides giving the children a solid academic foundation and cultural background, the school is dedicated to teaching the importance of lessening one's greed, hatred, and stupidity, and developing morality, concentration, and true wisdom. We realize that the future of the world lies in the hands of our children, and that our basic goals must be to instill within the children a vital awareness of the importance of peace and harmony and learn with them how to be giving and compassionate and seek to benefit rather than harm society. Included within this are the principles of protecting and preserving all life and the environment, respecting the equality of all beings, and taking responsibility for one's actions.

SUMMER SESSION EMPHASIS: LEARNING SKILLS TO BENEFIT OUR WORLD

      The students who participate in this summer's session will have the privilege of being part of the creation of a new community. Their contribution will be an integral part of the establishment of the community, and will be appreciated as such by its adult members. Academic skills will be taught, but their practical application will be emphasized. For example, writing skills will be in demand for a number of important projects. Thus, the children may choose to work on a weekly community newspaper, writing children's literature, or creating new textbooks. The following are the main topics that the children will explore during the summer program:

1) CHILDREN'S EDUCATION: PROPAGANDA OR PRINCIPLE?

In coordination with the DRBU summer session, one of the goals of the GMIV Elementary School program will be to produce the first set of beginning readers for school use, and hopefully some story-books, with Buddhist content. The children will make significant contributions to this project. Hand in hand with this the children will be taught to become critical readers and to distinguish slanted materials which distort facts in order to promote their author's prejudiced views from writings based on true principles.

2) THE LIFE PROCESS: A STUDY OF PLANT LIFE AND VEGETATION.

One on-going activity at CTTB will always be the entire process of cultivation of the land. The children's science program will include first-hand experience in preparing the soil, planting and maintaining a garden, planning a balanced meal, composting, and recycling.

3) CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: TRAINING CHILDREN AS BI-LINGUAL TRANSLATORS.

GMIV School will continue its bilingual Mandarin/English program training the children writing, reading, and speaking skills. The children will also learn to use a calligraphy brush and will study Chinese culture as part of their language studies. Special emphasis will be placed on translation from both Chinese to English and from English to Chinese.

4) A CHILD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE AVATAMSAKA: WHO SAID YOU HAVE TO BE A GROWN-UP TO BECOME A BUDDHA?

Every child will have the rare and exciting opportunity of joining the Great Avatamsaka Assembly, which meets each evening to hear lectures by the Venerable Master on the Avatamsaka Sutra. A special program will be set up to both explain the concepts involved on their level and to encourage them to express their own understanding and insights.

5) DRAW ME A PICTURE: A COMPLETE FINE ARTS PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN IN COORDINATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY ART PROGRAM.

This includes graphics, printmaking and ceramics.

RECREATION

The children will have the use of CTTB's swimming pool, gymnasium, and tennis courts. Time will be set aside each day for these activities.

      Schedule will be rearranged according to childrenís interests. For example, a child interested in gardening will be allowed to take time from other activities to study plant life. Those working on the newspaper childrenís books, etc. will also need more time.

WEEKENDS:

      The children will have the option of going home for the weekends or participating in a more relaxed weekend schedule. There will also be specifically scheduled weekend hikes and camping trips.

 

      On the occasion of the birthday of the Buddha of the Western Pure Land, Amitabha, the children of Gold Mountain Instilling Virtue Elementary School entertained the great assembly with songs for the Buddha. Shown here are the Venerable Master Hua and special guest Mrs. Rounds, mother of Upasaka Kuo Chou (David) Rounds, seated at the table with Kuo Ts'an Epstein, principal and teacher, playing guitar while the children sing. On this occasion the Master composed another song, especially for the GMIV School children:

If you want to be stupid like me

Spend your time getting angry

Keep being lazy

Don't go to study.

If you want to be a fool:

Donít follow the rules!