Our character education program has sown the seeds of gratitude, respect, and love in elementary and middle schools throughout the United States since 2006. Upon observing that there was a lack of moral education in the curriculum in American public schools, we developed and began offering our character education program to schools willing to receive it.
Our program provides a profound and engaging curriculum appropriate for different grade levels, that relates course content to daily life. The program inspires students to become aware of their own behavior and how it affects others, and to cultivate positive character traits and virtues that lead to harmony in the classroom, the family, community, and society at large.
After implementing our program, participating schools report improved student behavior and a reduced need for disciplinary action. As students discover the impact of their changing behavior on the wellbeing of their classmates and their own sense of self-worth, they are inspired to continue on this path of self-cultivation, emerging as global citizens with a humanistic worldview.
American public school education favors academic performance, leaving a void in character education. This video tells the story of how our Character Education program began, and reveals the dedication of our teachers and volunteers who continually perfect the curriculum.
Every year, we invite an elementary school to a one-day camp at Tzu Chi USA Headquarters in San Dimas, California, where students and educators learn about environmental protection, innovative ways to give things a second life, and recycling. Our hands-on approach and green initiatives have inspired schools to start their own environmental awareness and recycling programs. One school started recycling plastic bottles in its classrooms in 2012, and by 2017, classes were competing to accumulate the most items. A 2nd grade teacher began classroom projects on creative ways to repurpose recyclables. We are grateful for this opportunity to inspire environmental awareness.
Knowing the importance of instilling environmental awareness in youth, we travel to elementary schools to present our “Every Day is Earth Day” assembly consisting of an indoor lecture and an outdoor activity. During the lecture, students learn the importance of taking care of the Earth and reducing the amount of garbage we produce. The outdoor activity allows them to practice how to recycle, providing a more in-depth understanding of how they can contribute to protecting the planet. The aim of the program is to inspire children to take interest in the environment and to recognize their individual responsibility in protecting it.
We mentor and tutor students from the schools we serve on a regular basis. Working in collaboration with teachers, who are in constant communication with our team, we develop a program best suited to meet each individual student’s needs, addressing schoolwork along with issues in social interaction. By offering one-on-one attention to students with academic needs and/or facing hardships in life, our volunteers become a consistent role model in a student’s life. We are grateful that through this service, we can make a veritable difference in the lives of students experiencing difficulties or challenges, helping them achieve their full potential.