Our Ethics for Children program provides a fun and hands-on learning environment where children ages 2 to 14 years explore topics and ideas that strengthen their sense of self and respect for others; encourage responsibility and empathy; and develop active engaged citizens who can actualize their values in their own lives, communities and the larger world. Children benefit from reinforcement of what they learn in the Ethics for Children classes and activities by being a part of a community of people who care about other people in the world.
The Ethical Core Values forms the foundation of our program setting the standard for how we treat each other and conduct ourselves in an ever changing world. Activities are age-appropriate and child-centered. Some of the activities covered include:
- Learning about ones self and others
- Decision in everyday life
- Learning and practicing the skills of cooperation and compromise
- Taking responsibility
- Caring for the environment
- Thinking critically
- Investigating and discovering
- Learning about the diversity in the world
- Discussing and engaging in current events
- Taking local field trips
- Volunteering in the community
Ethics for Children meet from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on Sundays See our FAQ page for more information. On certain Sundays the entire community, adults and children, come together for a community service project, celebration, or field trip. See calendar for details. Children spend three years together in one class helping them to bond and create friendships. Each year the class explores a new theme. Below is an outline of the themes by class. See our Class Description page for more details on the classes being offered in 2016-2017 program year.
Primary (Preschool Age)
In this early stage kids from 2 to 4 years old use arts and crafts, play, storytelling and music to discover:
- Who Am I? What Am I like?
- Who Is In My Family? My Community?
- How Do I Like to Be Treated? How Do I Treat Others?
Elementary (Kindergarten toSecond Grade)
As children develop an interest in others beyond themselves they explore through storytelling, artwork, playtime, and hands on activity:
- How Do Members of A Community Treat Each Other?
- Who is a Hero? What is Heroic Action?
- Who Else Lives in the World? What Are Their Lives Like? How Are We Alike? How Are We Different?
Juniors (Third to Fifth Grade)
Children in this class explore how to relate to others who have different perspectives through games, dramatic role play, field trips, community service projects, and social engagement
- What Is Diversity? How Does Diversity Effect How We Relate To One Another?
- How Do Different Religions Compare?
- How Do We Resolve Conflict?
Senior Ethics (Sixth to Eighth Grade)
As children progress through the Ethics for Children program, the curriculum becomes more abstract, while still retaining a focus on developing active and responsible citizens. Activities include viewing and discussing relevant videos, debate, writing, cooperative group games, role-playing and opportunities for community service. Children are continually asked to explore, examine, and develop their own beliefs in the context of our discussions and activities. Here classes include:
- What Injustices Do People Face in The World Today? How Can I Impact Change For the Future?
- How Does Sports and Popular Culture Shape Our Moral Lives and Moral Issues In Society?
- How Can We Take Care Of The Earth?
Graduation Year Project: 8th Grade
In their final year of the Senior Ethics Program, every graduating student will work with a mentor and devote his/her final year to a social service project of their choice. At the Graduation Ceremony, the student shares their accomplishments with the whole Society. Graduation Year Projects have included videos on the effects of bullying, working at an animal shelter, mentoring Special Olympics contestants, and building houses with Fuller Center for Housing.
Youth Group: 9th Grade to 12th Grade
As children progress through the EFC program, additional projects and groups are available. In Youth Group, High School youth join with adult advisors to plan and implement their own discussions and activities focused on areas of interest and importance to teens. Teens may participate in the national program, Youth in Ethical Societies (YES), and attend annual weekend conferences.
Childcare is offered for younger children at no charge – see our Ethical Culture Society Nursery School.
Our News Archives
We’re especially excited to welcome our new Director of the Ethical Education Program for Children! Sabine Salandy has a background in education, communications, and government. She holds a B.A. from Hunter College and an M.S. from the New School for Social Research. Sabine comes to us from the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, where she served five years as Director of Education. Sabine has lots of ideas and infectious energy, and I know you will enjoy getting to know her.
Interested families are invited to bring their children at 9:30 a.m. on opening day, Sunday, September 11, to meet Ms. Salandy and learn about the curriculum. At the 10:30 a.m. morning meeting our Leader, Bart Worden, will speak on "Bridging the Divide: Finding Ourselves in Others." Afterwards, everyone’s invited to enjoy a cookout in the Society’s green backyard/playground.
Children in grades K-8 are welcome to participate in the classes. Childcare is also provided for younger children. Anyone with questions about the Ethics program for children, can contact Ms. Salandy at ethicsforchildren.ecsw@gma
The Ethical Society is located at 7 Saxon Wood Road in White Plains, adjacent to the Saxon Woods Pool and just north of Hutch Exit 23N. Phone number is 914 948-1120. Its website is www.ethicalsocietywestches
We are all gearing up for the big Climate Change March on Sept 21!
While the grown ups sat around talking, the Junior Ethics Class hit the ground running by making an awesome environmental poster. I didn't ask, but I bet it was on recycled paper!
Congratulations to all on completing another year in Junior & Senior Ethics! Here, the Senior Ethics class take to the platform. We watched the Nepal Chapter of the film, 'Girl Rising' which the older kids have been studying. It prompted a discussion which ran and ran!
Recently, The Sunday School took two field trips. The first was a trip to the UN. Our Sunday school joined several other Sunday Schools in the region were we attended a lecture on NGOs (non-governmental organizations). Then we all had a rare opportunity to go deep into the halls and lecture rooms where world issues are discussed and voted upon. After a brief movie on the Armenian Genocide, we headed down to the employee cafeteria where we all had lunch.
The second trip was to the annual Green Festival. Jyoti and Shivani arrived on there bicycles and attended the festival for free. We all had a great time sampling wonderful food. This food wasn't just delicious, the companies making it had the goal of using the minimal carbon footprint possible to make it. There were dozens of vendors. Food wasn't the only green product being sold. There were environmentally friendly beauty aids, personal transportation, furniture, clothing and various other consumer products. The children learned that there are corporations which are actually interested in having a business model which produces products that will sustain and not destroy our earth.