Sample Syllabus

                                                                                            Year: 2017-2018

EXPLORING ETHICS SYLLABUS

Teacher: Simba Yangala

The world is changed by our examples, not by our opinions. Examples are one of the best ways to teach. Each one, reach one, to teach one

                                                                             -African proverb

One of the core values of ethical culture is to elicit the best in others and therefore in ourselves. How do we use that concept with young children here at Ethics for Children? I find the best way to teach this age is through plays and what we call “teachable moments.”

Play fosters intellectual, social, emotional, physical and creative development in children all at once!  When children engage in play, they are intrinsically motivated to learn. In an environment with children, the lack of proper stimulation creates boredom and too much stimulation creates uncertainty and chaos. The challenge is to keep the balance with short ethical discussions, storytelling and idea sharing. And also a snack is always a hit with children

Here is our Exploring Ethics group two semesters syllabus for September- January

SEPTEMBER

“Seeing the best in others to bring out the best in ourselves”

Theme: Welcome

Sun 10th: Meet and greet, how to create inclusion and our own spaces. Children will share stories about a time they’ve felt welcome and included. Together we will explore the importance of friendly welcomings
Story: A Sea of Pink
Song: Make new friend and keep the old one

Sun 17st:  The word “friend”, we use the word friend in ways to define our kind intention to others. When we meet in our Exploring Ethics group, we are friends. Children will draw a name from a box and that will be the friend to write a letter to that will be sent to them in a week. They will also write a letter to self.

Sun 24th: NO EFC

OCTOBER

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

Theme: Courage

Sun 1st: Yoga Sunday Before Yoga teacher comes, we will do our mantra leading into children sharing what they would like to be when they grow up. After yoga, children will do the Flowers and candles meditation.

Sun 8th: NO EFC (Indigenous Day previously called Columbus Day)

Sun 15nd: NO EFC (Ethical Education Retreat Weekend)

Sun 22nd: Gardening Day: “Families Care for the Earth Day” Leaves and roots for the fall

Sun 29th: Ethics For children Service Sunday

NOVEMBER

“A feeling of gratitude and seeing ways to find richness in every moment.”

Theme: Abundance

Sun 5th: Yoga Sunday. Share a dance for abundance: Children will share their dance moves and create a wave of combine dances together.
Story: Stories about things they’ve received

Sun 12th: Cooking Day, children will be in the BSEC kitchen cooking something to taste and share with others at lunch with the bunch. (Congolese cuisine: Smoked spinach)

Sun 19th: Intergenerational Platform: WAMPANOAG Native American Ceremony!

Sun 26th: NO EFC (Thanksgiving Break)

DECEMBER

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, this moment today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present”

Theme: Hope

Sun 3rd: Yoga Sunday. After yoga, children will do “Hope message on a rock”, it’s an activity in which they will write hopeful messages on a rock and place it somewhere outside for someone to find.

Sun 10th: Hopes for our families, (will get note from Lea’s class)

Sun 17st: Intergenerational Platform: WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION!

Sun 24th: NO EFC (Winter Break)

Sun 31st: NO EFC (Winter Break)

JANUARY

“A storyteller make up things to help other people, a liar make up things to help themselves”

Theme: Intention

Sun 07th: Yoga Sunday for all EFC together and after is Gardening Day: “Families Care for the Earth Day” seeds for the winter

Sun 14th: NO EFC (Martin Luther King’s Day)
Monday January 15th 2017, Families Celebrate Africa on Martin Luther King Day

Sun 21st: Ethics For children Service Sunday

Sun 28th: Children will do the Yes and No game, will do activity in which they share things that are Yes okay to do and things that are No. We will explore the question, what do you do when you want to do something that’s a No?
Story: Things we like to do

 

Storytelling: communicating an ethic of love. 

2017-2018 September- January Syllabus

Teacher: storäe michele.

We carry our stories with us into every aspect of our lives. They engage in our personal and social relationships. Inevitably, the stories we tell ourselves manifest into the selves we present in the world. Thus, nurturing ourselves with stories that serve to produce our best self, set in motion interactions that allow for brave space to be intentional in our actions, and approach situations with the willingness to grow and have healthy reflective perspectives.

This year our storytellers will write stories of love: for themselves, family and community—investigating ways in which love is ethical engagement.  As Dr. Cornel West declares, “Justice is what love looks like in public,” and as an ethic, provides a deeper meaning for the heart-work we do—not just simply right-actions but embodied right-relations that demonstrate our stories of love.

You will notice the Semptember class descriptions are quite specific, while the November-January plans are more general. This is intentional. As we continue to work together as a group I want to allow room for the class plans to reflect new thoughts ideas and opportunities.

I am honored to be on this journey of sharing stories, activism and ethics-making with our Growing Ethics group!

September. Chapter 1 [Welcome: “bringing out the best in others, brings out the best in ourselves.]

This month will welcome each other, discussing our year-long goals.

9.10 After exploring our syllabus, we will create a landscape roadmap of our hopes and dreams for the year, marking any special or noteworthy moments on this journey. We will also engage in writing a hopes and dreams letter to ourselves, which will be mailed at the end of the year to encourage thoughtful reflection.

9.17 Working towards [re]introductions: embodying the narrative of those who love us.  In our group, we will [re]introduce ourselves after delving deeper into discussions on who we are. Using performance theory exercises, we will introduce ourselves while embodying someone who loves us. Answering the question, “who are the people you are bringing into the room?” recognizing that we carry the stories that others tell about us. How does this change our perspectives of self?

9.24 No EFC.

October. Chapter 2 [the courage to speak our truths]

This month will begin to unpack our personal stories, questioning how they evolve or stay consistent—grounded in inquiries around self-love, honoring peculiarities, and speaking our truths.

10.1 We will begin our alter-ego books—which will be our year-long tool for reflection and artistic response to each weeks’ topic.  Alter-ego books are created from old books that we will [re]construct to develop a brave space, taking off our everyday mask and speaking to our truths.  What are our truths? How do they align with the self we show in public? In community?  What are tools we already have when speaking to difficult situations? How do we acknowledge our courageous acts? We will have yoga with Heather from 12-12:30pm.

10.8 No EFC.

10.15 No EFC.

10.22   Family Care for the Earth Day.

10.29   Service Day.

November. Chapter 3 [We live in abundance]

This month will begin to unpack our community stories, questioning how to approach the needs to thrive in our society. Our guiding inquiries are: What is our role? Can we have an impact? How do we learn to glean understanding from each other?

11.5 Sharing our collective wisdom: we are each other’s medicine. We will discuss our do-it-yourself methods of caring for ourselves and one another. Looking at the word medicine in an expansive sense, what aliments do we see in community? What are methods of healing for special circumstances that we want to see change? Are there always opportunities for change? We will have yoga with Heather from 12-12:30pm.

*We will also create a book or video together that speaks to our own DIY medicinal recipes. This project may carry over into December. *

11.12 Revisiting tough conversations: creating brave space. Sometimes we experience circumstances that cause responses that surprise us. Living in a climate that is at once hostile and nurturing can cause us to react in ways that communicate lacking something that in actuality we always have. How can we trust the abundance that we already contain? How is a healthy dose of self-confidence and recognizing interdependence beneficial for the community at large? How do we trust our gifts are enough? How do we engage in sharing our medicine?

11.19 Intergenerational Platform: WAMPANOAG!

11.26 No EFC for Thanksgiving Break.

December. Chapter 4 [Igniting hope, Activating Love-in-Action]

This month we will work as a team to solve an interactive exploratory challenge that effects the EFC community [this well be decided on as a group]. As a team, we will explore different ways of starting and enacting a process of change. We will discuss who is affected, what difference the change will bring and what the possible ripples in the community could be.

12.3 – 12.10 How to unpack a challenge. Using different modalities that engage the imagination, such as Silent Tableaus [games for encouraging students to think physically as a group and as individuals, encouraging different methods of non-verbal communication], mixed media constructs, and strategies around approaching research. How is solving a challenge as a group, also an act of love? How does everyone thrive in these moments? How do we make sure all voices are heard? What are our learning curves? What was our process?

12.3 We will have yoga with Heather from 12-12:30pm.

12.17 Winter Solstice.

12.24 No EFC.

12.31 No EFC.

January. Chapter 5 [Setting intentions for the future, Honoring journeys in years’ Past]

1.7 Family Care for the Earth Day. We will have yoga with Heather from 12-12:30pm.

1.14 No EFC.

1.15 [Monday] Families Celebrate Africa.

1.21 Creating vision boards of the intentions we wish to see and memorials for the markers of our journey of the past year. How will the story of our past inform this year? What growth do we wish to see? Who have we seen demonstrate these strengths? What can be learned from their stories? How are we the protagonist in our stories? In what ways do we support our ability to thrive?

1.28 Service Day.

a sneak peek into the months of February to June…

As the first months together focused on understanding ourselves and those in our immediate community, this year will center in how we can remember those in society who we may not interact with personally but our daily actions affect. As the upcoming months celebrate Black History, Women’s History, Earth Day and days of remembrance of those we love, we will continue to ignite love-in-action as a social justice using art to point to those who are not always seen, but voices are necessary to be heard.

Coming soon…

Teachers

SIMBA YANGALA
Teacher for Exploring Ethics (ages 3-6)

simbaSimba was born in Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of Congo). She is a performing artist, choreographer, playwright and educator. She studied Liberal Arts at LaGuardia Community College. She is the Artistic Director of her own performing arts company JungleDom Network.

Simba has over ten years of experience working with children in New York City and beyond. She has a special gift for empathizing with young children, imbuing them with confidence and teaching them about community. With her generous heart and enthusiasm for the arts she has already nurtured a generation of children through the Ethics for Children program.

STORÄE MICHELE
Teacher for Living Ethics (ages 7-9)

storäe michele, [known by her ancestors as Michele Stanback] is an artist, art therapist, eco-feminist, writer, director and educator of ten years. As an Interdisciplinary Masters of Divinity graduate of Union Theological Seminary, storäe infuses the arts into theological inquiries–exploring rituals, and breathing new life into sacred spaces for meaningful reflection.  Her first film [the listening heart], is performed with an amazing cast of incredible women of color, bringing to life an original story grounded in Mayan and Yoruba cosmologies.  Through embodied poetry, song and dance, she uplifts the feminine divine and investigates ways we communicate the meaning of love to our youth. storäe is committed to the sharing of these stories with women of color as subject—[re]mythologizing and unearthing the narratives of our ancestors. To learn more, please visit www.storaemichele.com

LEA BENDER
Teacher for Evolving Ethics (ages 10-12)

leaLea’s background in theater, creative writing, team-building and event production has informed her role as a teacher and program director. She has worked with diverse populations of children in a range of environments: from theater workshops to juvenile detention facilities.  Lea believes in the use of creativity and play to promote learning and personal development and to encourage new ways of interacting with our environment and communities. Lea encourages children to act on their convictions and use their voices in and out of class.  She brings her passion for environmental awareness, social justice and cultural understanding to her work on behalf of the Ethical Culture movement, whose message and actions couldn’t be more timely or important than right now.


TATY SENA
Education Director

TatyTaty was born in Brazil and has been a teacher and tutor for over 20 years in schools in Brazil and in NYC. Much of her work with kids over the past 20 years has revolved around developing projects to create positive change in local and international communities and to empower young people to understand how important their ideas and actions can be.

Taty has worked for a variety of different organizations, including Greenpeace and The New York International Fringe Festival. She has also taught martial arts, organized interfaith organizations to support educational and health projects in Uganda, Brazil, Tibet and Afghanistan, and has held a variety of technology jobs, ranging from web development to robotics.
Taty joined BSEC looking for a caring and engaged community for her own daughter Tahra, who is now a happy student of the youngest Ethics for Children classes.


Visiting Teachers:

HEATHER GOBBEE  
Yoga Instructor

Heather discovered her practice through Anusara Yoga. For her, yoga is all about offering balance between the mind, body and spirit. As a NYS Certified Theatre Arts Educator, Heather works with children every day. She initially sought out children’s yoga training to support her creative drama students, but eventually creative drama began to support her yoga students! Children change and grow so quickly, and are in constant need of balance. Yoga and drama are so complimentary of each other: both support a child’s need to play while focusing on their physical, creative, social, emotional, and behavioral development; and both get richer with practice. In 2007 Heather received her Karma Kids Yoga teacher certificate and has continued training with Little Flower Yoga, Shakta Kaur Khalsa, and most recently, Circus Yoga with Kevin O’Keefe & Erin Maile! Children love to play, and they love yoga because it feels terrific. The most gorgeous thing about teaching children yoga, is that it offers children strong tools to help them cope with the changes in their bodies as well as life’s ups & downs. Namasté.


Volunteer Staff:

Information about our amazing volunteers is coming soon.

The Ethics for Children Program

The Ethics for Children Program

Our Programs

Our Ethics for Children program provides a fun, focused learning environment for kids to explore topics that foster empathy, respect and a deeper understanding of self and others. These include: our relationship to the natural world, the diversity of world religions and philosophies, social justice and action, and peaceful problem-solving.

The goal of Ethics for Children is to provide children with skills and knowledge to help them make ethical choices and learn to respect the inherent worth of every human being. We do not impose a fixed set of values or beliefs. Rather, we encourage children to respect and learn about themselves and their environment and to examine how their own ideas and actions impact the greater world.

The program also includes yoga and mindfulness, permaculture and environmental practices, arts, service and volunteering and community building activities.

We focus on 5 major principles:
Care for the Self
Care for the Family
Care for the Community
Care for the Earth
Care for the World

Ethics for Children can also be a full family activity, with classes for all ages and free adult programs at the same time for those who want to attend.

 

The video below is from one of our classes during our end of year ceremony:

Exploring Ethics (ages 3-6)
Teacher Simba Yangala

This program is designed to provide a warm and caring environment for young children: a place they want to be. The curriculum for this group is play-based and encourages cooperation and respect for themselves and their classmates. Stories, games, art and free-play employ the senses, build cooperation and touch on themes such as nature, community, generosity and kindness.

Growing Ethics (ages 7-9)
Teacher storae michele 

Our children continue to build on these foundations. This group will expand their sense of social responsibility and explore global ethical dilemmas. They will also explore the history of world religions as well as the Ethical Culture movement. The main goal for this age group is to examine their own beliefs in preparation for their Coming of Age year.

Living Ethics (ages 10-12)
Teacher Lea Bender 

Our Evolving Ethics class provides a supportive space where teens develop good decision-making skills, caring relationships, and social responsibility. At our weekly meetings young teens experience belonging and community in a welcoming, action-oriented, and judgment-free environment. Through service-learning projects, visits from local artists and non-profit organizations, our group will explore how to be effective initiators and organizers of social change.  Students will have opportunities to share their work and their evolving understanding about what one needs to do to lead a meaningful life. Graduates can join the YES Program (Youth of Ethical) that is part of a national group of kids involved in Ethical Culture.

>> CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR ETHICS FOR CHILDREN PROGRAMS <<

>> CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A TRIAL CLASS <<

Have any questions for us? Please send us a message and we will get back to you right away.:

Or call Taty Sena at 914 359-4243.