Our Children’s Sunday Assembly provides an ethical education for children aged 2-13. In ninth grade, they begin a Coming of Age process where there is a distinct transition from childhood to young adulthood. After one year, teens graduate and may choose to become volunteer assistant teachers in the Children’s Sunday Assembly. We have a budding teen group (YES) and a growing 19-29 age group (FES). Programs for adults range from workshops on compassionate communication, to ethical culture history and philosophy, to social networking sites, and to world religions and mythology.
Teen & Adult Programs
“YES” – Teen Group (ages 13-19)
Our BSEC teen group creates an inclusive, safe haven while having a positive impact on the community and upholding ethical values. The program offers a safe, respectful, and confidential environment where group members can freely discuss and explore topics important to teens. The group also takes responsibility for planning and implementing its activities.
“FES” – Young Adult Group (ages 19-30)
Brooklyn is a vibrant young borough, which is reflected in our community at BSEC. We a growing group of young adults in their twenties (and thirties) who enjoy each other’s company and community. Socially the group meets for social occasions, participates in the Good Coffee House and organizes numerous spontaneous activities after platform and during the week. Additionally, there is an annual conference that bring young adults in the Ethical Culture movement from around the country together.
Children’s Sunday Assembly Classroom Guides (all ages)
Adults (and older teens) are needed to serve as volunteer assistants to our teachers in order to enhance our children’s educational programs. We ask you to volunteer for 3-4 week blocks of Sundays. Responsibilities will include assisting the teacher in lessons, helping to keep all children on task, setting/packing up the classroom, interacting with students to maximize their learning. All classroom guides must be a member for at least six months and undergo a training before beginning their volunteer work.
Adult Mentors for Coming of Age Group (all ages)
We are looking for adults who are interested in becoming mentors for our teens in the Coming of Age program. A mentor’s job is to meet with the teen at least three times in the year, to work through the teen/mentor projects in the teen’s workbook, to check in with them about the program and – if you are able – to join us on our Inner Quest weekend camping trip as well as the Coming of Age Graduation at the end of June.
Adult Workshops (all ages)
Usually held on a Sunday afternoon, workshops are open to the entire community—not just Society members—and are taught by experts from the Brooklyn community and beyond. We offer programs in such areas as philosophy, relationship building, public policy, and leadership, with special programs for men, women, singles, couples, children, parents, and seniors. Previous workshops have included: “Compassionate Communication,” “Ethical Wills,” “Envisioning the Future of Ethical Culture,” and the “Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture.” Our goal is to offer at least one adult education workshop per month.
Children’s Sunday Assembly
Preschool Class (ages 2-5)
The Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten program is designed to provide a warm and caring environment for young children, a place they want to be. Using our own thematic curriculum, the two to five year olds focus on the themes of Ethical Culture community and belonging. The curriculum for all pre-schoolers is play-based and encourages cooperation and respect for themselves and their classmates. With stories, games, art and free-play which employ the senses and build cooperation, the children will begin to identify the Ethical Society as their spiritual home.
Lower Assembly Class (ages 6-9)
The curriculum is thematic and based on multi-week modules; a model known as “workshop rotations.” The main objectives of the classes for elementary age children are to give a sense of religious heritage, to explore how the individual is connected to the world, to help children develop ethical approaches to everyday situations, and to enhance the child’s understanding of the primacy of ethics. One of the main goals for this age group is to foster a sense of social responsibility, the confidence to ask questions and the boldness to be their own unique selves.
Upper Assembly Class (ages 10-13)
Our children in the Upper Assembly continue to build on these foundations, to expand their sense of social responsibility, to explore global ethical dilemmas and the history of ideas, ethical approaches to questions or origins, birth, death and celebrations as well as learning about ethics in the context of world religions and Ethical Culture history. The main goal for this age group is to begin to explore their own beliefs in preparation for their Coming of Age year.
Coming of Age (ages 14 or 15)
During the Coming of Age year of self-discovery, teens experience physical challenges and learn their personal styles. Families learn to renegotiate their relationships to make room for the new emerging identity of the adolescent son or daughter, while teens earn greater freedom by taking greater responsibility. The program has a built in feature that prepares the teens to take up community leadership at BSEC as volunteer assistant teachers after they graduate. The capstone for the teen teaching program allows them a small stipend or continued service credit in their final year of high school.