EfC in the News
EfC in the News
EfC in The News
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
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
“Seeing the best in others to bring out the best in ourselves”
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
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
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
“A feeling of gratitude and seeing ways to find richness in every moment.”
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)
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, this moment today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present”
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)
“A storyteller make up things to help other people, a liar make up things to help themselves”
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.
Teacher for Exploring Ethics (ages 3 – 5)
Kimberly Houston graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Photography. She has had work published in Brides.com, Epicurious.com and “Praying With Our Feet, Faith-based Activism to Stop Shootings & Killings in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Beyond,” a project of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center & the Save Our Streets Clergy Action Network. She is currently a Tinkergarten leader, a play-based outdoor learning experience for children and their treasured adults. In the past, she worked as a Discovery Garden docent at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, facilitating a hands-on approach to inquiry at different stations for the youngest garden visitors. She is glad to be part of the BSEC community, and learn with the heart and mind.
Teacher for Living Ethics (ages 6-9)
Angel Thompson is an artist, writer, educator, and mother. She has a background in visual arts, including an Integrative Arts degree from Penn State University. She has over 10 years of teaching experience, working with families and children of all ages throughout NYC. As an instructor, she is passionate about instilling her students with the skills they need to share their inherent creativity and voice. She is a strong proponent of service learning and volunteerism. She believes that facilitating experiences for youth where their principles can become action is essential to developing a life of agency for the greater good.
Teacher for Evolving Ethics (ages 10-12)
Sarah Klena is a 16 year education veteran. She has a BS from SUNY New Paltz, MA from University of Central Florida, and Ed.S. from University of Florida. She is also a regular volunteer with the American Heart Association. She loves reading, writing, exploring NYC, and spending time with friends and family. She resides in Park Slope with her wife and 2 furbabies.
Teacher for Coming of Age (ages 13-16 yo)
Taty was born in Brazil and has been a teacher and tutor for over 20 years in schools in Brazil and in NYC and has organized and run several programs for schooled and homeschooled children. 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, NYPIRG 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 Ethics for Children program.
RYT, Yoga Instructor
With roots in Virginia, April grew her wings via DC and NYC and has 20 years of experience teaching yoga; exclusively to children for the past nine. Having a foundation in Integral Yoga and Anusara styles of yoga she has also acquired training for teaching children’s yoga with Karma Yoga Kids, MiniYogis, Storytime Yoga, and Next Generation Yoga Kids. Her company, SoulShine Life (www.soulshinelife.com), currently provides Kids Yoga Adventures to local schools in Brooklyn and NYC, and aims to help families & parents reconnect to themselves, each other and nature through Family Yoga Hikes and workshops. April’s nurturing approach to teaching combines asana, pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation with a practical focus on alignment. Much of her teachings are informed by her Vipassana meditation practice, love for the arts and travel, & from observing her two teenage sons. April is committed to facilitating space for students to listen to their body’s wisdom and to become more at home there Namasté.
Playback Theater Instructor
Since Tasha Paley’s retirement as a Creative Arts/Play Therapist with public school children in the South Bronx, NYC, she has divided her time between living in Brooklyn, NY, living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and traveling. Wherever Tasha is, she finds herself immersed in creative expression-writing poetry, painting silk, designing greeting cards, writing children’s stories, and teaching and practicing an improvisational form of theater called Playback Theater. And wherever she is, she brings her sense of play and whimsy with her.
Téana David is a Pilates teacher, transformational event producer, herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition, and Buddhist practitioner. She is committed to nurturing the wisdom of the body. Born in Tahiti, raised in Canada, and now based in NYC, Téana is Director of Mission Content at Deepak HomeBase, a collaboration between Deepak Chopra & ABC Home, where she curates events featuring spiritual teachers & environmental leaders such as Marianne Williamson, Paul Hawken, Mark Ruffalo, Chase Iron Eyes, Eve Esler & many others.
and a few more guest instructors planned for this year, which will be confirmed and added here, so check back soon…
Information about our amazing volunteers is coming soon.
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:
Please note, we have an open door policy for all our classes, so parents are always welcome to visit any class for any age group and participate or volunteer.
All are classes are Sundays from 11am until 12:30 pm.
Exploring Ethics (ages 3-6)
Teacher Kimberly Houston
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 Angel Thompson
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 Sarah Klena
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.
Coming of Age (ages 13-16)
Teacher Tara Page
Our Coming of Age (CoA) program is designed to gently carry teens from childhood into adulthood while continuing their
development as ethical people, explorations into social justice, environmental issues, community needs and the well being of our planet and humanity as a whole. The program is a safe space for teens that encourages self-discovery, responsibility, decision making skills, and facilitates parent-teen interactions and relationships while valuing individuality and personal choices. We use teen driven projects, self-exploration, multi-generational dialogue, yoga, mindfulness, permaculture and service based learning; to help young people learn how to be effective initiators and organizer of social change. They are also introduced to a variety of cultural experiences and different beliefs and invited to contemplate how those belief systems help people grapple with the same issues and questions that all humans encounter. Along with an adviser for the class each individual is paired a mentor to provide support throughout the program. The two-year program concludes with a personalized ceremony in which the students share their work and their evolving understandings about topics relating to living a meaningful life. Graduates are offered full membership at no cost in the Society and invited to stay connected with the Ethical Culture Movement by joining the national Youth of Ethical Societies group. Many of our graduates stay to work in the Ethics for Children program as assistants after graduation.
Have any questions for us? Please send us a message and we will get back to you right away.: