The Society offers programs for youth and families including Ethics for Children Sunday School, Teen Leadership and Ethical Parenting.

All youth and family programs at NYSEC strive to explore values such as integrity, honesty, responsibility, courage and commitment.  Affirm the value and uniqueness of each individual. Promote knowledge and celebration of the diversity among people.  Inspire social responsibility toward individuals, groups and our environment.

For more information about programming for youth and families, please contact Yalitza Garcia.

Young Ethical Explorers – Ethics for Children Humanist Sunday School

As a parent, you recognize a need for your children to develop a moral/ethical compass. Our Ethics for Children Program focuses on development of the moral reasoning process, something our children can use in myriad ways every day. Through stories, discussions, service projects, field trips and art activities, we encourage the exploration of ideas and issues in a safe, inclusive environment. We also encourage FUN! Visit the Young Ethical Explorers blog here!

The Goals of the Ethics For Children Program are:

  • To explore values such as integrity, honesty, responsibility, courage and commitment.
  • To affirm the value and uniqueness of each individual.
  • To promote knowledge and celebration of the diversity among people.
  • To inspire social responsibility towards individuals, groups and our environment.
    To develop a child’s identity as part of a community.
  • To learn about those ethical teachings which are common to the world’s religions.

We take a respectful view of all belief systems and children are encouraged to share their family traditions. Children in the program are occasionally asked to participate in Society celebrations such as the Winterfest and Founders Day.

Do I need to be a member for my child to come to Ethics For Children?Ethics for Children is open to children of members and nonmembers alike. While you are your child’s most important teacher, and it is important that you set the example of ethical behavior, you do not need to be a member of the Society.

Though it is not required, please consider the benefits of becoming a member.  More important than the reduced fees for this program and other activities and programs at the Society, you become part of a supportive community.

When is the program held?The Ethics for Children Program runs from September through May on Sundays concurrent with the Sunday Morning meeting. The main program is for students ages 3-12. For students 13 and up we provide a coming of age preparation program and mentorship. (We also welcome older children and teens as volunteer helpers.)

What is the expectation of me as a parent of a child attending the program?We ask that parents volunteer to assist in the class once every 6 weeks or so and occasionally accompany the children on an outing. Other than that, we ask only that you be conscious of the fact that you set the example of ethical behavior. If you can, please commit to making participation in the program a priority. Avoid scheduling conflicting activities and bring your child regularly. Regular attendance sends a signal to your child that an ethical education is important.  We’d love to welcome families to attend intergenerational events and to enjoy the simultaneous morning meetings with other adults, 11:15-12:30.

How much does it cost?Ethics For Children is free for member-families of Ethical Culture.  The suggested fee for each seasonal semester (fall, winter, spring) is $100 for the child(ren) of a non-member (with $300 per yr). Parents are encouraged to speak with Leader Anne Klaeysen about considerations in the cost..

Do I need to register my child for the entire semester?We encourage registration so that we can plan age-appropriate activities and so that the children can develop deep and reliable connections to the other children. If you decide to drop in for a Sunday or two, or have a relative visiting whose child wishes to come for one Sunday, you are welcome. Please call first to check schedule (212-874-5210 x118). There is a suggested donation of $10 per Sunday.
If I am not in the financial position to afford the fee is my child still allowed to attend?Yes! No one is ever turned away because of need. We offer scholarships.

Coming of Age

Families of NYC youth are invited to enroll their children in our coming-of-age program, whose guiding principle is to provide a safe and creative environment and grounding so that every individual can blossom within community. Coming-of-age is traditionally a young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood. The age at which this transition takes place varies in society, as does the nature of the transition. It can be a simple legal convention or can be part of a ritual as practiced in many societies and religions. In our diverse community, we welcome young people who are looking for an opportunity to mark their life-path with a process and celebration focused on self-inquiry and world awareness, personal responsibility and community service. In recognition that children mature at different rates, the age range is relatively wide. We meet with children and parents to determine when a child is ready. The curriculum is geared to the needs of the individual and family. With a humanist anchor, we will explore a world of ideas and values together. Go to our Coming of Age Blog for more details.

Teen Ethical Leadership Program

Teens are especially social beings and need safe and creative environments in which to experience relationships. NYSEC offers that opportunity to NYC teens in a number of ways. In the larger Ethical Culture framework, teen gatherings are referred to as YES for Youth in Ethical Societies – or “Yes, you can make a difference!” Once a month, on first Sunday afternoons, teens meet at NYSEC. Monthly Friday evening activities will start in October. They are also invited to attend Sunday morning community gatherings at 11 am and join members for lunch. By arrangement, we also welcome teens to act as helpers for our Sunday morning Ethics for Children programming, thereby earning high school community service credits.

Other opportunities include:

  • Enrolling in our coming-of-age program
  • Organizing a social justice Deed Club in your school
  • Joining NYSEC members in ethical action projects
  • Fields trips

For more information go to our Ethics For Teen Leaders Blog

Parenting Programs

As the world becomes a more complicated place, it becomes even more important to ground our children in ethical values. NYSEC offers periodic programs for parents. These sessions provide a safe place to discuss parenting challenges; offers coaching and guidance; and creates a unique support system.

Parenting Issues is usually offered on Sunday Mornings.

Visit our Parenting Facebook Page.