Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK)
Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) is our "Sunday school" which, in typical years, runs in person at the Society from 10am to noon every Sunday. In the '20-'21 season, SEEK is presented via video during Platform, beginning at 11am.
SEEK guides young people from infancy through their late teens in the thoughtful exploration of the myriad ways people make sense of the world around them, promoting intellectual and ethical development. We examine a wide variety of the world's religious traditions, including the one that brings us together - Ethical Humanism. We get our hands dirty observing the natural world and learning about how to protect and preserve it. SEEKers are challenged to think carefully about ways to contribute to a more loving and ethical world community, and then to act on those values!
SEEK gives kids opportunities to practice thinking critically and acting kindly. With SEEK, we hope our kids will not only be able to navigate the world gracefully, but also find ways to leave it better than the world they inherited.
SEEK at Home
During our period of social distancing, SEEK takes place entirely virtually through videos played during Platform.
Please note: The conditions below apply to "typical" years. Our '20-'21 season is entirely virtual.
In our nursery, adults provide free, safe, and compassionate care for infants and children through age four while their parents attend our Sunday morning programs.
Nursery schedule and curriculum
Our nursery is a relaxed environment where little ones simply play and enjoy a snack together and sometimes share a story, craft or activity that corresponds with our core values. Here our youngest children learn to recognize the Ethical Society as a place where people are happy to see them again - a place where they're safe, known, liked and respected.
- Infants through 4 years
- Sundays, 9:45-12:00
- Available all year
Kindergarten to 6th Grade
During the first hour, children choose a workshop that interests them. Parents, kids themselves, and other Society members volunteer to lead these workshops and activities. Typically, kids have three different activities to choose from each Sunday morning. So we hope everyone will find an activity that matches their interests and skill levels.
In the second hour, age-grouped SEEKers examine the same topic from different angles and depths. All of the teams' lessons are designed around our core values: this allows for continuity of learning within families as children discover meaning in the material at levels that suit their development.
K-6 program details
Focused on our core values, the central themes of our curriculum include:
- Basic religious literacy
- Habits of critical thinking
- Compassion and empathy
- Oppression and resilience
- Service and leadership
This program is a cooperative. Parent(s) of every child enrolled sign up to lead a series of Sunday morning classes at some point during the program year. In advance of classes, parents receive a copy of the lessons they've signed up to lead. All lesson outlines and materials are provided.
- Kindergarten through 6th grade
- September through May
Coming of Age (7th & 8th grades)
Like almost every religious tradition and culture, Ethical Humanism marks the passage of young people from childhood into adulthood. In the Christian church, that process is known as confirmation. In the Jewish tradition, it's the bar/bat mitzvah. We call it "Coming of Age." It's a two-year program that culminates in a speech before the community, in which every young person explores their values and identity as they move into young adulthood.
How Coming of Age works
For adolescents around the world, this is a time in life when a person's social world changes and they naturally begin to examine their place in it. Participants spend a fair amount of their time together discussing their new levels of responsibility and how they'll negotiate their relationships.
They visit other religious congregations, and contemplate how different belief systems help people grapple with the same issues and questions that all of we humans encounter. Looking through the lenses of other religious traditions, students examine their own beliefs. Ethical Culture calls us to notice multiple perspectives and teaches that each of us can be trusted to choose our path.
The program culminates in the Coming of Age ceremony where youth share what they have learned with the whole congregation.
- 7th and 8th grades
- September through May
Youth Group (9th through 12th grades)
In our Youth Group, teens offer each other a safe, respectful, and confidential environment where they can freely discuss and explore topics that are relevant and important to them. While the group is youth led, an adult advisor participates to help guide the discussions and projects.
Youth Group members work together to organize service activities, fundraisers, and wonderfully creative events that have become Society traditions. A highlight of each year is the annual weekend Youth of Ethical Societies (YES) Conference with other Ethical Humanist teens from around the country.
What our Youth Group does
The group celebrates and shares the diversity of its interests and talents with the whole congregation by creating a special Youth Group Sunday Platform program in May.
- 9th through 12th grades
- September through May
SEEK Core Values
- Every person is important and unique.
- Every person deserves to be treated fairly and kindly.
- I can learn from everyone.
- I am part of this earth; I cherish it and all the life upon it.
- I learn from the world around me by using my senses, mind, and feelings.
- I am a member of the world community, which depends on the cooperation of all people for peace and justice.
- I can learn from the past to build for the future.
- I am free to question.
- I am free to choose what I believe.
- I accept responsibility for my choices and actions.
- I strive to live my values.