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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

Director of Ethical Education Blog

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  • Friday, May 19, 2023 8:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This Sunday, artist Girasol O'Neill will share Project Illumination with the society. As part of this platform, he will have an interactive art project, and our kids are welcome to take part! Please join us to learn more about this project, which will be exhibited at Gallery 3700 in Arlington starting next month. 

    Unfortunately, I'll need to wait until June to see his work because I'll be away this upcoming Sunday. I'll see you all after Memorial Day! 

  • Saturday, May 13, 2023 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last week, I talked about stepping back and looking at how we can help our Sunday school best support our kids. Today, the AEU board is continuing a similar conversation about how they can best support Ethical Culture. 

    The board meetings are open to the public, and if you're interested in spending a bit of your Saturday thinking about the future direction of the AEU, join in! The meeting is from 10-12 EST and you can find more information on the AEU site

  • Friday, May 05, 2023 9:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's been about a year since I started as the Director of Ethical Education for NoVES. Over that year I've been thinking a lot about the value that we can bring to families in the community. On Sunday, I'll share my thinking so far. I can't promise any answers, but I'm excited to start the conversation. 

    I hope you're able to join us. After I talk a bit about our opportunities and approaches we'll get a preview of a game that the kids have been working on! 

  • Saturday, April 22, 2023 1:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to our families who participate in the Stream Cleanup last Sunday! Together, we collected several trash bags and several recycling bags, plus a bowling ball! Stream Cleanup is one of my favorite NoVES activities, and I was thrilled to see how the kids embraced the experience. 


    Thanks again to Jim and Amy for hosting us and leading the activity! 

  • Friday, April 14, 2023 6:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I hope you all had a great Spring Break! I'm thrilled that we're back with one of my favorite activities of the year -- Stream Cleanup! 

    For folks attending, please meet at the Ballanderson's house at 10:45. If you haven't already let me know that you're coming, please do via the Paperless Post invitation or through email or text. We'll be ordering pizza, so a rough number of how many people to expect would be helpful. 

    Don't forget your reusable water bottles and I can't wait to see you all on Sunday! 

  • Friday, March 24, 2023 7:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join us to discuss Ibram X. Kendi's newest book, How to Raise an Antiracist. This series is open to anyone who has kids in their lives -- not just parents! We will be reading a few chapters each week and, because the book focuses on different ages in each chapter you can join in at any time (or for the whole series)! 

    I'll be posting more details on the website, but please let me know if you are interested in participating and I will be sure to share details with you as they are posted. 


  • Friday, March 17, 2023 8:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As you may have seen in the March newsletter, the kids participated in a fun design sprint last month. Last week, we continued our work by starting a project to help us "leave animals alone". What we decided on as a group was to create a game that we could share with others to share ways to avoid having a negative impact on our ecosystem. We spent our time together brainstorming and came up with a great idea...But we need your help! 

    At platform on Sunday, I'll put out some sheets of paper for you to write down ideas in two different categories: 

    • Things that could help reduce our impact on the ecosystem (ex: using a reusable water bottle, composting, bringing a small trash bag on a hike to pick up any litter that you see)
    • Events that might harm the environment (ex: trees being cut down for development, a chemical spill)
    I'm excited to bring you all into this process! 


  • Friday, March 10, 2023 8:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I sent out a book club survey in last week's newsletter. If you happened to think, "wow, I should definitely fill that out" and then immediately forget and move on to something else then I have great news for you! The survey will be open for a few more days!

    Please fill in your preferences by the end of the day on Tuesday, 3/14. After that, I'll be picking the days and times and advertising more broadly. 

    On a programming note, tomorrow is our Service Project day! We'll be continuing our work following our design sprint last month and figuring out what we want to do to "leave animals alone". With Jim's help we have some great options for places to raise money for or outreach activities that we can do and I'm looking forward to co-creating our next steps together! 

  • Friday, March 03, 2023 8:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I'm really looking forward to March, when we have four solid weeks of class before April's schedule of Spring Festival, Spring Break, and Stream Cleanup! 

    Here's our schedule for March: 

    March 5: Regular Class (Every Day is Earth Day for K-2, Comparative Religion for the older kids)
    March 12: Service Project building on our design sprint from last week
    March 19: Regular Class
    March 26: Regular Class

    For those of you with kids in your life, I also have an ask of you! I'd like to organize a virtual book club to read How to Raise an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. I want to make sure that we have the best chance possible at landing on a time when people are available, so please fill out this survey to let me know what does and doesn't work for you. 

  • Friday, February 24, 2023 6:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “By asking people for their input early in the process, you help them feel invested in the outcome.” (Jake Knapp)

    In my day job, I often joke that I can turn anything into a (modified, short)design sprint https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/design-sprintsdesign sprint -- an activity where a diverse group come together to work together to brainstorm, narrow down solutions, and prototype ideas. Whenever we're faced with a big, ambiguous problem or a wide variety of solutions and idea that we need to organize I pull up a virtual whiteboard and we organize our thoughts on sticky notes. 

    When thinking about our next monthly service activity, I realized that I wanted to let the students help define what we work on between now and June. We're going to kick that off on Sunday with our own mini design sprint and I can't wait to see what the kids come up with. I'll bring the sticky notes and markers and I hope our students bring their ideas and open minds! 


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