Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

Sunday School

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Our mission as a school community is to promote ethical behavior through educational experiences and social activism, so that students will become good world citizens. whom contribute to making the world a better place. We believe in providing our children with a welcoming environment and a program that is both spiritually fulfilling and fun.  Sometimes kids just need to be kids! 

Art Project
Helping Hands Project
Ethical Quilt made by Sunday School
Service Project
Lesson on Heroes
Teen Project
Trick or Treat for Unicef

Meet our Director of Ethical Education!

I'm Kristen Hayden, your Director of Ethical Education (DEE), I am dedicated to building a supportive, inclusive community for the next generation of ethical humanists and their parents. I'm excited to bring my background in education and passion for the NOVES community to this role.  

If you have any questions about our programming or want to learn how to get involved, please reach out to me at

What do our kids do on Sundays?


On regular Sunday mornings, children start in the main room with the adults they came with for introductory music and welcome.  After the greeting, a “story for children of all ages” is read where children are invited to the front of the room to see the pictures better.  When the story and the second piece of music is finished, the children leave with their teachers to go to the classrooms.

We all gather together for a few minutes in one of the big classrooms to discuss the story just read and to welcome everyone back for another week. We share any exciting news/events in the children's lives, talk about upcoming ethical action projects and then we divide into our respective classes. Parents are welcome to walk their children to their classes and stay with their children during class if they wish.


Students will be in their classes starting around 11:30 am where they will build, create, think, sing, dance, learn and explore.   Classes wrap up by 12:15 pm and parents/guardians are asked to come to their child’s classroom to pick them up.

Special Events

Once a month, the classes gather to engage in a service project.  In past year's we have made bag lunches for the homeless, arranged supply drives for Operation Gratitude, Made blankets for kids in the foster care system, Created Valentines for sale to raise money for Kakenya's Dream, held a marker recycling drive, and much more!

We have three festivals every year - Fall, Winter and Spring. During the festivals, everyone stays in the main room for food, music, stories and fun.  

What do kids and youth learn?

Curriculums are offered on a rotating basis. Not all classes are available every year.  For the 2022-2023 school year, our 2 classes are Every Day is Earth Day for children in grades K-4 and Comparative Religions for grades 5 & up.  

Preschool Ages 3-5

Preschool Ages 3-5

Explore hope, respect, honesty, justice, courage, love and loyalty. This class teaches qualities of Ethical behavior through guided play, stories and activities.

Every Day is Earth Day
Grades K-4

Every day is a day to think about taking care of our Earth.  Learn about conserving energy, recycling and using less, and the frailty of ecosystems.  Discover how all creatures serve a purpose on Earth.

Special Places
Grades 1-4 

A beloved hands on curriculum that explores basic needs, comfort, homes, and community. Class told through stories and building of homes for various needs.

Holidays & Holy Days
Grades K-4 

A respectful introduction to religions and cultures of the world through celebration of a different holiday every week.

What Would You Do?
Grades 3-5 

Ethical dilemmas are presented to the students in the form of a story.  They are then led thru a discussion and/or activity to teach them how to stay true to their ethical values when deciding....What Would You Do if it Were You?

Spaceship Earth
Grades 4-6 

Spaceship Earth
Grades 4-6 

An experiential program to foster skills for Earth stewardship - uses a lot of ethical dilemmas and problem solving where sometimes there is no 'best' answer.

Comparative Religion
Grades 5-7 

A respectful study of major world religions, comparing them to each other and Ethical Culture.  Field trips to different houses of worship are frequent in this class.

Media Literacy/Ethical Dilemmas
Grades 5-8 

Our pre-teens are exposed to all kinds of messages coming from media outlets, advertisers and peers. This class helps them become more able to analyze the veracity of those messages, as well as the intentions of the creators of the messages.  It also gives them a chance to discuss and role play how they would ethically handle a difficult situation involving peer pressure and social media.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) 
Sexual education/health curriculum
Grade 8

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, it also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the spiritual, emotional and social aspects of sexuality.

Mentor Program
Grades 9+

Each teen teams up with an adult mentor to spend two years exploring common interests and gaining an understanding about what it means to be an individual who is becoming an adult.  

Youth of Ethical Societies (YES)
Teen years

Teens are provided opportunities to get together with adult sponsors for activities in a variety of locations.  The YES group is invited to attend the national youth conference sponsored by the American Ethical Union (AEU).  If you are interested in participating in YES, please contact Kristen at

Future of Ethical Society (FES) 
Post secondary years

The AEU sponsors FES which is available to students beyond high school level.  (Not currently offered at NoVES)

Questions? Contact NoVES Sunday School

AEU website

Click on the logo to learn more about Ethical Culture, ethical action nationwide, and AEU resolutions on national and global issues.

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