Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

Youth and Family


NoVES Sunday School

Our mission as a school community is to promote ethical behavior through educational experiences, including social activism, so that students will be good world citizens in the broadest sense, will be fulfilled, and will 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!

We also participate in the Navigators  and Camp Quest

Art Project
Service Project
Spaceship Earth
Special Places
Teen Fundraising Project

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 also have the option of a Family Listening Room for the parents of very young children where parents can hear the platform as their children play near them. Non-violent toys and multicultural books are available.

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 at 12:15 pm and parents/guardians are asked to come to their child’s classroom to pick them up.

Once a month, the classes gather to engage in a service project.  We have made fleece scarves and blankets for needy populations, cleared up area streams, collected for UNICEF and area food banks, made bird feeders for the hungry winter birds, and made cards for members who might like a youthful pick-me-up card.

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?

Preschool Ages 3-5

Teaches qualities of Ethical behavior through stories and activities such as guided play.

Special Places
Grades 1-3 Ages 6-9

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

Spaceship Earth
Grades 4-6 Ages 9-11

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.

Media Literacy
Grades 6-8 Ages 11-13

Our kids 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.  

Our Whole Lives (OWL) 
Sexual education/health curriculum
Grades 7-8

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
Teen years

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.  This program is typically paired with participation in YES, described below.

Youth of Ethical Societies (YES)
Teen years

NoVES sponsors a YES group where 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).   

Future of Ethical Society (FES) 
Post secondary years

The AEU sponsors FES which is available to students beyond high school level.  

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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