Kids may not always be getting in-depth lessons on civics elsewhere, and so the Ethics for Children program discusses how democracy works, aiming to make sure kids are informed—especially once they are old enough to vote. “We want them to have a deeper understanding of how democracy works and that you can make a difference for good,” Klaeysen says.
One topic that Klaeysen hopes more children will think about is the environment—climate change, in particular. She discussed with kids how a group of kids around the country have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the federal government for his stance on climate change, citing that they will be the ones who will live longer into a climate-changed future. “It’s a very good example for our children about how young people have taken the issue of climate change directly.”
Though the Ethics for Children classes will not be offered during the summer, the Society hosts a sleepover program in June before the Spring 2017 session ends. Throughout the summer, however, Klaeysen says that kids can continue to think about ethics while they are at day camp or sleep-away camp and consider how they build relationships and interact with other kids and to think about whether they are being both kind and fair. “It’s always the emphasis on the relationship,” Klaeysen says.
For more information, visit the New York City Society for Ethical Culture’s website.
Main image: Kids focus on a different theme every month during the Ethics for Children program.
Courtesy New York City Society for Ethical Culture