Children are a cherished part of our Society. We believe that the foundation of an ethical and moral life lies in how we treat others, and that these values are formed in childhood. Our name, “Kids In Deed,” picks up on Felix Adler’s motto of “deed before creed” by using community service as the basis for learning ethics.
Some of the questions we investigate are:
• What can one person do? We learn that one person can make a difference. We conduct community service projects throughout the year. Some of our projects include a voter registration drive, participating in walk-a-thons for various causes, making cards for shut-ins, participating in a waterfront clean-up, conducting a holiday toy drive, recycling eyeglasses for the visually-impaired in other countries, and other projects.
• How do I know right from wrong? We develop critical thinking skills for knowing right and wrong. We discuss these questions in light of the community service projects. Real-world problems of illness, poverty, injustice, and community responsibility give us a rich context for discussing ethical dilemmas.
• What is Ethical Humanism? We learn some of the philosophy, history and “heroes” of the Ethical Culture movement. We celebrate “Ethical Identity Day” each fall with children of other Ethical Societies. Each February, KIDS IN DEED hosts Darwin Day, a celebration of science that reflects our belief in the responsible stewardship of Earth.
• What do my friends believe? We learn what other religions say about ethics and goodness as well as their basic belief systems and teachings. We contrast other religious beliefs with the Humanist philosophy through timeless questions such as, What do we believe about good and evil? Why should we help others?
• Finally, we have fun! Family fun get-togethers allow parents and kids to form deeper friendships. Whether it’s bowling, a dance party, or a games night, we enjoy each others’ company throughout the year.
Children begin the hour in the main auditorium with the adults. After a brief children’s message, the children go to their classroom where they are led by an experienced teacher and a parent volunteer.
Classes are held for children aged 5 to 13. A modest tuition is charged, and scholarship consideration is available upon request. Children of EHSLI members attend the program free of charge.
Coming of Age:
The Coming of Age Program is made up of 7th and 8th graders in their final year of KID. Its goals include understanding the importance of making ethical choices and internalization of one’s ethical identity. Coming of Age students are mentored by adult members and engage in a community service project. The children will celebrate their Coming of Age Ceremony surrounded by the EHSLI community. After age 13, students move up into our teen group, Youth of Ethical Societies, or YES.
For more information call 516-741-7304 or e-mail our Director of Religious Education, at KID@ehsli.org.