Would you like an On-Site Training?

The AHA Center for Education provides day-long on-site trainings and seminars for individuals seeking continuing education and direct instruction to better inform their work. In collaboration with constituent organizations, we run the following trainings:

  • Humanist Celebrant Trainings
  • Humanism, Atheism, & LGBTQ Communities
  • Building Community On and Off Campus
  • Secularism Today: Continuing Legal Education Course

Click here for full descriptions of the above trainings.

Request an On-Site Training

We will try to accommodate your requests for trainings in your area. Completing the form does not guarantee that a training will be scheduled. Each training requires a minimum of 10 people to run.

Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement?

We co-sponsored an Augsburg University Martin Olav Sabo Symposium on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN. Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement? brought together several notable speakers to discuss organizing the religiously unaffiliated in today’s climate of polarization. In this FREE course, the conference is presented in four parts and includes:

Next (parts 1 & 2)

 

The event was co-sponsored by:

 

 

Enroll in The Humanist Lifestance

Be challenged. Be inspired. Be encouraged.

Course 101 – The Humanist Lifestance
with Faculty James Croft & Anne Klaeysen
Friday, August 24 – Sunday, August 26, 2018
(9am to 5pm each day)
American Humanist Association Office
1821 Jefferson Pl, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Cost includes daily breakfast and lunch

This pre-requisite course introduces students to in-depth critical thinking, analytic discussion and other methods of instruction that make the Humanist Studies Program distinct. This course provides the fundamentals necessary to prepare students for further exploration of humanism in proceeding courses throughout the program. We will address questions of personal meaning, worth, and significance in a naturalistic way through readings, films, and personal storytelling. Field trips will include local museums and exhibits where we can engage one another in exploring these questions.

What characteristics distinguish humankind in contrast to other living things? Are these characteristics fixed or can they be changed by experience? What causes someone to think, feel or act the way they do? Is humankind naturally good or evil? Are we inherently selfish? Where do we come from? Why are we here? How should we treat each other? How do we know what is true? Read full course description.

Minimum of 5 enrolled students is required to offer any course.
Register by July 13. Syllabus will be provided upon registration.

Enroll in The Humanist Lifestance

Faculty

Dr. James Croft is Outreach Leader at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He studied education at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and completed his Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a graduate and former board member of The Humanist Institute. His writing can be found in The Humanist magazine and on Huffington Post. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan, and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist.

Dr. Anne Klaeysen is a Leader at New York Society for Ethical Culture, the Ethical Humanist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University, and the Humanist Chaplain at New York University. She was co-dean of The Humanist Institute (now the AHA Center for Education). She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling from Hebrew Union College, as well as master’s degrees in German from the State University New York Albany and business administration from NYU.

Enroll in Physical and Life Sciences

Be Challenged. Be Inspired. Be Encouraged.

Course 202 – Physical and Life Sciences: Foundation Blocks of Humanism
with Faculty Dale Bryant
Friday, April 20 – Sunday, 22, 2018
(9am to 5pm each day)
American Humanist Association Office
1821 Jefferson Pl, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Cost includes daily breakfast and lunch

Understand the various attacks on, problems for, and factors influencing the pursuit of science, which is a foundation block of humanism. Scientific work is done in a cultural setting, which is influenced by the politics and economic factors of the day. In the past we have had to worry about the “creationists.” While the creationists are still present and doing damage, there are new challenges in the postmodern world. Truth claims come from various ethnic groups with alternative stories. All are looking for validation. Challenges come from feminism, multiculturalism and religious conservatives. This course explores these issues to better understand what science is, what it does, and what it tells us.

Only students who have completed prerequisite Course 101 (The Humanist Lifestance) may enroll in Course 202. Minimum of 5 enrolled students is required to offer any course. Please email us if interested in Course 101.

Enroll in Physical and Life Sciences

Faculty

Dale Bryant is the Technology Director at Wunderman, a global digital advertising agency. He holds a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a MS in American history from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Despite growing up in a very rural and religious part of South Dakota and spending four years at an Evangelical boarding school, Dale managed to leave his superstitions behind. Today he has a passion for history, skepticism, and science education.

On-Site Training for Celebrants: Las Vegas

Join on-site training for individuals who are currently Humanist Celebrants or desiring to become Humanist Celebrants.

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 10am-4pm

Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(after American Humanist Association Conference)

  • Learn how to prepare unique & inspiring humanist wedding ceremonies
  • Find out how to care for individuals nearing the end of life & support their families
  • Gain understanding of how humanists celebrate life events & milestones
  • Understand how to give proper local meeting invocations

Note: The AHA Center for Education trains celebrants and The Humanist Society endorses celebrants, enabling them to perform ceremonies. This training will inform you how to get endorsed but will not endorse you.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A full refund will be provided if cancellation notice is given 15 days in advance of the training. No refunds will be made thereafter.

10:00-10:30amWelcome & Introductions
10:30-12:00pmWeddings
12:00-1:00pmLunch (Provided)
1:00-2:30pmEnd of Life Preparation & Memorials
2:30-3:00pmInvocations
3:00-3:30pmBaby Welcomings
3:30-4:00pmComing of Age Celebrations

*Participants will receive supporting materials to begin (or add to) their personal library of resources i.e. sample ceremonies, suggested readings, creative ideas. Endorsed celebrants will be added to a local database.

Trainers

Kathy Diedrich holds credentials as a Humanist Celebrant and a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant. She earned certificates from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in Foundations of Celebrancy, Weddings, Funerals, and Ceremonies for Children and Families. Since 2010, she has performed over 250 ceremonies, writing each one to meet the needs and wishes of her clients. Kathy has offered weddings, memorials, naming ceremonies, and coming of age ceremonies. While the demand for secular services came as somewhat of a surprise, Kathy is happy to provide custom, meaningful ceremonies throughout southeastern Minnesota, and to often be the first face of Humanism for her clients. Before becoming a full-time celebrant, Kathy was a programmer and project manager at IBM for 28 years.

kristinKristin Wintermuteis the Director of Education for the American Humanist Association. She has BA degrees in Psychology and Art Studio from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono. Wintermute has done post-graduate course work in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; Web Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and Accounting Certification at North Hennepin Community College. She worked for over seven years as a family therapist in a variety of settings, including private practice, a non-profit clinic for women and a for-profit health maintenance organization.

She is a life-long humanist who attended the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (FUS) throughout her childhood and teen years. At first she was enrolled in FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” and in high school became a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate at the University of Montana, she used FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” curriculum at the Unitarian Fellowship of Missoula, Montana to form their first Humanist-oriented Sunday School. In 1998, she was hired by the North American Committee for Humanism (NACH) as Membership Director. In 1999, NACH and its subsidiary, The Humanist Institute, became one organization and she became its business manager and later the executive director. In 2018 The Humanist Institute became the AHA Center for Education.

On-Site Training for Celebrants: Colorado

Join on-site training for individuals who are currently Humanist Celebrants or desiring to become Humanist Celebrants.

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10am-4pm

La Baguette
2417 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
$75 per person

  • Learn how to prepare unique & inspiring humanist wedding ceremonies
  • Find out how to care for individuals nearing the end of life & support their families
  • Gain understanding of how humanists celebrate life events & milestones
  • Understand how to give proper local meeting invocations

Note: The AHA Center for Education trains celebrants and The Humanist Society endorses celebrants, enabling them to perform ceremonies. This training will inform you how to get endorsed but will not endorse you.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A full refund will be provided if cancellation notice is given 15 days in advance of the training. No refunds will be made thereafter.

10:00-10:30amWelcome & Introductions
10:30-12:00pmWeddings
12:00-1:00pmLunch (Provided)
1:00-2:30pmEnd of Life Preparation & Memorials
2:30-3:00pmInvocations
3:00-3:30pmBaby Welcomings
3:30-4:00pmComing of Age Celebrations

*Participants will receive supporting materials to begin (or add to) their personal library of resources i.e. sample ceremonies, suggested readings, creative ideas. Endorsed celebrants will be added to a local database.

Trainers

Kathy Diedrich holds credentials as a Humanist Celebrant and a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant. She earned certificates from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in Foundations of Celebrancy, Weddings, Funerals, and Ceremonies for Children and Families. Since 2010, she has performed over 250 ceremonies, writing each one to meet the needs and wishes of her clients. Kathy has offered weddings, memorials, naming ceremonies, and coming of age ceremonies. While the demand for secular services came as somewhat of a surprise, Kathy is happy to provide custom, meaningful ceremonies throughout southeastern Minnesota, and to often be the first face of Humanism for her clients. Before becoming a full-time celebrant, Kathy was a programmer and project manager at IBM for 28 years.

kristinKristin Wintermute is the Director of Education for the American Humanist Association. She has BA degrees in Psychology and Art Studio from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono. Wintermute has done post-graduate course work in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; Web Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and Accounting Certification at North Hennepin Community College. She worked for over seven years as a family therapist in a variety of settings, including private practice, a non-profit clinic for women and a for-profit health maintenance organization.

She is a life-long humanist who attended the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (FUS) throughout her childhood and teen years. At first she was enrolled in FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” and in high school became a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate at the University of Montana, she used FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” curriculum at the Unitarian Fellowship of Missoula, Montana to form their first Humanist-oriented Sunday School. In 1998, she was hired by the North American Committee for Humanism (NACH) as Membership Director. In 1999, NACH and its subsidiary, The Humanist Institute, became one organization and she became its business manager and later the executive director. In 2018 The Humanist Institute became the AHA Center for Education.

Lodging Nearby

Garden of the Gods
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
The Old Town
Airbnb

Discovering Nature

Read anytime, ask questions, discuss and share!

The below books are suggestions for ages 3-4 to learn about the changing seasons, why it is important to care for a pet, that the world is full of wonderful animals, and how to find out more by experimenting.

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Bear and Bunny, by Daniel Pinkwater.  The bear and the bunny are friends who like to wander in the woods, look for things to eat, sing songs, and talk things over.  One day, the bunny asks the bear, “Why do we not have some kind of pet?”  Well, the bear is not sure what a pet is.  So the bunny explains that it’s an animal that you take care of and feed, and one that loves you.  But a pinecone is not the right pet for a bear and bunny.  And a caterpillar is nice, but it may not be very much fun.  After a much-needed nap in the forest, will these two find their perfect pet?

 

Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate.  Touching on religious bigotry and the environment, Applegate keeps the emphasis on her characters, the many animals, and birds who find shelter in the tree’s branches all year round. (All the birds and animals have names and the power to talk, just like Red.) Around the first of May, people write down their wishes on pieces of cloth and hang them from the tree’s branches, giving Red a special place in the community.  You might say Red has seen it all.  Until a new family moves in.  Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.  Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced.

 

Oh Say Can You Seed?  All About Flowering Plants, by Bonnie Worth.  With the able assistance of Thing 1 and Thing 2–and a fleet of Rube Goldbergian vehicles–the Cat in the Hat examines the various parts of plants, seeds, and flowers; basic photosynthesis and pollination; and seed dispersal.  Reviews indicate full of information about the growth, parts, and functions of plants.  It’s great for preschoolers who already read well on their own or who are often read to because it is truly a head start on the tools they will be given to learn within school.

 

They All Saw a Cat, Brendan Wenzel.  In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspectives shape what we see.  When you see a cat, what do you see?

 

The Snail and the Whale, by Julia Donaldson.  When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands.  It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before.  But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Discovering Nature

Preschool Nature Activities

education.com

Spring Collage:  on a sunny spring day, chances are your kid would rather be outside than in.  But if she/he has a hankering for an art project that’s perfect for the season (or needs an easy cure for winter blues), this spring collage is just right.  Collages are great for impromptu art sessions because you can use virtually any material you’ve got on hand, from preschool staples like construction paper and felt to old magazines or cereal boxes.  And don’t forget to sneak in a little lesson on weather and the seasons while you’re at it!

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Collage materials (you can use recycled items such as newspapers, magazines, fabric, or cereal boxes or head to the craft store for materials such as craft foam, felt, and tissue paper)

What You Do:

  1. Have your child choose materials that reflect the colors of spring in full bloom.  Think blue skies, green leafy trees, a bright yellow paper for the sun.
  2. Cut or tear the collage materials into smaller pieces.
  3. Using the glue, help her assemble her collage by gluing the pieces onto a larger sheet of paper.  Don’t be afraid to overlap the pieces.

If the weather’s a bit gloomier outside, try a rainy day collage instead.  Any weather or season is fair game here.

Ice Ornament:  You decorate the tree inside your house during the holidays; why not decorate the trees outside as well?  Help your child make an attractive frozen holiday ornament to hang outside during the winter months.

What you need:

  • Pie pan
  • Water and freezer
  • Collection of wintry evergreens, flowers, berries, holly, ivy, twigs, and other pieces of nature
  • Yarn or ribbon or pipe cleaners
  • Scissors

What you do:

  1. Set out with your child to collect some pretty pieces of nature to put in the ornament such as evergreen leaves, wintry flowers, holly and berries, ivy, and twigs.
  2. After he has collected his pieces, bring them inside.  Have him arrange the pieces inside of the pie pan.
  3. Help him slowly fill the pie pan with water, almost to the top.  The pieces may float around and move a bit.
  4. Help him cut a piece of yarn or ribbon to a length that when doubled over will still be long enough to hang the ornament after frozen, about 12 inches or so.  You can also use a long pipe cleaner.  Put this “hanger” into the pie pan of water at one edge, with just 2 inches of each end (or one end if a pipe cleaner) sticking into the water.
  5. Now the ornament is ready to be frozen.  Carefully place the pie pan in the freezer and leave it overnight.
  6. After it is frozen, the ornament can be wiggled out of the pie pan.  Running warm water on the back of the pan will help it slide out.  Hang it outside on a tree in winter.  If outside weather is cold enough, your ornament may last for a while, or you can store the ornament in a plastic bag in the freezer during the warmer weather.  Take a photo before it melts!

Continued…

 

Discovering Nature

How to Make a Sketchbook:  Spring and summer seasons always invite fun-filled outdoor play and exploration.  Enhance your young child’s experience with nature by creating garden journal sketchbooks.  This project is an activity that allows children to combine artistic techniques, visual aesthetic explorations, and literacy skills while being introduced to basic nature concepts.

The initial lesson focuses on the construction and decoration of the journal/sketchbook.  Using printing methods, students will create individual garden themed covers.  Then your child will get a chance to develop her fine motor skills by “sewing” the books together.  the finished product will allow for extension and continuation into outdoor sketching activities and letter writing development.  This is a great project to do with your child during those warm spring and summer months to get her outdoors and keep her mind active!

What you need:

  • Construction paper (enough for a cover, back, and at least three interior pages)
  • Pipe cleaners (cut in half)
  • Tempera paint
  • Natural materials (i.e. leaves, flower, twigs, acorns)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Hole punch

What you do:

  1. Punch holes in the construction paper.  One near the top and one near the bottom making sure both holes are close to the same edge of the piece of paper.  Align all the holes for each journal/sketchbook together; these will be used when sewing the book together.
  2. If possible, take a field trip outdoors to gather natural materials with your child.  Ask the children to choose a few different items from the materials found to use in the printmaking process.
  3. Your child can dip each material into the tempera paint, then press onto the construction paper cover.  This time can also be used to introduce the concept of multiples (each child should make more than one print from each object).
  4. Label with your child’s name, and set aside to dry.
  5. After the print cover has dried, invite your child to sew her book together using the pipe cleaners.  She can do this by threading the pipe cleaners through the aligned holes, then twisting together.
  6. Go outside!  Venture into nature and bring along the journal/sketchbooks and markers or crayons.  Allow the children to draw what they see.  Encourage your child to label her drawings with words (if they are too young to do this an adult can help).

Keep the journal/sketchbook for an extended period of time and add to it.  Your child can add to it over the course of several different seasons if she likes.  The pipe cleaners can be undone to add extra pieces of paper.  Have your child continually add to the sketchbook as time goes by.  When she’s done, she’ll have created a memorable work of art that will last for many seasons to come!

Mud Bricks:  Young kids love the tactility of mud, and chances are your preschooler has already had his fair share of mud adventures.  For this activity, learning measurements is the focus.  Making mini mud bricks will also introduce your child to fractions.  Encourage your kid to imagine what it was like building with bricks in ancient Egypt or Rome, and maybe even build a pyramid!  This activity is especially useful for kinesthetic learners who benefit from hands-on projects.

What you need:

  • 1 ice cube tray
  • 1 cup dirt or sand
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Measuring cups
  • Bowl
  • Food coloring (optional)

What you do:

  1. Let your child measure the correct amount of direct into a measuring cup.
  2. Help him carefully pour it into the bowl.
  3. Next, let him measure out the correct amount of water into a measuring cup.
  4. Help him carefully pour the water into the bowl with dirt.
  5. If he wants to add in food coloring, help him do so now.
  6. Let him mix the dirt and water together using his fingers
  7. Once the water and dirt are completely incorporated, help him evenly divide the mud between each compartment in the ice cube tray.  Next, have him pack each mini mud brick down with his thumb.
  8. Encourage him to carefully remove the mud bricks from the ice cube tray by overturning it.
  9. Or, he can allow the mud to dry a bit and then empty out the tray.

Now you child has his very own brick building that’s perfect for preten play!  If you have bricks to spare, why not make more buildings?  Build a house, a tower, or even a miniature city.

Continued…

Discovering Nature

How to Make a Sketchbook

education.com

Spring and Summer seasons always invite fun-filled outdoor play and exploration.  Enhance your young child’s experience with nature by creating garden journal sketchbooks.  This project is an activity that allows children to combine artistic techniques, visual aesthetic explorations, and literacy skills while being introduced to basic nature concepts.

The initial lesson focuses on the construction and decoration of the journal/sketchbook.  Using printing methods, children will create individual garden themed covers.  Then your child will get a chance to develop her fine motor skills by “sewing” the books together.  The finished product will allow for extension and continuation into outdoor sketching activities and letter writing development.  This is a great project to do with your child during those warm Spring and Summer months to get her outdoors and keep her mind active!

What you need:

  • Construction paper (enough for a cover, back, and at least three interior pages)
  • Pipe cleaners (cut in half)
  • Tempera paint
  • Natural materials (i.e. leaves, flowers, twigs, acorns)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Hole punch

What you do:

  1. Punch holes in the construction paper.  One near the top and one near the bottom making sure both holes are close to the same edge of the piece of paper.  Align all the holes for each journal/sketchbook together; these will be used when sewing the book together.
  2. If possible, take a field trip outdoors to gather natural materials with your child.  Ask the children to choose a few different items from the materials found to use in the printmaking process.
  3. Your child can dip each material into the tempera paint, then press onto the construction paper cover.  This time can also be used to introduce the concept of multiples (each child should make more than one print from each object).
  4. Label with your child’s name, and set aside to dry.
  5. After the print cover has dried, invite your child to sew her book together using the pipe cleaners.  She can do this by threading the pipe cleaners through the aligned holes, then twisting together.
  6. Go outside!  Venture into nature and bring along the journal/sketchbooks and markers or crayons.  Allow the children to draw what they see.  Encourage your child to label her drawings with words (if they re too young to do this an adult can help).

Keep the journal/sketchbook for an extended period of time and add to it.  Your child can add to it over the course of several different seasons if she likes.  The pipe cleaners can be undone to add extra pieces of paper.  Have your child continually add to the sketchbook as time goes by.  When she’s done, she’ll have created a memorable work of art that will last for many seasons to come!

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