Bethesda Friends Meeting

Youth Program (Religious Education): K-8

children's activities during 2019-2023

  • The BFM youth have several sponsored activities. Please go to this page to see project summaries. 

Summary of Religious Education (RE) for Children & Youth (Grades K-8)

Religious education classes for children in grades K-8 is called "First Day School" (FDS)BFM children deliver canned goods to Manna Foods, Bethesda, MD

First Day School (FDS) emphasizes Quaker values & history, Bible stories, and community service learning activities. 

During the Summer: Click here for details about our Summer Playground Supervision

During the school year, First Day School for children ages K-8 is held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. 
    • On the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays, children are supervised on the playground. 
  • Procedure: Teachers meet the children in the Meeting House library at 10:50 a.m. to sign in. 
  • Parents must sign in their child when they arrive. 
  • First time attending? Please complete a short, online registration form.
  • Then children and teachers walk to a nearby classroom in the Sidwell Friends Lower School at 11:00 a.m.
  • At approximately 12 noon, teachers will bring children to Meeting for Worship to join their families. Children will be signed out by the teachers after they meet up with their families. 

DURING THE SUMMER, supervised play is held for children in K-6th grade, either on the playground or indoors. 

  • Procedure: During the summer months, please sign your student in at the child care room (downstairs in the Meeting House) between 10:50 and 11 a.m. (before Meeting for Worship).  The professional child care providers will supervise the children in playground activities. 
  • If you'd like to have your child join the first 15 minutes of Meeting for Worship, then please escort them to the child care room for sign-in at 11:15 a.m.  Children are always welcome to stay for the full hour of worship.

Please note that all children must be signed in and signed out of FDS or supervised play by their parent or caregiver. For new and visiting families, please fill out the short registration form

  • The BFM Youth Safety Policy requires that all young people (infant-18 yrs old) must be supervised by a parent, teacher, or child care staff at all times. 

  • Please use our Contact Us form if any questions.  

  • During the school year, our First Day School classes are about Quaker Faith and Practice, often with a focus on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • In addition to classes, teachers and guest teachers discuss Quakerism in action and facilitate multi-age community service activities.     
  • The children also participate in regular Meeting activities, such as the October Walkathon for the Homeless, an annual Christmas Pageant, collecting toys for toy drives, and the BFM Spring Fling to support Ramallah Friends School.

Grandparent and student at BFMResources for Parents 

  • Friends Meeting of Washington, DC keeps an updated list of Quaker camps for children of various ages and interests. Please click here for more information.
  • Friends Meeting of Washington, DC also has a wonderful list of resources to support parents as we integrate Quaker beliefs and practices into our family life.
  • This link goes to a catalog with all of the issues of the children and young people’s work resource titled "Journeys in the Spirit." It is a treasure trove and includes the special issues as produced by Quaker Life in London, England (2007-2016).
  • The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is "a grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation through religious education." Their website offers numerous resources such as a library,  annual conferences and retreats, and "conversation circles" (online video conferences). 

"Unity" is a theme at BFM youth education

Do you have a question about First Day School?

  • Please call or email the current clerks of the Religious Education Committee (see our print Directory) or use the Contact Us form.
  • Upcoming FDS special events will be featured in our Bulletin.
  • Do you want general information about the Sunday worship schedule that includes First Day School? Please click here.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to sharing our time with you and your children! offers many videos about Quaker beliefs and practices. 

Bethesda Friends Meeting

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824

Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland

We are a member organization of the Religious Society of Friends
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