Never be afraid to revive the old tales (poor monstrous Polyphemus, about to be blinded by Odysseus after a hard day's work shepherding). They've survived this long for a reason.
How do we change from feral infants to moral men? By learning the stories of our culture, and we've had stories for as long as we've had language.
We tell each other stories of how cleverness can beat strength, of how strength can defeat evil, of how evil can seduce weakness, of how weakness can learn cleverness.
We learn the many ways that we can make wrong choices, at the peril of our lives or our souls, and how we can rescue ourselves and others from those choices. Or fail.
Humor, stoicism, endurance, discipline, sacrifice, kindness, temptation — stories give us a handle on all these things.
The foundational religious texts are just, after all, more stories teaching the same things. The existence of the actual deities are the excuse for the stories, but the stories themselves are what strike to the core of how to communicate the morality of the lessons.
Morality is essential to humans — we can't escape it. If we don't imprint on a worthwhile cultural template, then we'll imprint on a bad one. In terms of education, “reading, writing, and, ‘rithmetic” are secondary to language and morality. If we don't learn moral codes of behavior, moral ways of life, well… the rest matters very little.
And we learn how to behave by the stories we hear. Religious or philosphical or ethical justification for those behaviors comes later.
So tell good stories — stories we can learn from. Stories we need to hear.