Our Whole Lives – Lifespan Sexuality Education
This winter UUCS is offering Our Whole Lives classes for children in grades K-1 and 4-6. Both classes promote dialogue between parent and child, and are built on the values listed below. OWL for K-1 is 9 sessions long plus a mandatory Parent Information Meeting. This class engages children in stories and activities, which in turn support parents in education their children about birth, babies, bodies, and families. OWL for grades 4-6 is 11 sessions long plus a mandatory Parent Information Meeting, and “covers key topics like values, body image, gender and sexual identity, peer pressure, and healthy relationships.” It is designed to help children “gain the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to understand and express their sexuality in holistic, life-enhancing ways” (Our Whole Lives, Grades 4-6; Second Edition)
Parent Information Meetings for both K-1 and 4-6: Parents who would like their children to participate in OWL must attend one of the two meetings listed below.
Sunday, November 18th, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., in the Young Room
Sunday, January 13th, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., in the Young Room
OWL for Grades 4-6 begins on Sunday, January 27th with mandatory Parent/Child Orientation and the last class will be on Sunday, April 7th. Classes are every Sunday evening from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
OWL for Kindergarten through 1st Grade begins on Sunday, January 27th with a mandatory Parent/Child Orientation and the last class will be on Sunday, March 24th. Classes are every Sunday evening from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
For more information about how to sign your child(ren) up for one of these classes, please contact Aria Curtis.
Our Whole Lives Overview
Our Whole Lives curricula is available for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives uses approaches that work. The curricula are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
Our Whole Lives covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available but schools are less likely to cover. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interesting report on this subject called “Sex Education in America: A View from Inside the Nation’s Classrooms.” New national surveys are challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum.
The Our Whole Lives values are:
- Self Worth
- Sexual Health
- Justice and Inclusivity
Each level of Our Whole Lives offers:
- Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants’ questions
- Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
- Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
- Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
- Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
- Acceptance of diversity
- Encouragement to act for justice
- A well designed, teacher-friendly leaders’ guide
- Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
- Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.