Our Whole Lives – Lifespan Sexuality Education
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane offers Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes on an alternating basis, usually beginning in January. Upcoming classes are listed below:
- Summer 2019: Young Adult OWL (ages 18-35)
- Winter 2020: Jr. High (grades 8/9), Sr. High (grades 11/12), Young Adult
- Summer 2020: Adult (ages 35+)
- Winter 2021: K-1 and Grades 5-6
Our Whole Lives Overview
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.