Every parent wants their child to be compassionate and generous. Our goal in religious education this year is to help instill the value of giving back. We will introduce children to the sense of fulfillment that is derived from helping others, ultimately contributing to a more-well rounded future by integrating a broad range of ages with activities that encourage responsibility, develop pro-social skills, and help children understand the value of generosity.
Children and youth who learn the value of helping and giving back at a young age are able to develop a sense of empathy and citizenship. By encouraging our children to participate in meaningful, hands-on ways, we empower them with character traits and tools necessary to continue to make a difference in our communities and to enjoy doing so.
Little Hands Making a Big Difference
Elementary and middle school-age children will work together construct Little Free Libraries. Little Free Libraries are small structures - the size of a large birdhouse positioned in the front yards of homes. The goal of Little Free Libraries is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges. Together we will build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across the generations. Lessons will connect “what we do” with “what we believe.”
This year’s “one room schoolhouse” approach is in keeping with our theme of “working together” and provides many benefits for both older and younger children. Older children are exposed to leadership opportunities as they serve as role models to their younger class mates, while younger children aspire to do work like older children in class. Learning by teaching occurs when children at different stages of learning can help each other with their work. Multi-age classes also provide a range of levels of work, so the needs of both talented children and slower learners can be catered for, while providing a supportive environment for both.
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists
High school youth are offered a balanced program to support them in their continued personal growth and religious exploration. The five components of the program include worship, community building, social action, learning and leadership. Philosophical discussions related to issues teens face in everyday life are the cornerstone of Sunday meetings. The group meets twice a month on the second and fourth Sunday in the Youth Lounge. Teens are encouraged to attend the adult worship service or sign up to help in the Little Hands Making a Big Difference program on first, third, and fifth Sundays.
Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 7-10
Our Whole Lives is a sexuality education program for youth that models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. O.W.L is a holistic program that moves beyond the intellect to address the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world. Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. Participants are guided by trained facilitators through an engaging curriculum that addresses topics most important to young adolescents, including those typically excluded from sexuality education and health classes. The O.W.L program runs from October 11, 2015 to January 31, 2016. Participation in Our Whole Lives requires written parent permission.
Infant-Toddler and Preschool
Our childcare program provides loving care and supervised activity for the youngest members of our congregation. Our goal is to provide a warm and nurturing environment where trust naturally grows, and helping children to become comfortable and happy with their first association with the congregation. Simple toys, picture books, and music are part of their environment. Parents may remain with their child as long as needed for the child to become comfortable with the caregivers and surroundings.
Guests and Visitors
Young guests and visitors are welcome to participate in the age-appropriate program.