Preschool – Grade 8
Class Groupings and Curricula for 2019-2020
Note: This year we are going to be focusing as the entire religious education program on Welcoming All People! As you will read below in the descriptions of our curricula, we are taking the struggles our society is facing and turning them into an opportunity to think about how we can be the best neighbors and friends we can be!
The Wonderful Welcome curriculum engages and challenges leaders and children alike to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives. We welcome not only strangers, but family, our peers, our neighbors and even entities that are not people such as our animal friends and nature itself.
How do we welcome? We welcome by sharing intangible gifts, those positive qualities which we all have inside us such as kindness, love, invitation, covenant and empathy. In this program, children learn to articulate and express a variety of intangible gifts, empowering them to share these gifts with others.
Each session begins with a Wonder Box that contains a symbol of the session’s theme. The Wonder Box engages the children’s curiosity and encourages a spirit of inquiry and reflection.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade: “Toolbox of Faith”
By Katie Covey
Toolbox of Faith participants to reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith. Each of the 16 sessions uses a tool as a metaphor for an important quality of our faith such as reflection (symbolized by a mirror), flexibility (duct tape), and justice (a flashlight).Reflecting on the qualities (tools) of our faith, children and leaders gain insight into what makes our faith important in their lives, and how they can grow in our faith.
Heeding the Call is a social justice curriculum that not only explores linked oppressions in our society, but also encourages participants towards personal growth in values that counteract the marginalization of others. Workshops on empathy, courage, abundance, joy, and other qualities ask participants to recognize how these standards can be tools for justice. Additionally, the program includes more concrete tools, such as suggestions on how to be a good ally and tips on the language of conflict resolution. True stories of courage, sacrifice and collaboration, role-plays, games, and a program-long justice project will feed youth’s rising realization that as people of faith we are all called to love justice—not just with our words, but also with our deeds.
This year we are offering 2 additional programs for our older youth. For those in eighth grade we are once again offering the pivotal “Coming of Age” program. We spend over the first decade of our youth’s lives teaching them how to act and be morally responsible, what religions are out there, how to evaluate decisions, etc. and at this point in their lives we hand over the gauntlet. It is at this point that we ask them to choose for themselves what they want to believe and who they want to be. This program helps our youth to develop their feelings and ideas into words and plans so they can be recognized by the congregation and world they are entering and speaking to. More details can be found under the “Coming of Age” page on the Religious Education tab above or in the pamphlets found in the church on the Religious Education bulletin board.
Another program we will be offering again this year is called “Our Whole Lives” and is being offered to those in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. This program offers a holistic approach to sexuality and gender. We live in a world that is increasingly recognizing the diversity of these categories and the Unitarian Universalist Association is striving to celebrate this through education. For more information please contact the Director of Religious Education.
Group RE 2019-2020: What is it?
Several times throughout the year there will be opportunities for the Preschool-8th grade students to come together to learn, play, and worship in ways that bring them closer to one another and help them practice their faith. We encourage all students to attend these special group sessions to help each other learn as peers and mentors.
Participants embark on a pilgrimage of faith, exploring how Unitarian Universalism translates into life choices and everyday actions. In each session, they hear historic or contemporary examples of Unitarian Universalist faith in action. Stories about real people model how participants can activate their own personal agency – their capacity to act faithfully as Unitarian Universalists – in their own lives, and children have regular opportunities to share and affirm their own stories of faithful action. Through sessions structured around the Unitarian Universalist Principles, Faithful Journeys demonstrates that our Principles are not a dogma, but a credo that individuals can affirm with many kinds of action. Over the course of the program, children discover a unity of faith in the many different ways Unitarian Universalists, including themselves, can act on our beliefs.