What Are We Teaching the Kids?
(A Sample Snapshot in Time)
We have as many as 35 kids in at least five rooms engaged with as many as six Religious Exploration programs on any given Sunday. The UUCMP Religious Exploration Program is vibrant, and we have room for you.
The curriculum used in each classroom is informed by years of Unitarian Universalist thought about religious exploration and faith development for children and families. You can see some of the most current thinking in the form of curricula offered for free at this UUA web site: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/index.shtml.
Curricula offered at UUCMP can be grouped into five main areas: World Religions, UU Identity, Social Justice, Development & Sexuality, and Connection with Nature. Specific programs may others last anywhere from two to ten months. With the exception of the Our Whole Lives (OWL) and Coming of Age (COA) programs, the curricula have a flexible design to welcome children attending classes reguraly or on a drop-in basis.
Our teachers adapt the curricula to fit the needs of the children and families who join us on any given Sunday. A rough snapshot of what you will find is similar to these programs described below. You can also get a sense of our teachers and their approaches on our RE Staffing page.
NURSERY (0-5 years)
In the Nursery and during all childcare, the focus is on cooperative play, love, and safe boundaries.
SEEKING: Part Time Nursery/Chilcare Provider. Contact Aaron (DRE) for info. firstname.lastname@example.org
LOWER ELEMENTARY (K-Grade 2)
Curricula like Around the Church Around the Year help children to feel connected to their Unitarian Universalist community. Through the year, children explore life and death, the environment, relationships and identity, and they gain an appreciation for UU people, building, rituals and celebrations. All this is done in a way that not abstract, but appropriate for the live and imagination of the young child.
Fall/Winter 2017-18 Curriculum ~ In Our Hands: A Peace and Justice Program specifically designed to meet the young child.
UPPER ELEMENTARY (Grades 3-5)
UU Curricula like Spirit of Adventure, which offers a year of thematic units on topics ranging from travel, invention, and science, to animals, food and human rights. The life stories of influential UU men and women--many of whom are widely famous but may not be known as Unitarian Universalists-- anchors for the class themes in history and example. Movement activities and projects are woven in with time for reflection, sharing and dialogue.
Fall/Winter 2017-18 Curriculum ~ In Our Hands: A Peace and Justice Program specifically designed to meet the older child.
MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 6-8)
These older students do a personal check-in about issues in their lives, play kinesthetic games, and also work with curriculum like Heeding the Call. Youth are encouraged to view themselves as agents of change in the world as they develop qualities crucial to justice work. They reflect on their own lives while making connections to others, building self-awareness while growing as leaders.
Fall/Winter 2017-18 Curriculum ~ In Our Hands: A Peace and Justice Program specifically designed to meet and engage early teens.
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP (Grades 9-12)
Middle and Older teens can take more ownership of their time together, directing their own journey on the themes of UU identity, community, worship, culture, media, entertainment, and social justice with guidance from able adult advisors. They are very active in regional youth conferences and local justice initiatives.
SPECIAL FOCUS PROGRAMS
These special focus programs are offered in addition to Sunday morning programming as needed, usually on an alternate year schedule, and with explicit parental consent.
COMING OF AGE is a yearlong program for eighth through tenth grade youth, which seeks to deepen engaged UU identity and affirm our teenagers’ passage toward the greater freedoms and responsibilities of adulthood. The program involves local classes and district-wide youth retreats.
OUR WHOLE LIVES (OWL) is a comprehensive sexuality education program that includes important aspects such as self-esteem, body image, free and responsible decision-making, assertiveness, conflict and negotiation skills, harassment and abuse awareness and responses, in addition to the more basic physical birds and bees (taught age-appropriately & honoring of all genders and orientations). We have 5 UUCMP adults certified as OWL teachers for seventh–twelfth grades.
If you have kids in our program, know that they are in good hands. If you’d like to offer your time and care to our program, just let Aaron know. It brings us all closer, and you might even learn something new. When we have two services, you don’t have to miss out on worship to share in the RE journey, so come join us as we explore!