The Beacon Religious Exploration program is pleased to announce two Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes for children and youth in the 2018/2019 year. OWL for Kindergarten and 1st grade will be offer in the fall of 2018 and OWL for grades 10 and 11 will be offered in February and March of 2019.

OWL is a widely acclaimed lifespan sexuality education curriculum, developed jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. OWL provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information for all ages about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. Classes are facilitated by dedicated Beacon members who have received training and certification through the UUA. You can read all about OWL on the UUA website,  www.uua.org/re/owl.

It is our philosophy that parents are the primary sexuality educators for their children, and this is a way our faith community supports parents in that effort. We hope the OWL program serves as a catalyst for healthy conversations at home.

Grades 10th and 11th OWL Class
Details for this class, offered in February and March of 2019, will be forthcoming.
 
Kindergarten and First Grade Class
 
This curriculum for the K-1st class provides developmentally appropriate information to supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies, relationships and families. Some of the goals of this class are to strengthen and support each child’s sense of self and self-esteem, to help children appreciate their bodies as good and beautiful, private and special, and to help children gain understanding and accurate information about human sexuality, reproduction, and gender identification. 
 
The course will include a Parent Meeting (1.5 hours), a Parent/Child Orientation Meeting (2.5 hours) and eight 1-hour classes. At least one parent is required to attend the Parent Meeting, the Parent/child Orientation Meeting and the first and last session of the eight classes. We highly recommend that parents attend all of the class sessions if they are able. The meetings and sessions will be held at Beacon on Sunday afternoons from September through the first week of December. Sessions will not be held on weekends that coincide with school holidays.
 
The facilitators for the class, who have attended a three-day training in this curriculum, are: Matt Minister, Joe Wegwert and Mary Poore. Please contact Mary  at 928-699-8266 if you have any questions regarding the class. 
 

 

We hope to have many young people in each of the classes! The classes are more fun – and the activities are more effective – if there is good enrollment. Families from outside the Beacon congregation are very welcome to participate as long as the parents attend an orientation and give consent. Some of our Beacon participants may enjoy having a friend along! Please feel free to share this information or notify us of other families to contact.

To help cover the costs of snacks and food, as well as the training and curriculum expenses, we request a donation from each family. However, we would not want this request to be a barrier to participation. Please speak to one of the program coordinators if this is a concern. Requested donations are: For K – 1st class – $50-$100 for Beacon members, $75-$125 for nonmembers. For 9th-10th grade class – $75-$125 for Beacon members, $100-$150 for nonmembers.

 

Please let one of us know if your family has interest in Our Whole Lives this fall. It is very helpful to anticipate enrollment. And don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

OUR WHOLE LIVES: LIFESPAN SEXUALITY EDUCATION

Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities.

Interactive workshops and lessons engage participants, while step-by-step instructions for program planners and facilitators help ensure success. Six curricula speak to participants’ needs, by age group:

  • grades K-1
  • grades 4-6
  • grades 7-9
  • grades 10-12
  • young adults
  • adults

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, 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.

Our Whole Lives Offers…

  • Accurate information presented in developmentally appropriate ways
  • Affective and emotional learning
  • Guiding values and principles
  • Activities that help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
  • A safe and supportive peer group
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • A social justice approach to inclusive sexuality education
  • Step-by-step instructions for program promotion, implementation, and facilitation
  • Parent orientation that affirms parents as their children’s primary sexuality educators
  • Facilitator trainings and continuing education to increase knowledge, skills, confidence
  • Expert user support from OWL Program Associate (UUA) and OWL Program Coordinator (UCC)
  • Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious supplement for use in Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.

Our Whole Lives Values…

While Our Whole Lives is secular, it is not value-free. The program gives clear messages about the following key sexuality issues:

  • self worth
  • sexual health
  • responsibility
  • justice and inclusivity

Our Whole Lives recognizes and respects the diversity of participants with respect to biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and disability status. The activities and language used throughout the program have been carefully chosen to be as inclusive as possible of this human diversity.

Who Uses Our Whole Lives?

Our Whole Lives is used in faith communities as well as by public, charter, and private schools; after-school programs; youth groups; home schoolers; colleges; correctional facilities; and groups in other settings. Although developed by two religious organizations, Our Whole Lives contains no religious references or doctrine.

Our Whole Lives: Approaches that Work

Our Whole Lives covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available but schools are less likely to cover. National surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum. Our Whole Lives is an excellent way to accomplish that goal.

Our Whole Lives curricula are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (PDF) 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). In every category of assessment, the curriculum meets or exceeds the National Standards for Sexuality Education Core Curriculum, K-12.

Sexuality and Religion

The Our Whole Lives program can be put into the context of religious values with the addition of the Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith. The reasons sexuality education belongs in a religious setting are outlined in the brochure Sexuality is Honored Here.

Our Whole Lives users from several faith traditions have created their own companion document. Contact owl@uua.org for more information.

 

Volunteer for our OWL Program!