Read this Feature Article about OWL in the Daily Sun

*** Please read the letter below from Beacon’s OWL Coordinators in regard to the Coronavirus and our Spring 2020 OWL program ***

Dear Our Whole Lives attendees and registrants,
In order to support our community’s health, we have opted to postpone Our Whole Lives classes this Spring to a future date.
We still want to move forward with the OWL curriculum (we’re SO excited to share this delightful and educational program with you!) and will likely resume classes in late April, if the contagion has passed at this time and social gatherings become advisable.
Due to the instability of the situation, we cannot reschedule the program to specific dates at this time. Please stay tuned for more information regarding updated OWL dates this Spring.
Dee and I are available to answer any questions you may have. You may e-mail us here at OWLFlagstaff@gmail.com or call my cell at 480-406-7484.
Warm wishes and we wish you health!
Grace Ditsworth
Our Whole Lives Co-Coordinator, Spring 2020

The Beacon Religious Exploration program is pleased to announce an Our Whole Lives (OWL) class for  youth in the 2020 year. OWL for grades 7 and 8 will be offered in March and April, 2020.

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.

All 7th and 8th graders in Flagstaff are invited to participate in the program. Regular attendance is expected. Because of the nature of the program materials, a parent orientation is a requirement for ALL participants.

Our OWL program for 7th and 8th graders will be held from 1:00 – 5:30 PM on

  • Saturday March 7th
  • POSTPONED – Saturday March 28th 
  • POSTPONED – Saturday April 4th
  • POSTPONED – Saturday April 18th
  • (Saturday April 25th – make-up date if needed)

All meetings will be held at Beacon UU Congregation, 510 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Requested sliding scale donation for the 7th/8th grade class materials

$75-$125 (Beacon members), $100-$150 (non-members)

Questions, additional information, or to register:  Contact OWLFlagstaff@gmail.com


BRING A FRIEND! We hope to have many young people in this class! The class is 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.

COSTS: 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 sliding scale donations– $75-$125 for Beacon members, $100-$150 for nonmembers.

Please let 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.  OWLFlagstaff@gmail.com

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 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.

If you are a Beacon UU member, you can apply to be trained for our OWL Program!