Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a series of sexuality education curricula. There will be three OWL classes offered this year with parent permission.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
The Children’s Religious Education program is currently coordinated by a part-time, professional Director of Religious Education and implemented by a 6 member Religious Education Committee. This leadership team is made up of members of the congregation who make every effort to be responsive to the needs, wishes and dreams of the children and adults in our congregation. The committee establishes the vision, goals, and policies of the RE program. We are ALWAYS open and encourage feedback. We believe hearing from the parents and children facilitates a strong program. (Learn more about the Children’s Religious Education Committee by visiting our Community section.)
To give feedback or to make suggestions about the Children's Religious Education Program, please use our online survey .
Our Whole Lives uses approaches that work. The 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).
Our Whole Lives covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available, but schools are less likely to cover. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interesting report on this subject called "Sex Education in America: A View from Inside the Nation's Classrooms." New national surveys are challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum.
The Our Whole Lives values:
· Self Worth
· Sexual Health
· Justice and Inclusivity
Each level of Our Whole Lives offers...
· Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants' questions
· Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
· Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
· Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
· Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
· Acceptance of diversity
· Encouragement to act for justice
· A well-designed, teacher-friendly leaders' guide
· Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
· Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings
Our Whole Lives is appropriate for use in a variety of congregational, school, and community settings, including classrooms, after-school programs, and youth groups. Although developed by two religious organizations, Our Whole Lives contains no religious references or doctrine. Religious references are contained in a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith.
Kindergarten & 1st grade
K/1 OWL supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. Following a Parent Meeting and Parent/Child Orientation, the 8 sessions engage children with stories, songs and activities and include a weekly HomeLink - a homework project for parents and children to do together. Promotes dialogue between parent and child.
4th and 5th grade
8-session program for learning about and discussing the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Participants will read It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris, and examine topics such as values and sexuality, communication and decision making. Each session includes a HomeLink - a homework activity for parents and children to complete together.
7th through 9th grade
25 sessions offer a comprehensive approach to human sexuality in an age-appropriate manner. Based firmly on the values of respect, responsibility, justice and inclusiveness. Helps young people apply these values to their behavior and provides them with information and skills they can use throughout life. Includes a comprehensive parent orientation. Includes all Cincinnati UU churches.