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OUR WHOLE LIVES (OWL)

Sexuality Education for all ages!

Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles the stereotypes and assumptions so commonplace in today’s society, 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 UUA and UCC faith communities.

 

The OWL curriculum offers programs for all ages. Here are the offerings UUCGL is exploring:

7th-8th Grade OWL

5th-6th Grade OWL

Older Adult OWL (50+)

Parents and Caregivers

Grades K-1 OWL

What’s Religious about Sexuality Education? READ MORE HERE

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7th-8th Grade OWL

 

For many years, our congregation has offered a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum called Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) for either 7th-8th graders, or 8th-9th graders. This curriculum helps young people of all sexual orientations and identities (bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, cisgender, and heterosexual) develop the skills and knowledge they need to have safe, respectful, and fulfilling relationships throughout their lives. This O.W.L. program runs biannually and we are currently offering it together with the First Church in Salem and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. Enrollment for this year is closed. The next time we will offer this program will be for the 2025-26 program year.

 

5th-6th Grade OWL


Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 5-6 helps children learn about and discuss the physical, emotional changes, and social changes of puberty. Parents and caregivers can be actively involved in the exploration of growing older, values, communication and decision-making. To see the schedule and to express interest, please use our OWL registration form here. Question? Contact Rev. Chris Scheller. For more information, click here.

 

Older Adult OWL (50+)

This program year, we are offering an OWL Sexuality Education class for adults aged 50+, too! This program is comprehensive and progressive, addressing sexuality with candor, sensitivity, and respect for older adults’ wisdom and life experience. Workshops include sexuality and values, attitudes about aging, family matters, and body image. Our first meeting will be on April 4, 2024. We will meet every Thursday from 2-4pm through June 27th, with some additional meeting times to be worked out. Sign up at this link. There is a 15 person maximum for the class; registration will be closed when we reach this limit. To learn more, please reach out to Rev. Chris Scheller.

 

Parents and Caregivers As Sexuality Educators:
Small Group Ministry

At UUCGL, we take seriously the idea that parents and caregivers are the primary sexuality educators of their children, and we want to offer support, perhaps even while your child is enrolled in an OWL class! This small group ministry is being planned to occur during the OWL classes, although the sessions are designed to meet the needs of adults raising children of a wide age range, from elementary through high school. Adults will explore their roles as the most important sexuality educators their children will have. Like OWL workshops, these sessions build comfort in talking about sexuality-related topics and offer skill-building activities. The sessions address topics also provided in OWL sexuality education for youth ages 12-14 (grades 7–9), but these sessions focus on these participants’ needs as parents and caregivers. Participants are invited to engage deeply with their hopes and fears, their values and practices. Where the OWL junior high program delivers a great deal of important knowledge, this program emphasizes the adult’s ongoing adult responsibility to share accurate, current information, as needed, with their child or youth. Want to see the curriculum? It is available for free here. To express interest, click here. This support group kicks off January 21, 2024 and runs through May.

 

K-1st Grade OWL

Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades K-1 can help you educate your child about bodies, gender, boundaries, families, conception, birth, and babies. You will be actively involved as your child learns through songs, stories, activities and at-home projects that promote family dialogue. We are considering offering this beginning in the fall 2024 during the 2024-2025 program year. To express interest, please contact Rev. Chris Scheller. For more information, click here

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What’s Religious about Sexuality Education? In liberal religious sexuality education, we seek to provide roots and wings for program participants. The roots are our Unitarian Universalist religious traditions and values, which accept participants and value them for who they are so they feel good about themselves and their sexuality. The wings are the freedom they have to make meaning of their own lives; the opportunity to clarify their own values and apply them to their own experiences; and the strength to develop into their own true, best selves. The Our Whole Lives curricula help transform a cultural climate of fear and confusion into a new reality of lives lived congruent with the values of the inherent worth and dignity of each and every person. For more about why and how sexuality education belongs in a faith community, click here.

 

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