Dear Parents and Guardians,
Children learn about sexuality every day. They learn regardless of what parents, teachers, or other adults tell them or don’t tell them. They learn by listening and observing caregivers and other adults. They learn by the ways parents who or fail to show affection and by the ways other people interact with them. They learn from television programs, movies, music, videos, magazines, newspapers, websites, games, and commercials. They learn from events at school, at church, and in the community. They learn through attitudes conveyed in conversations with, or through silent signals from, family members, friends, and playmates.
Sexuality education is not just about sex—it is also about the roles, behaviors, and values people associate with being male or female. Sexuality is a basic part of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lives. It is evident in everything we do—in the clothes we wear, the way we walk, the way we talk, the ways we show affection, and the ways we participate in everyday events.
Families are bombarded with messages about sexuality. For years, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, MD has strived to support young people and their families through the years of childhood and adolescence. We believe that parents can be effective sexuality educators. Indeed, we believe that a parent is a child’s most important sexuality educator and that sexuality education begins at home. The Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive sexuality education program is one way we support you and your children.
Our Whole Lives 1-2-3 is an eight-session curriculum designed to help kindergarten and first-grade children gain the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways. The cornerstone of this program is the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person.
Our Whole Lives is a positive, comprehensive, and age-appropriate educational program that promotes sexual health and is informed by the guidelines of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). The curriculum is based on four primary goals: to provide accurate, developmentally appropriate information; to increase self-esteem and understand relationships with and responsibilities toward others; to develop interpersonal skills including communication, decision making, and problem solving; and to teach responsibility for personal health and safety.
The Our Whole Lives class is open to students in kindergarten and first grade, and will run from October through December on Sundays from 10:00-11:00 am.
Important Details about Our Whole Lives
- At least one parent and your student must attend the MANDATORY Parent Orientation meeting, held on Sunday, September 30th from 10:00 am to noon at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia. Parents are required to sign a permission form in order for their child to participate in the class. The orientation is for parents and your kindergarten or first-grade child; childcare can be provided for siblings, please contact Kelli Danaker if needed at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly classes will meet on Sundays from 10:00-11:00 am. A complete class schedule will be distributed at the parent orientation; the draft schedule is attached.
- Classes will start promptly at 10 am. Students are expected to be on time.
- Regular class attendance is required. The success of this program depends on a community that is built through regular attendance. Honest discussion of sensitive subjects requires that the students feel comfortable and trustful with each other.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia takes deep pride in offering you this Our Whole Lives program. The teachers of this class are experienced and well-trained lay leaders. They are Laura Solomon and Elsa Spezio. Robin Slaw will be administrating the program and act as a parent resource. Everyone is looking forward to working with your child in the Our Whole Lives class.
Please complete the online registration form so we know best how to contact you and understand how best to teach your daughter or son. If you would like to talk more about the Our Whole Lives program please call Robin Slaw, Director of Religious Education, at (410) 381-0097 x.104 or email at email@example.com.