Junior Youth (Grades 6 through 8)
- The Middleschoolers (grades 6, 7, and 8) experience a Sunday morning class each week exploring life issues, World Religions, Unitarian Universalism, Social Justice topics, and exploring their own beliefs. They also attend Worship circles and Multigenerational Services along with the Senior Youth services.
- Last year, the Junior Youth group also participated in a Global Gateway camp at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Mass, where they learned how the majority of people in this world live on minimal resources. Learn more about this program by clicking HERE.
Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula
Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula used at MUUC for Grades 7-8 or 7-9, every two or three years, depending on the demographics of our program. This will be offered to our 7th-8th graders next year.
From the UUA website:
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 not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
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.
Our Whole Lives Values
- Self Worth
- Sexual Health
- Justice and Inclusivity
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 provided in a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith.
Senior Youth (grades 9 – 12)
The Senior Youth are affectionately called “The YOOTES.”
The YOOTES meet every other week following the Sunday worship service, from 12 PM – 2 PM. Fun and hard work are at the core of this active group. They are guided by adult advisors. At their group meetings the Senior YOOTES engage in a interactive and dynamic program that includes:
- Creating Personal Connections
- Community Building
- Social Justice
Some previous activities include:
- Overnights or “lock-ins” at the church
- Youth-led Worship Service
- Social Justice Service Trip every other year
- Various Fundraisers: Parents’ Night Out, Super Bowl Chili Sale, Amaryllis Bulb Sale
- Youth Retreat
Social Action: As part of the faith development of youth, the Melrose UU Church helps facilitate a Mission Trip every other year. This group has participated in previous trips to Juarez, Mexico, New Orleans, and Appalachia. During these trips, the youth witnessed first-hand what it means to be born into privilege and to be born into poverty.