2016-17 Classes (Sept – May)
Pre-K – Grade 1: 6:30 – 7:30 pm
The purpose of Spirit Play is to help children in figuring out their own answers to the existential questions: Where did we come from? What are we doing here? How do we choose to live our lives? What happens when we die? Spirit Play uses the Montessori approach for the structure of the morning. As in Montessori, the key elements are the classroom environment and the teachers. These elements free the children to make meaning through wondering and art, as well as create a spiritual community of children while supporting multiple learning styles and challenges. The heart of the lesson is the stories presented and the “Wondering Questions” presented and discussed. Stories have been developed in the following categories: Unitarian Universalist Lessons and Stories, Promises (Principles), Unitarian Universalist Sources, Stories of the Mystery, Beginnings and Endings, Sacred Places, The Church, Ways to Pray and Heroes and Heroines. Spirit Play stories will also be developed around the church themes.
Our Whole Lives for Kindergarten & 1st grade (winter 2017)
K – Grade 1: January 4 – March 1, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
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.
Topics include: Our Wonderful Bodies, Part 1 & 2, Healthy Bodies/Safe Bodies, Families and Feelings, Babies and Families, Birth of a Baby, and Celebrations!
Grade 2 – 4: 7 – 8 pm
The Navigators USA was created to provide a scouting experience for boys and girls who either can’t or don’t want to join the existing scouting organization in their local community. First Unitarian Church of Des Moines will become an affiliated Navigators site this fall! Navigators USA welcomes all people; boys and girls and adults no matter what gender, race, lifestyle, ability, religious or lack of religious belief. We believe the greatest challenge for the future of our planet is whether we will learn how to get along with people different than ourselves. Go to http://navigatorsusa.org/ to learn more!
Soul Matters for Kids
Grade 5 – 6: 7 – 8 pm
The 5th/6th grade Soul Matters group will meet weekly on Wednesday evenings. While the group meets weekly and we would love to have students attend weekly, we understand that won’t always be possible. We will follow the monthly theme for Soul Matters, which is also followed by the adult Soul Matters groups, and our church services as well. Every month, UUs are asked to consider: What does it mean to be a community of… Covenant (Sept), Healing (Oct), Story (Nov), Presence (Dec), Prophecy (Jan), Identity (Feb), Risk (March), Transformation (Apr), Embodiment (May), and Zest (June).
Unlike the adult Soul Matters groups, the 5th and 6th grade participants will NOT be expected to do any reading or preparation before class. (And no homework afterwards!) Instead, part of the class time will be used to watch or listen to something together – a short video, a story, a poem, etc., and then discuss that piece: how it makes the students feel, what it makes them think about in regards to the monthly topic, etc. The one-hour sessions will also include some of our usual UU practices: chalice lighting, checking in, a short spiritual practice (such as meditation, listening to music, or the like), and closing. Special attention will also be paid to learning styles, so movement etc, will also be a part of our time together.
OWL Human Sexuality Curriculum for Grades 5 – 6 (fall 2016)
Grade 5 – 6: October 5 – December 14, 7 – 8 pm
Our Whole Lives for grades 5/6 is an 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.
* Mandatory Parent Meeting: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
* Parent/Child Orientation Program: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
OWL Human Sexuality Curriculum for Grade 7
Grade 7: 6:15 – 7:45 pm
Led by specially trained volunteers, 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.
*Mandatory Parent Meeting: Wednesday, September 21
Due to the nature of the curriculum and need for confidentiality, registration for OWL (7th grade) is closed after September 28. It will be offered again in Fall 2017.
Coming of Age for Grade 8 ONLY
Grade 8: 6:15 – 7:45 pm
When we provide the time and opportunities for authentic relationships to develop, then the youth gradually experience powerful transformation – they Come of Age. With the help of their families and their church community, they learn who they are, and they decide what they stand for. This is how each youth creates their own empowering story. During Coming of Age, each youth will develop a faith statement. To create their own faith statements, the “Big Questions” are tackled each week, such as: What do you believe about God? What happens after we die? How do you live a moral life? Why do bad things happen? Each youth is also paired up with a carefully chosen adult mentor from the congregation. Youth and mentors meet about twice a month and also complete a service project together. The year begins with a parent/ youth meeting to share information about the Coming of Age year. The year concludes with a Celebration Dinner and Coming of Age Service, during which the youth plan and lead Sunday services, as well as present their own faith statements.
Kick Off Wednesday: September 14, 6-8 pm
COA Meetings: September 21 – May 17
Fall Retreat: October 21-23
Spring Retreat: April 28-30
Coming of Age Celebration Dinner: Saturday, May 6, 6-8 pm
Coming of Age Services: Sunday, May 7, 9:15 & 11 am
Due to the nature of the curriculum and need for confidentiality, registration for COA (8th grade) is closed this year. It will be offered again in Fall 2017.