Our Whole Lives, or OWL, is a life-saving, faith-based, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education program created by the Unitarian Universalist Association with the United Church of Christ. MLUC has a long and proud tradition of offering OWL classes for all ages (as well as About Your Sexuality, or AYS, which was the precursor to OWL).
This year we are offering the Junior High component as a full-year program for our 8th and 9th grade youth. We have an incredibly dedicated team of three adults with many years’ experience as OWL teachers who will lead this group (and be present with them almost every Sunday): Gail Burgess, Carr Everbach, and Jess Michaels. This curriculum models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. It was completely updated 5 years ago and new topics include body image, social media/internet, bullying/bystander responsibilities, and consent education.
We are also offering two age groups of Elementary OWL. Julia Hodgson and Matt Zakreski return as our OWL K/1st grade teachers. This 8-week curriculum supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. Eileen Andrews returns with guest teacher Aaron Rosenbaum to teach OWL 4th/5th grade. (Aaron is an experienced OWL teacher from another local UU congregation.) This older elementary program introduces key topics such as values, body image, gender and sexual identity, peer pressure, and healthy relationships with sensitivity and inclusiveness, and it is updated as of 2017.
There are also Senior High, Young Adult, Adult, and Older Adult versions of OWL. We have used Senior High in the past and may again in the future. I’d love to get an adult class going at some point but we need to train some leaders. We’re exploring the option of holding adult classes in conjunction with other area UU congregations, too.
You can learn more about OWL here: https://www.uua.org/re/owl. Or ask me anytime. I’m a trained leader and enthusiastic supporter of this program!