A Vibrant Program for Pre-School through Ninth Grade
We have a vibrant program for
children from pre-school through 9th grade. Our classes meet during each of our
worship times—Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m. Each week
children pre-K through 7th grade start out in the Auditorium for a
Message for All Ages before heading into their classrooms. This is a valued
time for us to be together as a whole congregation! Classes then end at 6 p.m.
on Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. We appreciate parents
allowing their kids to stay for the duration of the class.
We strive to create a strong community within each classroom. We typically have two teachers and one parent
helper at each class session to facilitate and support your child’s learning.
First Unitarian Society staff, including the Director of Children’s Religious
Education, Religious Education Program Assistant, and the Minister of
Congregation Life, all work toward creating a meaningful and robust program. We hope this community helps your child(ren)
feel cared for as they travel through their spiritual journey.
For 3 & 4 year olds
Chalice Children helps
children learn about our faith community, celebrate the friendships they have
here, and inspire their curiosity about the world around them. We’ll indulge
their wonder about the stars, moon, rainbows, and more. And during Teddy Bear
month, they will help their bears make friends, nurture them when they’re sick,
and help them to not be afraid.
For Kindergarten & 1st Graders
Treasure Hunting is
inspired by the fun and excitement of true treasure hunts, but in this class
it’s understanding and appreciation for ourselves and our world that we search
for. We’ll introduce the basic tenets of UUism and its principles. Each week
children will make a “treasure” to add to their treasure chest of learning.
Through games, stories, song, and crafts, the treasures of self-esteem,
community, religion, and nature are celebrated.
Free to Believe
For 2nd and 3rd Graders
In Free to Believe
we’ll use our UU principles as starting points for exploring values, beliefs,
and what it means to be a UU. What does it mean to be kind and respectful and
to work toward peace and justice? The class will also raise funds for two UU
students whose education we support through the Partner Church Program—one in
the Philippines and one in Nagyajta, Romania. Kids will also begin to grapple
with some of the difficult questions regarding God, birth, and death.
Exploring Our Origins
For 4th and 5th Graders
our Origins provides children the intellectual and spiritual
space to develop a sense of their own place within the cosmic narrative of the
universe and life on Earth. They’ll explore the wonders and mysteries of life
on Earth through the lenses of both science and reverence, and come to
understand themselves as part of a much larger natural history that began with
the birth of the universe.
For 6th Graders Saturday & Sunday at 9 a.m.
Building Bridges is a world religions program that deepens youth’s
understanding of the diverse world in which they live. It seeks to broaden
their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. During the
year they will explore the beliefs and rituals that are the pillars of Judaism,
Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and more. We will welcome people from other faiths to
share their beliefs, and will visit numerous places of worship outside of FUS.
Some flexibility in scheduling is required to accommodate these visits.
Compass Points Compass Points is a UU curriculum
that leads middle schoolers on a travel journey to all directions. Each direction
points to a leg of the journey that is life, helping us to engage our spiritual
and questioning selves in ways that deepen our appreciation for our own gifts,
for others, and for our rich and dynamic UU history. Each week participants
“take a stand” on an ethical or philosophical issue, delve into that issue more
deeply, and then re-visit their “stand.” Included in our topics are concepts of
religious authority, dying and living, religious freedom, our UU ancestors, and
how we “walk the talk."
For 7th Graders Saturday & Sunday at 9; 6th & 7th graders Sunday at 11
Mind, Body & Soul
For Eighth Graders
What would it mean for
adolescents to approach their relationships and sexual lives with an
understanding of who they are, mind, body and soul? Our Mind, Body & Soul class draws from three excellent sources—Our Whole Lives, Love U2, and several
lessons developed here at FUS—to offer a progressive and comprehensive sex ed.
curriculum that puts sexuality firmly within the context of relationships.
The range of topics is wide,
including these as well as others:
- How our social, mental, physical, and emotional needs inform our
- The complexity of gender identity, biological sex, and sexual
- The emotional “risks” of sexual behaviors
- The influence of media on our developing concepts of sexuality
- Body image and assumptions about others
- Communication skills
In this class, youth learn to
know themselves and their hopes, to communicate with others, and to define their
boundaries. Our goal is to create a safe community where teens can honestly
discuss sensitive issues that profoundly affect them. Regular attendance is
imperative to create and sustain a trusting bond and to most benefit from the
lessons. A parent orientation will be
held prior to the first class.
Coming of Age
For Ninth Graders
Coming of Age is a program that honors our teens as spiritual
seekers and celebrates the significant passage from childhood to being a teen.
During the year, teens strive to define who they are and what they believe.
They grapple with some of life’s “big questions” and learn life skills that
help them to live a healthy life – spiritually, emotionally and socially. The
year’s program includes two weekend retreats, class activities and discussions,
time spent with “elders,” a service project, and more. Each participant
develops a “This I Believe...” statement that they then present at the Coming of Age worship service in May.
Participation in Coming of Age involves a significant
commitment from parents and youth. Weekly attendance is very important and
several events require participation.
These include the fall (usually mid-October) and spring (usually early April)
retreats, and the opening and closing ceremonies. If you have not attended an
orientation for the Coming of Age program (all 8th graders and their parents are
invited to this in the spring), then be sure to talk with our Director of
Children’s Religious Education before enrolling.
Creating a Safe Place:
It is important that together we
do all we can to assure our children’s safety. We take several precautions
toward that end.
• Running sexual and criminal
offender background checks on all our volunteer teachers, our child care
coordinator and youth advisors.
• Requiring that two adults be
present with a child or group of children at all times.
• Requiring that our teens
working in the child care program have all taken a babysitter’s certification
class through the YMCA, Red Cross, or some other established program.
• Asking that parents of younger
children (those in child care and in our pre-K through 1st grade classes) be
sure to sign out their children when they pick them up at the end of class.