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Class Descriptions

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.

Our Classes

Chalice Children
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.

Treasure Hunting
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

Exploring 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.

Building Bridges
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
For 7th Graders Saturday & Sunday at 9; 6th & 7th graders Sunday at 11

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."

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 sexual decisions
  • The complexity of gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation
  • 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.

They include:

• 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.