Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a human sexuality curriculum that was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It is one of the programs I feel most proud of in our denomination. The curriculum offers courses from early childhood to adulthood, and some congregations teach multiple age groups. Typically our churches teach the OWL class for teens (either seventh- and eighth-graders or senior high youth).
Yesterday in a Boston Globe article about sex education in Massachusetts, OWL was mentioned as a program that is progressive. Well, it actually used the word “radical.” What I like about the program is that it gives a group of teens, an equal number of boys and girls typically, a forum to talk openly with each other about all aspects of relationships and sexuality. It teaches the “facts of life,” but more importantly explores how we relate to our own sexuality and that of others with respect and sensitivity.
Students universally leave the class with more confidence about navigating the expectations and pressures of our culture while maintaining their own sense of self. Northshore has had several people trained to deliver the OWL class, and Jim Lynch and Patty Rhode have just finished that training.
Northshore will be offering OWL for seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-graders starting the last week of March and going to June. There will be a mid-summer get-together, and then the class will resume in September. There are still openings in the class with first preference given to NSUU members’ children. Contact Fred Mills, Director of Religious Education, to register. You’ll find his e-mail address here.