Religious Education for Children and Youth
with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley
Our Unitarian Universalist Principles
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm
The inherent worth and dignity of every person
We believe that each and every person is important.
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations
and in society at large
We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
We believe in working for a peaceful, fair and free world.
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
We believe in caring for our planet earth, the home we share with all living
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS
CHILDREN BIRTH TO THREE:
A paid child care provider supervises infants and toddlers
safe and engaging environment that supports the Unitarian Universalist principles through
materials that reflect the worth and dignity of all persons, caring for our planet earth,
and practices of fairness and kindness.
PRESCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY (Ages 3 - Grade 5):
A Religious Education Leader will provide
an active learning curriculum that includes stories, discussions, cooperative
activities, projects, and songs that support the Unitarian Universalist principles. The
Religious Education plan for the 2009-2010 year includes the use of the following curricula:
In Our Hands, A Peace and Social Justice Program (Unitarian Universalist
Association) - Lessons from this curriculum include: valuing self and others;
exploring issues of fairness and unfairness, peace and hurting, caring and
uncaring; friendship with people who are different from each other; appreciation
of nature; and Unitarian Universalists working for a fair and peaceful world.
Our Whole Lives. Sexuality Education/Sexuality and Our Faith (Unitarian
Association) - This first curriculum in the OWL series focus on: our bodies, learning parts
of the body as weli keeping them healthy and safe; developing awareness of and appreciation
for family diversity; and, gaining understanding of conception and the birth process and the
joy a new baby brings to a family, whether through birth or adoption. Parents are active
participants and decision-makers in this curriculum and will be supplied with materials to
use with their children at home including the "Parent Guide to Our Whole Lives" from the
UUA and "Becoming an Askable Parent: How to Talk with Your Child About Sexuality."
I Will Be Your Friend, Songs and Activities for Young Peacemakers (Teaching
This music-focused resource will be used to introduce a variety of topics through the use
of songs, including: friendship, native peoples, people who have worked for social justice,
service to others, diverse cultures, and concepts of love, peace, kindness and freedom.
Holidays and Holy Days: Using a variety of resources including Special
and Around the Church, Around the Year from the UUA, holidays and holy days
from our Judeo-Christian
heritage will be explored along with others from the world's religions,
Four teaching teams, one for each of the curricula, will plan and carry out the lessons for
the children on a rotating basis. A calendar of lessons will be posted outside of the
Children's RE Classroom. In addition, lessons will be published each month in the UUCRV
Consideration will be given to the range of ages of children involved in the RE program
in the selection of books, songs and projects. Following the service in the Children's
Chapel, children will be able to select from a variety of activities in the classroom
that support their learning of the UU Principles.
YOUTH: (Middle & High Schoolers)
While formal programming is not currently planned for
elementary children and youth, a number of options are available for their religious
* Attending services with the congregation
* Using a variety of resources, complete an independent comparative faiths study that
includes Unitarian Universalism, and religions and faith communities of the world
* Choosing from a variety of "workshops" to learn about Unitarian Universalism, other
religions and faith communities, cultures and arts
* Using the Backpacker's Notebook to explore their own spirituality and connection to
Unitarian Universalism in preparation for being an active member in their adult years
* Assisting with carrying out programming for younger children
Support in the Children and Youth Programs for our Green Sanctuary include:
Earth awareness materials - globe; atlas; world map; solar system puzzle; earth and
Animal awareness materials: stuffed animal and puppets; pictures; puzzles; games; books
Plant awareness: caring for plants; planting seeds
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle materials and activities: play recycling truck; recycling
puzzle; box for paper recycling; books on practices to reduce, reuse and recycle; books
on global warming
Creative materials: recycled paper; use both sides of paper; projects made from reused
paper bags, boxes cardboard, cardboard tubes, gift wrap, ribbon, wallpaper books, etc.
Classroom storage containers: natural material baskets; cloth bins; reusable boxes
Reusable cups and pitchers for snacks
Earth Day Activities
Everyone, including children and youth, is encouraged to donate
non-perishable food items (particularly canned meats and other protein foods, peanut butter,
and canned fruits) and personal care products by placing them in the basket in the entryway.
These items will be given to Caritas in Beloit, WI or Rockton Food Pantry in Rockton, IL
In 2006-2007 the Children and Youth led a successful project to raise money for the
humanitarian organization Heifer International. Heifer International helps families
throughout the world become self-reliant by providing livestock or tree seedlings along
with the training needed to ensure that the animals and plants stay healthy and productive.
The animals and plants provide not only nutrition but also income to the families to help
them buy needed medicine, clothing and supplies, and to send their children to school. The
gift multiplies as one or more offspring from each animal is passed on to other families.
The project was introduced using a children's book, Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier along
with literature from Heifer International. Children made their own donations, collected
donations from the congregation, and counted and graphed the donations until enough money
was collected to purchase the goat.
A new Community Service project will be investigated for each year.
The opportunity to encourage discovery and lifelong learning is at the center of
Unitarian Universalist religious education. Inspired religious education programs
can provide the spark that encourages a congregation to grow or discover new ways
in which it can serve a community. Whether that learning is experienced by a child,
a teen, a young adult, adult, or the entire family, the flowering of the spirit occurs
where religious education takes root.