Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a compehensive, lifespan sexuality education program. Co-developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, OWL includes a range of age-appropriate sessions for children, youth, and adults.
OWL at UUS
At UUS, we typically offer the junior high module every other year, and we began offering a high school session in 2019.
Junior High OWL (Grades 7 & 8)
OWL for this age group covers topics like puberty, gender, sexual orientation, body image and media, and healthy relationships. Open to 7th and 8th graders (or the home-school equivalent).
The program begins with an overnight retreat on Sept. 27, after which classes meet weekly on Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. through May (with breaks for holidays and school breaks).
Registration & parent orientation
Registration is required, and all parents and custodial caregivers must first attend one of the following orientation meetings prior to enrolling their youth in the program:
- September 15, 1 – 3:30 p.m. or
- September 18, 6 – 8:30 p.m
For questions or to register for a parent orientation session, contact the Director of Lifespan Religious Eduction at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OWL is open to those outside of the UUS community. We do charge a $100 fee for youth whose families are not members or friends of UUS, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay.
Senior High OWL
We held our first Senior High OWL session in spring 2019. Contact the Director of Lifespan Religious Education for information on future sessions.
Our Whole Lives Overview
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.
Our Whole Lives Offers…
- Accurate information presented in developmentally appropriate ways
- Affective and emotional learning
- Guiding values and principles
- Activities that help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
- A safe and supportive peer group
- Acceptance of diversity
- A social justice approach to inclusive sexuality education
- Step-by-step instructions for program promotion, implementation, and facilitation
- Parent orientation that affirms parents as their children’s primary sexuality educators
- Facilitator trainings and continuing education to increase knowledge, skills, confidence
- Expert user support from OWL Program Associate (UUA) and OWL Program Coordinator (UCC)
- Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious supplement for use in Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.
Our Whole Lives Values…
While Our Whole Lives is secular, it is not value-free. The program gives clear messages about the following key sexuality issues:
- self worth
- sexual health
- justice and inclusivity
Our Whole Lives recognizes and respects the diversity of participants with respect to biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and disability status. The activities and language used throughout the program have been carefully chosen to be as inclusive as possible of this human diversity.