How is the Religious Education (RE) program developed?
The Director of Religious Education (DRE) develops the program for children and youth in consultation with the RE Administrative assistant (REA) using curricula published by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) or Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious educators throughout the denomination. Common curricular themes are Unitarian Universalism, World Religions and our interpersonal values and communication skills. Our classes, worship, and extracurricular events are designed to support parents in their role as the primary religious educators of their children.
Children's programming during the school year
Following the Labor Day weekend, religious education classes are offered for Preschool-12th Grade only at the 11:15 a.m. Sunday Service. Nursery care is available for infants and toddlers until about age 4 at both services. Children in preschool and older attend the first 15 minutes in the sanctuary with their parents and the congregation before leaving with their teachers for their individual grade level classes in the nearby RE building. On occasion a special multi-generational or children's worship service takes the place of classes.
Children's programming during the summer
Starting in June, a single multi-age class, will be offered for children ages 3-12 at 10 a.m. Children begin in the sanctuary with their families for the first 15 minutes before moving to the RE Building and the outdoors. No formal program is offered for middle- or high-school youth during the summer although youth are encouraged to attend summer district-wide conferences and some unpaid Religious Education internships are available. Care for infants and younger preschoolers continues in the Nursery.
Year of Spirit:
Love Radically, Serve Gratefully, Wonder Daily
Spirit Play Preschool - Second Grade 11:15 a.m.
Preschool and K-2nd grade will be in the adjoining rooms (1&2) in the RE Building. They will start together for a story and circle, and then may separate to their classrooms for activities. The Montessori Philosophy is based in a proven educational method whose values support Unitarian Universalism. The key elements are the prepared classroom environment and the teachers. These elements free the children to work at their own pace on their own issues after an initial lesson or story within a safe and sacred structure shepherded by two adults. We have several staff and volunteers who have received specialized training in implementing Spirit Play.
Spirit Play will be implemented on an adjusted model for the nursery, based on the daily needs of infants and toddlers at both services.
Spirit Spiral 3rd - 6th grade 11:15 a.m.
Spirit Spiral will take place in RE Main, RE kitchen open space, and outside as weather permits. Children will be able to make choices of activities based on themes such as Welcome, Families, UU Principles, and Sources. This year, lessons have been adapted from a collaborative team of religious educators including Carrie Krause, a curriculum development specialist, and Sara Lewis who serves the Olympia UU Church.
Guidance and training are available, and you can find details of the Operational Procedures Manual 2016-17. For additional information, check out Spirit Play Teacher Training Manual and the Spirit Spiral Teacher Training Manual.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) 7th-9th grade 11:15 a.m.
Our Whole Lives for Jr. YRUU class will be a full year curriculum with trained facilitators meeting in Room 4. Please see Sexuality Education for more information. Youth participating in this program must commit to regular attendance. Parents and Guardians must attend orientation and sign permission forms for their young person to participate. Orientation will be held on Tuesday Sept. 20, 2016 from 6:30- 9 p.m. in RE Main.
Sr. YRUU (10th to 12th Grade) 11:00 a.m.
This year high school age youth will meet in Room 5 beginning at 11 :00 a.m. Four adult advisors serve in teams of two each week to support youth in developing independence and leadership through choosing curriculum, service projects and fundraising efforts. Sr. YRUU attend conferences (Cons) and retreats sponsored by UUA Pacific Western Region, PNWD, and local clusters.
Do I need to register my child(ren)?
After your third visit, we ask that you register your child(ren). Forms are in a wall holder to the right of the pamphlet rack in the church foyer. Or ask the DRE, an RE teacher, or a Sunday greeter for them. Leave the completed forms in the DRE's box in the church office or mail them to the church (UUCV, 4505 E 18th St., Vancouver, WA 98661). You can also find them online. There is no registration fee.
Questions? Want to know more?
Please feel free to contact the Director of Religious Education to learn more about the program.