OWL: Our Whole Lives
What is OWL?
Our Whole Lives, or OWL, is a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities. Learn more about Our Whole Lives at the Unitarian Universalist Association website. Here at First Unitarian of Oakland, we usually offer three OWL programs, for children in grades K-1, 4-5, & 7-9. OWL programs are led by trained volunteers from the congregation. Every OWL program begins with a required meeting between parents and the teachers to familiarize parents with the materials and to help parents engage with the material themselves. OWL encourages discussion and conversation between parents and children in an open, supportive fashion. The first session has parents attend with their children, and often the programs end with an all-family session.
This section supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. The nine sessions engage children with stories, songs and activities and include a weekly homework project for parents and children to do together to promote dialogue between parent and child.
This section helps children in Fourth and Fifth Grade gain the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to understand and express their sexuality in holistic, life-enhancing ways. Children are introduced to key topics like values, body image, gender and sexual identity, peer pressure, and healthy relationships with sensitivity and inclusiveness.
Our preteen curriculum, like the previous programs, contains activities that help the children clarify their own values and improve their decision-making skills within a safe and supportive peer group. It focuses on the acceptance of diversity, and inclusive sexuality education with a social justice approach. This curriculum has updated content addressing body image, social media/internet, bullying/bystander responsibilities, and consent education. The 7-9 OWL program has two on-site weekend retreats to strengthen the relationships between the youth and promote the creation of a safe space in which to discuss the content. This deeply comprehensive program covers 15 weeks, including the retreats.
Typical Session Schedules and Costs:
All sessions are held on Sundays at First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Costs cover teacher training and the retreats for Gr. 7-9 participants.
- Required Parent Only Orientation: 9:15 – 10:15am
- Required Parent and Child Orientation: 9 – 10:30am
- Sunday Sessions: 9:15 – 10:15am
- Families are encouraged to attend the final session.
- We require children to attend at least 6 sessions after the required Parent/Child Orientation.
$50 for pledging church members and $150 for non-pledging friends.
There is a 50% discount for the second child in the family attending any of the three programs.
- Required Parent Orientation Meeting: 10 – 11:30am
- Session Schedule: 10 – 11:30am
- We require children to attend at least 7 sessions.
$50 for pledging church members and $150 for non-pledging friends. There is a 50% discount for the second child in the family attending any of the three programs.
- Required Parent Orientation Meeting: 6:30 – 8pm
- First Retreat: Friday evening through Sunday morning, at First Unitarian
- Session Schedule: 12 – 2pm
- Final Retreat: 5/29 – 5/31, Friday evening through Sunday morning, at First Unitarian
In addition to the Parent Orientation, participating families agree to have the youth attend at least the first retreat and 8 sessions.
$300 for pledging church members and $500 for non-pledging friends. The increased cost covers the extended length of the program and the two retreats. Sibling discounts apply.