Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.)
OWL is a comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education curriculum that covers the life-span from young children to older adults. Volunteer facilitators undertake a 15+ hour training program. They volunteer their time, energy and enthusiasm to lead this liberal and comprehensive program.
OWL programs are offered at various times for different age groups and geared towards questions and concerns of that age. The growing up programs are designed to help children and youth make healthy and responsible decisions informed with facts and nuanced discussion. Parents attend an orientation session in which the goals, values and subject material of the program are explained.
You do not need to be members of the congregation to participate. Contact Kiersten Moore to learn more.
- Ages 5-6 (K/1)
- Ages 9-11 (Grade 4-6)
- Grade 8-9: October 2019 through May 2020 at Vancouver Unitarian Centre
- Ages 15-18 (Grade 10-12)
- Young Adults
- Adults (30-55)
- Older Adults (50+)–piloted and due for publication in 2019
What is taught?
The OWL curriculum covers human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health and society and culture. Children and youth receive accurate facts about anatomy, and explore how sexuality relates to their values. They also learn how to build their interpersonal skills, and gain understanding of the spiritual and emotional aspects of sexuality.
Parents and caregivers are kept informed and connected as their child’s first and primary sexuality educator. Parents have the opportunity to gain skills, confidence, and practice in talking with their children about sexuality.
What about Values?
The curriculum values and promotes self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity. Programs address healthy relationships, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, equality, consent, sexual harassment, sexualization, media awareness, and decision making.
For further information, please email Kiersten Moore, Director of Religious Education or phone 604.261.7204, extension 226. Other OWL approved sexuality education resources include the British Columbia based Options for Sexual Health website and their publication on “Becoming an Askable Adult”.
Our parents speak
“The Our Whole Lives (OWL) program is exactly what our children need. The youngest is curious about the differences between boys and girls and the oldest is a young teenager with lots of questions about sexuality and relationships. OWL gives so much more than the sex education they get in school and we are very grateful it is offered at this church. Thank you!”
Ages 5-7 (grade K-1)
This level is scheduled for Fall 2019 in Surrey and Spring 2020 here in Vancouver
Supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. Following a Parent Meeting and Parent/Child Orientation, the 8 sessions engage children with stories, songs and activities and include a weekly HomeLink – a homework project for parents and children to do together. Promotes dialogue between parent and child.
Ages 9-11 (grade 4-6)
Ten-session program for learning about and discussing the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Participants will read It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris, and examine topics such as values and sexuality, communication and decision making. Each session includes a homework activity for parents and children to complete together.
Ages 12-14 (grade 7-9)
Scheduled for October 2019-May 2020–20 Sunday sessions + 2 Saturdays; See Details
A sexuality education program for youth that models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. A holistic program that moves beyond the intellect to address the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world.
Unlike many other sexuality curricula currently available, this program is comprehensive and progressive. In an inclusive and developmentally appropriate manner, it addresses sensitive topics that are typically excluded. (New topics include body image, social media/internet, bullying/bystander responsibilities, and consent education.)
Ages 15-18 (grade 10-12)
Using a comprehensive approach, this program helps senior-high youth gain the knowledge, life principles and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways. Our program is run on a regional basis as two weekend long “cons” – overnight events at different congregations in the area. There are different workshops offered at each event and a youth will attend 3 weekends to complete their program and “graduate”.
Using values, communication skills and spirituality as starting points, this program explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages. Builds understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirms diversity and helps participants accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their lives. These sessions are often run as one off topics or as short series based upon the participants knowledge and interests. Recent additions to the adult series are curriculums focusing on specific life topics for Young Adults and Older Adults (upcoming publication in 2019).
Older Adults recognizes and affirms we are sexual beings our entire lives. Those 55+ often have the wonderful advantage of having more time to be conscious of the many expressions of sexuality and the wisdom of lived experience. This course explores concepts including our lived experience of gender identification, the experiences of ageism, and the challenges of communication in relationships.