UUCF offers classes for preschool children and those in Kindergarten through Grade 6 on 27 Sundays from September through May at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m., and eight summer Sundays at 10 a.m.
More students attend the 9:15 classes, which enables UUCF to offer a greater number of classes at that time. The 11:15 RE classes are smaller, multi-age classes that foster a close-knit community and enable siblings to take classes together. Since curricula often differ between the services, children are expected to enroll in one particular class and attend at that time. New families are encouraged to try the classes at each service time to determine the best fit for their children before enrolling.
Hello Friends – Offered at 9:15 a.m. for children ages 2 & 3.
The Hello Friends curriculum is chock-full of songs, stories, crafts and activities. Friendship is the theme, with lessons on how to be a friend, making friends, animal friends, being a friend to the earth and much more. Developed especially for UUCF, Hello Friends was created with the littlest UUs in mind. The overall goal is to give children a loving and welcoming experience, to help model a community of friendship and to lightly introduce Unitarian Universalist themes.
Chalice Children & Seven Principles – Offered at both services for children ages 4-K (9:15) and ages 3-5 (11:15)
These two curricula introduce preschoolers to the core ideas of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Early childhood is filled with curiosity and wonder, and these curricula nurture that quest for exploration. With activities, crafts and stories, children gain an understanding of community, learn to value themselves and others, and experience the wonder and awe of our world.
Treasure Hunting – Next offered fall 2020
Treasure hunting involves children in the excitement of the search for life’s meaning at a very simple and tangible level. Each week through games, crafts, songs and stories, children explore Unitarian Universalist values and learn how to treasure people’s differences as well as similarities.
World of Water – Offered summer 2019 for children ages 3-Rising K.
This engaging eight-session curriculum teaches preschoolers about the water cycle and the importance of water to all life on earth. Through stories, crafts and activities children learn about rain, snow, ice and the importance of clean water to people all over the world.
Children’s Chapel is a 20-minute service held in the Chapel of the Program Building for Kindergarten-Grade 3 at 9:15 and 11:15. After Chapel, children are dismissed for class. Children’s Chapel is a participatory opportunity for children to use all of their senses to strengthen their UU identity, experience spiritual practices and engage in worship rituals and stories about our UU faith.
World of Wonder – Offered at both services for Grade 1 (9:15) and K/1 (11:15)
This curriculum delves deeply into our Unitarian Universalist Seventh Principle. It instills respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and fosters appreciation of its beauty, excitement and mystery. Children spend time experiencing and exploring nature as essential for their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
Moral Tales – Offered at 9:15 for Grade 2
This curriculum draws upon many of our Unitarian Universalist sources, portraying moral dilemmas and paths to goodness and justice through a variety of cultural and religious lenses. Moral Tales provides children with spiritual and ethical tools to make better choices and take actions in accordance with their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values.
Love Will Guide Us – Offered at both services for Grade 3 (9:15) and Grades 2&3 (11:15)
This curriculum highlights love as the central aspect of Unitarian Universalism. Using the night sky and the North Star as metaphors, participants are “guided to love.” As they explore the night sky, participants learn to recognize and name the six UU sources. Drawing on the wisdom of the ages as expressed in many different traditions and cultures, along with our own direct experiences, children explore theological questions about the origins of life, the meaning of death, and what it means to be human. All sessions included guided discussion, reflection, hands-on activities and self-expression to engage participants with various learning styles.
First Grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) – Offered spring 2020 for Grade 1 (9:15) and (K-1) 11:15
This is the first course in this highly regarded comprehensive lifespan sexuality education curriculum created by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. This eight-session class explores concepts of family, bodily autonomy and celebrates the wonder of the human body. This class introduces basic concepts of sexual intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth in the context of family. Parent orientation is required.
Toolbox of Faith – Offered at 9:15 a.m. for Grade 4
This curriculum uses real tools as metaphors for qualities Unitarian Universalists strive to develop within themselves. Participants use tools in varied activities along with stories, games and music to learn UU history and the values that guide our faith tradition. Qualities explored in this curriculum include flexibility, courage, listening, humor, reflection, integrity and resiliency.
UU Sources – Offered at 9:15 a.m. for Grade 5
The living tradition we share draws from many sources. This curriculum primarily explores Jewish and Christian teachings from the Bible that shaped the development of Unitarian Universalism, along with the wisdom of other world religions, the words and deeds of prophetic people, humanist teachings and spiritual teachings of earth-centered religions. Lessons include guided discussion and varied activities to explain how UU theology has developed.
Riddle and Mystery – Offered at 9:15 a.m. for Grade 6
Sixth graders face a bewildering world of increasing independence and choice as they turn the corner into adolescence. They are developing new abilities for abstraction and analysis as they encounter new ideas. The purpose of Riddle and Mystery is to assist participants in their own search for understanding. Sixteen “Big Questions” are explored during this class, including: Where do we come from? Does God exist? What happens when we die? How can I know what to believe? This class is designed to help all seekers reach their own understanding within the philosophical and theological frameworks expressed in the UU Seven Principles and Sources.
Love Connects Us – Offered at 11:15 for Grades 4-6
This course celebrates important ways UUs live our faith in covenanted community. The sessions explore our legacy, from both Universalism and Unitarianism, of living our connections in loving service, inquiry and action for social justice. Children explore topics of love, peace, kindness and spirituality in the context of UU identity. Many activities require participants to work in teams or small groups, emphasizing their experiences as individuals working together in community.
Fifth Grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) – Offered at 9:15 for Grade 5
This is the second course in the highly regarded comprehensive lifespan sexuality education curriculum created by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. This 10-session class focuses on puberty and the changes adolescents will face physically and emotionally. In addition to explaining sexual reproduction, workshops also explore gender identity, peer pressure, consent, prevention of sexually transmitted infections and contraception.
Young Arts & Spiritual Development – Offered at 11:15 for Grades 4-8
With singing, music, visual art, movement and drama, students develop and express their spirituality and work together to create community and solve problems. Students perform as the Young Arts Ensemble at worship services throughout the year. Students also take the lead roles in the Christmas pageant at the 4 p.m. Christmas Eve service.
D’Oh God! – Summer 2019 – for Rising 4th-6th Grade
This class uses pop culture to help students discuss important social issues and spiritual beliefs. Developed by the UU Congregation in Blacksburg, VA, this fun curriculum includes an episode from The Simpsons as the basis for a deeper discussion about religion and spirituality. This curriculum explores how religious concepts are related to perspective and point of view, and helps students learn how other faith traditions respond to important theological and ethical issues.