Curricula 2017-2018

Curricula for 2017-2018
By age youngest to oldest


Room for our tiniest ones
Nursery for infants to 3 years of age
10:15 AM – 12 Noon and for some special events and meetings
Room 3 Lower Level

First Unitarian provides childcare for newborn children through three years of age. Our Nursery staff consist of a dedicated team of paid care providers to offer children a safe and nurturing environment where they can have fun, play together and learn. Parents are warmly welcome in the Nursery; in fact, their presence is at times recommended, especially if it is the first time your child attends our Nursery. Families using the nursery are asked to sign in before leaving their child, and to sign out when they are picking up their child. 

Parent & Child Quiet Space
Available during Worship Services
Room 7 Lower Level

We value and welcome children in our sanctuary, but you have options: If you have a young child who is not ready to be separated from you, this is a quiet space available during worship services for nursing or safe baby play time. There is a speaker system in place so that you can tune into the worship service while still seeing to your child’s needs. No child should be left unattended in this space.  A changing table is available in the youth bathroom.



Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade
Spirit Play II     The Sources
Children begin in the service. After Time for All Ages, the children and teachers go to classrooms. 
Parents pick up at the classroom at 11:45 AM.
Room 4 Lower Level

Spirit Play is a Montessori-based program designed specifically for Unitarian Universalists. It is a unique program which follows a set structure.  The program encourages students to explore creatively, think independently, and develop a sense of ritual and sacred space. Spirit Play is a way of learning and experiencing spirituality in a meaningful setting where every aspect of the class is imbued with sacred significance.   
Spirit Play II, our program for first and second grade students, is the second of three Spirit Play programs.  SPII encourages critical thinking, and a sense of spirituality through cooperative independent work time as chosen by the children. SP II focuses on the Six Unitarian Universalist Sources: 
Wonder and Awe: Stories of the Mystery that some people call God
                        Beginnings and Endings
                        Sacred Places
                        Church Corner or Altar Table
                        Ways to Pray
Heroes and Heroines (Prophetic Women and Men)
World Religion Stories and Lessons
Judeo-Christian Stories
Stories based in Science and Humanism
Stories of our Interdependent Web/ Earth Centered Spiritualties

For more information please see the brief Family’s Guide to Spirit Play


2nd and 3rd grade
Spirit Play III     Holidays and Holy Days
Children begin in the service. After Time for All Ages, the children and teachers go to classrooms. Parents pick up at the classroom at 11:45 AM.

Holidays and Holy Days – the third Spirit Play program - is a Montessori-based program designed specifically for Unitarian Universalists.
It is a unique program which follows a set structure.  The program encourages students to explore creatively, think independently, and develop a sense of ritual and sacred space. Spirit Play is a way of learning and experiencing spirituality in a meaningful setting where every aspect of the class is imbued with sacred significance.

Through exploring the various celebrations and traditions of the world religions, children are introduced to the variety of beliefs, symbols, rituals, and stories as well as our history and values. Each lesson is connected to an aspect of our Unitarian Universalist faith.

For more information please see the brief Family’s Guide to Spirit Play
  
4th and 5th Grade
Bibleodeon
Children begin in the service. After Time for All Ages, the children and teachers go to classrooms. 
They are dismissed from the classroom at 11:45 AM.
Room 1 Lower Level

Bibleodeon participants don’t just read about, but actually experience great stories of the Hebrew and Christian bibles. They encounter a crime scene that tells the story of Cain and Abel. They face down the temptation of candy. They conduct a Bible Women’s Awards Night. They construct masks of animals that didn’t make it onto the ark, and build living sculptures. They perform 11 provided playlets!

6th and 7th Grade
Building Bridges
Children begin in the service. After Time for All Ages, the children and teachers go to classrooms. 
They are dismissed from the classroom at 11:45 AM.
Above Stage Classrooms through Unity Hall 3rd Floor

Building Bridges (previously, Neighboring Faiths) is a world religions program to deepen youth's understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which we live. It broadens their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search through an exploration of other faith traditions. Periodic trips to neighboring places of worship is part of this curriculum.

8th and 9th Grade
Coming of Age
On the first Sunday of the month, youth begin in the service. After Time for All Ages, the youth and teachers go to classrooms. On other Sundays, youth either sit as a group in the sanctuary balcony, or provide a role in the church (see below).
On class days, they are dismissed from the classroom at 11:45 AM.
Room 6 Lower Level

As entering 8th or 9th grader at First U., we invite youth to a year of personal exploration, challenge, and growth. Have you ever thought about…
·       What it means to be a good friend?
·       What brings you happiness?
·       Your hopes and dreams for the future?
·       What you really believe in?
These are some of the questions the new Coming of Age Program at First Unitarian Church of Worcester will explore.  Youth in this group also have the opportunity to assist in classes for younger children, take an active role in Children's Chapels, serve as greeters for the sanctuary services and be worship readers. The ultimate purpose of the Coming of Age program is to help you transition from childhood into adulthood with a clear sense of who you are, your role in the church, your place in the Unitarian Universalist faith, and your purpose in the world.

Youth Groups

BYKOTA – 6th-8th Grades
Our Junior High youth group meets on the first Sunday of each month from 9 a.m-10:00 a.m. In their meetings, they check-in with one another and plan for a variety of social activities and service projects, both in the church and in the community. BYKOTA meets in the Youth Lounge above the stage in Unity Hall. 


  
 YRU2 – 9th-12th Grades
Our High School youth group meets each Sunday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Youth Lounge located on the Mezzanine Level of the church. The YRU2 program is based on a balance of worship, youth-adult relations, community building, social action, learning, and leadership. They also get together for outside events, fundraisers, and retreats.  Youth in this age group are encouraged to attend or participate in worship services, and assist in other leadership roles within the church. 


Additional Programming 



Our Whole Lives
Multiple Ages
OWL is the comprehensive lifespan sexuality education curriculum developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, and is offered here at First Unitarian Church every other year for early elementary, late elementary, and high school age children and youth. It is a rich and affirming program that provides accurate, factual information that emphasizes healthy bodies, healthy relationships, and healthy decision making.




Children’s Chapel
Mixed Ages
Once a month, we have a Children’s Chapel, led by Deborah Levering, Our Director of Faith Development and assisted by a team of youth. This mixed aged program includes worship, songs, stories, crafts, games and service projects all centering on themes that reflects our Unitarian Universalist Principles and our Church’s mission statement. Children’s Chapel is held in Unity Hall at the same time as the adult service is being held in the Sanctuary. Childcare is available in the nursery for our youngest children (4 and under) in the nursery.


Wiogora School of Wonder & Wisdom
Mixed Ages, Summer and Seasonal Programs
Wiogora School of Wonder & Wisdom creates a unique experience to enhance imagination, creativity, teamwork, & life skills. Young Scholars are sorted into four special Hogwarts-style houses, play Quidditch, mix potions, and compete for house points. Inspired by the Harry Potter books of J.K. Rowling, our program guides scholars to discover their own mysterious power in Wiogora and live it in the outside world. Costume challenges, assemblies & parties, age appropriate activities, classes, quests, and house time all create the feel of being in the wonderful world of Harry Potter.