Curricula 2015-2016

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 (ages 3-4)

Spirit Play I     The Promises
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 6 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 I, our program for 3 and 4 year olds, is the first of three Spirit Play programs. SP I focuses on the Seven UU Principles and our liturgical year through story and work time. In this class, the principles are called the “Seven Promises” and we use language children understand. Story baskets are filled with tools of exploration. Art projects are also included.


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.
Room 5 Lower Level

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.
Above Stage Classrooms through Unity Hall

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 through 8th Grade
D'oh God! 6th through 8th Grades
Youth begin in the service and leave the classroom at 11:45 AM.
Room 1 Lower Level (Mirick room)

This curriculum explores the religious themes prevalent in the popular animated comedy series, The Simpsons. Did you know that religion is discussed more often in The Simpsons than in any other network television show? Each class will include a viewing of an episode followed by discussion. Topics include prayer, morality, God, the soul, the Bible, and denominational differences. A fun way to learn more about differing religious beliefs! 

The animated show The Simpsons is unique in that its characters are often seen attending church.  In fact, religion is a dominant theme of this popular show.  The family is often seen praying to God, and the show seems to be acutely aware of the significant place religion has in the American landscape.

The show satirizes religion, but is not seen as anti-religious, as the Simpsons themselves are Christian and some are spiritual in nature. Most episodes call for a sensible, tolerant and less fanatical religious devotion.  Although the show mocks religion, it is not dismissive of faith, and has wide acceptance among those that practice religion, probably because the show targets all kinds of hypocrisies, not just religious ones.  


The Kaleidoscope Classroom
Multi Age
This class is specifically designed for children who fall on the PDD spectrum.

Class begins at 10:45 AM and lets out at 11:45 AM. Parents may choose to have their child attend the first 15 minutes of worship in the sanctuary, or they can spend that time with their child in the Parent & Child Quiet Space (The Bride’s Room # 7 on the Lower Level) before taking him or her to class.
Gather in Room 2 (by the elevator) Lower Level

First Unitarian is committed to addressing the needs of all the children in our program, and we strive to integrate children with special needs into our regular classes. If your child requires accommodations to ensure a successful experience, please let us know. We also recognize that sometimes typical classes may not be a good fit for a child. 
The Faith Development Ministries program is thrilled to offer a new special needs ministry class on Sunday mornings that will provide an alternative to traditional FDM classes. This class is for children whose needs can be better met with more consistent leadership, additional staff, a more structured space, and a smaller group size. The Kaleidoscope Classroom will provide participants with an opportunity to engage in imaginative play, creative crafts and spiritual rituals led by nurturing and committed teachers who have specific skills and experience in working with children on the spectrum. If you are interesting in signing up your child for this class please talk with Abigail Hannaford-Ricardi, our Children’s Ministries Coordinator, or include information on your child’s registration form describing your child's special needs and how we can best meet his or her needs.

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.