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At UUTC, we use the "Spirit Play" program, a Unitarian Universalist children's curriculum, for children from age four through eight. This rich and varied curriculum is modeled after Jerome Berryman's "Godly Play" method. It draws from and integrates the Montessori technique in helping the children to learn about the Spirit within and around us. The stories are told using a multisensory approach. The children are encouraged to explore the stories further through "wondering time" and creative projects. The classes begin each Sunday during the 11:00 service, after the children's message. Find out more here about Spirit Play.

3rd-5th Graders
The "Wise Phoenix" group includes 4th-8th graders. Curriculum for this program is taken largely from the Tapestry of Faith lifespan education programs provided by the UUA. The Tapestry of Faith Goals are 1. Ethical Development 2. Spiritual Development 3. UU Identity and 4. Faith Development. In Ethical Development youth explore themes such as character, universal love, social action and values. Lessons for Spiritual Development delve into themes of internal conflict, forgiveness and meditation. There are lessons designed to help youth explore their own, personal UU Identity and how this relates to virtue and sin, right and wrong, accepting consequences and what these things mean in other churches in their community and world. Faith Development explores themes such as temptation, curiosity, conscience and the Golden Rule. We use stories, role plays, discussion during our Sunday meetings. We emphasize "Faith In Action" in our lives, planning and implementing Social Action projects in our community throughout the year. Examples of curriculums used are, "Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong", "Riddle & Mystery" and "Heading the Call." In the future we hope to be able to offer the Our Whole Lives (OWL) lifespan education curriculum for grades 7-9 and 10-12, that helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about sexual health and behavior, exploring themes of self-worth, responsibility, justice and inclusivity.

A UUTC Youth Group was initiated in October of 2012 by two interested and enthusiastic volunteer parents who wanted a monthly, evening gathering for youth at the CRE program, specifically ages 10 and up. The Youth Group is in it's second year and is going strong, now lead by the Director of the CRE, Heather Layton. Activities and themes are planned with youth input and are often seasonal in nature. Some popular Youth Group gatherings have been field trip to a Corn Maze, Campfire Stories and Songs, and Youth Yoga Night, amongst many others. If you would like to have your name added to the Youth Group email list, please contact the Director of Children's Religious Exploration.

In the fall of 2013, the UUTC youth joined UU Youth from all over the USA at the fall Youth CON, or Youth Conference, often just referred to as a "CON." This Youth CON was held at the Mountain Retreat Center in Highlands, NC, www.mountaincenters.org. The Mountain Retreat Centers offers Youth CON's each fall and spring for 4th-6th grade, 7-9th grade and Senior High School. The CON's are an entire weekend of fun and learning with other UU Youth in a beautiful mountain setting. We hope our own youth can continue to attend for years to come.

For more information please contact the Director of Children's Religious Exploration.