Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education program.
Our Whole Lives
This year’s Grade 5/6 OWL Program (2023)
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education • GRADES 5 & 6
with certified OWL facilitators Lynn Rosenbaum and Stephen Garschina-Bobrow
- Mandatory Parent & Child Orientation – Sunday, January 29, 2023; 3:45 to 5:45 pm (120 min);
- 10 Youth Sessions – Sundays, 4:15 to 5:45 pm; February 05, 2023 through April 30, 2023 (90 min);
- in the event of any class cancellations, two potential make-up dates are scheduled through May 14, 2023;
- Detailed Calendar Grade 5/6 Program 2023
- In-person (Medford – see below for COVID protocols)
Limited to 16 Youth, grades 5 or 6 (2022/2023 school year); we will seek to create a gender-diverse class.
Sanctuary UCC and Hillside Community Church are proud to offer to the wider community Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive sexuality education class for 5th and 6th graders. The program equips young people of all genders with accurate, age-appropriate information and skills to help them lead sexually healthy, positive, and responsible lives. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL addresses a wide range of topics including puberty, body image, relationships, social media/internet, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexually transmitted infections, contraceptives, and cultural influences on sexuality. Through engaging activities and discussions, OWL helps young people clarify their own values and to build their interpersonal skills. Our Whole Lives is used nationwide in a variety of community settings including schools, youth-serving agencies, and faith-based communities. Although developed by two progressive, faith-based organizations (UCC and UU denominations), OWL is secular in content and contains no religious doctrine*.
Students’ registration requires the following:
- attendance at mandatory parent/child orientation meeting on Sunday, January 08, 2023, 3:45 to 5:45 pm
- receipt of parent approval form following orientation (refunds will be provided should your family decide this is not the program for you)
- proof of Student Vaccination
- signed family agreement regarding COVID protocols
- Payment or payment arrangements
We ask that students commit to attending the full 10-session program.
Location: Hillside Community Church (lower level); 144 North Street, Medford, MA 02155
Registration: Registration: $350.00 for (10) ninety-minute session series; plus a materials fee of $ 10.00 and a required book, It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health ($15). An optional resource for parents is also available The Parent Guide to Our Whole Lives for K-1 and 4-6 ($15). The books can be purchased when you register and picked up at the orientation.
Scholarships and payment arrangements are available on the registration form or contact Rev. Wendy (below)
We seek to create a gender-diverse class. After your payment is received or payment arrangement made, you will be notified of your child’s spot in either the class or a waitlist. Full refunds will be made through February 07, 2023 if, following the orientation, your family determines not to proceed.
Register Here: Link to Grade 5/6 Registration/Payment Portal
Schedule: Link to the detailed schedule including make-up dates for snow and/or COVID delays
Contact: Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade: Wendy@SanctuaryUCC.org; Rev. Thomas Hathaway: firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID Protocols: (subject to change given changing CDC and local guidance)
All youth and adults participating in the program are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated
Masks are optional for all participants
Windows will remain opened for ventilation
Anyone experiencing a positive COVID-19 test or potential COVID-19 symptoms should stay home
Session Postponement due to Snow or COVID-19: If weather or an outbreak of COVID cancels any of our meeting dates, we will not move to virtual sessions (given the nature of the program). Instead, if we need to pause the program, we will return to gathering when we can do so safely. We currently have scheduled three potential make-up sessions to be added at the end of the course, if needed.
*The content of the program is based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
Meet Our Facilitators
Lynn Rosenbaum, M.Ed., M.A. has been enthusiastically facilitating Our Whole Lives for the past nine years to young people in grades 5-12 in towns throughout the Boston Metro area in both church and community settings. An experienced Health Educator, she has led workshops on a wide array of topics including mindfulness, substance abuse, sexual assault, and eating disorders. She co-authored the chapter on Sexuality in Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005) and is on the Steering Committee for the Community Health Network Coalition (CHNA17). Lynn is also a musician and dancer, and a leader of improvisational CircleSings.
Stephen Garschina-Bobrow is a father, educator, and musician who believes strongly in community. Since training in 2012, he has taught OWL for 5th/6th and 8th/9th grade students in Belmont and Arlington. A former high school Math teacher, Stephen now works in the Boston Public Schools. He has three daughters in grades 4, 11, and college, is married to a high school teacher, and raises a beloved family dog and some backyard chickens. He works towards creating a more equitable world, builds useful objects, and plays the trombone and guitar.