Children’s and Youth Religious Education
The Unitarian Society of New Haven (USNH) provides an inspiring and engaging religious education program for children of all ages. We offer Sunday classes for children in preschool through high school focused on age-appropriate exploration and expression of oneself, the world, Unitarian Universalism and world religions (nursery care for babies and toddlers is also provided). We also offer a variety of age-specific and multi-generational social events, social action projects, and worship opportunities for both our congregation and the public. Scroll down to see brief descriptions of our classes for various ages, and check our website regularly to see what’s going on in our CYRE program!
Click here for the registration form: CYRE Registration 2012-2013
The Read For Rheylene initiative wrapped up this past Sunday, April 21st. We had over half of our young people participate as readers and fund raisers. Many of our adults sponsored readers, and together, we raised over $600 towards the cost of Rheylene’s continued education. Prohibitively expensive school fees pose a major obstacle to thousands of Philippine children, even those that attend public schools, but now, thanks to the efforts of our young UU’s, her elementary education will continue unabated. Getting to know Rheylene through letters and photos has been a wonderful experience for our children, and they look forward to expanding their knowledge of international Unitarian Universalism as we recommit to following Rheylene’s success for years to come.
Children and Youth Religious Education Course Descriptions
The Children’s and Youth Religious Education program is offered every Sunday from September – June during both morning services and in the evening. Program times are:
9:15am—10:30am. Preschool through 3rd Grade
11:15am—12:30pm Preschool through high school
6:00pm—8:00 pm Grades 9-12 YRUU (Youth Group)
Our Whole Lives, the UU values-based human sexuality class will be offered during the 2012-2013 CYRE year to youth in grades 4-6 and 8-10. Classes will begin in January and will be offered on Sundays, during the first service and in the afternoon, depending on grade level. Please call 203-288-1807, ext. 203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll in this informative, essential class.
Sunday Morning Classes
Nursery for Infants and Toddlers
Nursery for infants is available from 9:15am—12:30pm each Sunday. The nursery is staffed by trained providers and is a warm and welcoming place.
Preschool (3 & 4 year olds)
This full-year curriculum celebrates the wondrous qualities of children and the animals, objects, and people around them. Provides preschoolers with experiences and opportunities to grow in trust and caring and to develop their self-identity and sense of connection with all of life.
Kindergarten through 5th Grade
Children’s Chapel—Once each month, we will hold a Children’s Chapel for children in the Kindergarten through 5th grades. We intend for our children to learn and enjoy the process and elements of worship, through sharing joys and sorrows, meditative readings, exploration of the seven UU principles, interactive activities and occasional guest speakers on social justice matters. We welcome parents to join us!
Wonderful Home (K-1st Grade)—A synthesis of two UU curricula: Creating Home and Wonderful Welcome. We explore belonging and the roles each of us plays in our family home, faith home and classroom home. We also offer children safe, positive and intentional ways to relate to one another, the people in their families, and the world around them as they investigate how they use gifts they can’t see or touch to welcome others into their lives, such as friendship, hospitality and fairness.
UU Superheroes (2nd-3rd Grade)—Engages in songs, games, and dramatizations in order to teach students that great things can be accomplished by imperfect people. UU Super Heroes includes the stories of real Unitarian, Universalist or UU “Super Heroes” such as Sophia Fahs, Henry David Thoreau, Pete Seeger, King John Sigismund, Hon. P.T. Barnum, Beatrix Potter and even Superman, Christopher Reeves. Many of the stories begin at childhood, telling the tale of people who have humble beginnings and who make mistakes, just as we all do.
Love Connects US and Windows and Mirrors (4th-5th Grade)— Love Connects Us celebrates important ways Unitarian Universalists live our faith in covenanted community. Moved by love and gathered in spirit, we embrace our responsibility toward one another and the world at large. We encourage one another’s search for truth and meaning. We strive to be active in peace-making and other efforts to improve our world.. Windows and Mirrors shows that, in spirit, we embrace the contribution of diversity to our collective ability to pursue truth, fairness, justice and love. In practice, however, we often fail to embrace all the experiences and viewpoints in our communities as respectfully or as wholly as we might. This requires acute self-examination.
Middle School (11:15am only)
Heeding The Call (6th-7th Grade)—Heeding the Call is a social justice curriculum that not only explores linked oppressions in our society, but also encourages participants towards personal growth in values that counteract the marginalization of others. Workshops on empathy, courage, abundance, joy, and other qualities ask participants to recognize how these standards can be tools for justice. Additionally, the program includes more concrete tools, such as suggestions on how to be a good ally and tips on the language of conflict resolution. True stories of courage, sacrifice and collaboration, role-plays, games, and a program-long justice project will feed youth’s rising realization that as people of faith we are all called to love justice—not just with our words, but also with our deeds.
Affirmations Year: A “Coming of Age” Program (8th Grade)—A special year-long coming of age course created especially by the Unitarian Society of New Haven. 8th graders are encouraged to fully engage in their own free and responsible search for truth and meaning as well as develop their personal understandings and connections to UU. As a capstone experience, the class attends a study trip to Boston, MA, to see the headquarters of the UUA and other monuments of our faith. For the 2012-2013 year our eighth graders have organized themselves into the KST (Kids’ Service Team) and have been involved in a wide range of projects including classroom support, cooking for Abraham’s tent, and working locally to understand and advocate for restaurant workers’ rights.
9th – 12th Grade (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm )
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)—Comprised of high school age youth who gather weekly for worship, fun, social action, and deepening relationships. It is an ongoing group that seeks to foster spiritual depth, clarify both individual and universal religious values and create a peaceful community on Earth. A part of the UU movement, this group welcomes all high school students in our faith community.
Youth Choir—For children of all ages, conducted by Linda Pawelek, our Director of Music.