OWL: Our Whole Lives
Our Whole Lives, commonly referred to as “OWL,” is a comprehensive human sexuality education curriculum for ages kindergarten through adult. We offer classes for the various age levels at different times.
Its purpose is to create a positive, healthy learning experience with open communication about sex and sexuality. Although it was created by two churches, it is scientifically based and medically sound, not religious in nature! OWL encourages participants to self-reflect on what is right and healthy for themselves, according to their own faith principles and sense of morality.
OWL is composed of several age levels, each with its own developmentally appropriate content. For example, very young participants might be learning the correct names for their body parts, while teens are learning about methods of birth control, and the adults are discussing media messages about sex and gender.
The age levels are:
- grades K-1
- grades 4-6
- grades 7-9
- grades 10-12
- young adults
At Community Church, we often combine the young adult and adult classes. Various classes are offered at different times or in varying frequencies; please contact Brennan Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about what’s next on the OWL calendar.
Why learn about sex in church?
- Many schools do not offer comprehensive, up-to-date, or accurate information on sexuality, pregnancy, or sexually transmitted infections that can help young people make safer choices. Many adults grow up without the benefit of this information. Making scientifically accurate sexual health information freely available saves lives!
- We believe that sex is a natural part of life, and its discussion and exploration should be a positive experience, free from fear and judgment. Creating a safe space for participants to ask questions, voice concerns, and learn from one another helps foster self-worth, self-respect, and self-confidence that can last a lifetime.
- The OWL curriculum includes information and discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all participants, and helps expand our capacity for compassion and understanding. In OWL class, no one is “broken” or “wrong” for who they are or whom they love.
- Our mission calls us to work for a fair and just society for all; OWL reminds us that sex and gender have often played a role in oppression, violence, and injustice, and we cannot address these without a free and open discussion of the root causes.
What goes on in an OWL class?
Each age level’s curriculum is broken down into a series of weekly workshops, each centered on a specific topic. While the content may vary by age level, the way we explore it doesn’t! Any given class may include a discussion session, Q&A (with a chance to submit questions anonymously), informational videos, interactive activities or games, and even arts and crafts!