Children's Religious Education at Prairie UU Society
Regular RE classes have begun for the year - but don't let that stop you from checking us out. Our classes are designed to add new people as they arrive and we would be happy to meet your family! See our exciting curriculum descriptions below.
Mark your Calendars!
Mystery Friends in April - Mystery Friends is Prairie's annual letter exchange program. You'll be paired with a new friend and together you will exchange letters with a mystery pair. On the last Sunday you'll find out your partner pair and get to play games and share lunch together!
April 9th - Mystery Friends Kick-Off - Week 1
April 16th - Mystery Friends - Week 2
April 23rd - Mystery Friends - Week 3
April 30th - Mystery Friends - Week 4 - Big Reveal Party!
The religious education program at Prairie involves children in a wide variety of activities, meant to make learning exciting and enjoyable. Children are full participants in the program, sharing their ideas and opinions, and using their creativity. The program includes several different types of experiences:
We believe that each and every
person is important.
We believe that all people should
be treated fairly.
We believe that our churches are
places where all people are accepted and where we keep on learning together.
We believe that each person must
be free to search for what is true and right in life.
We believe that everyone should
have a vote about the things that concern them.
We believe in working for a
peaceful, fair and free world.
We believe in caring for our planet Earth.
Religious Education Classes 2016-2017
We use curricula that covers our Unitarian Universalist prinicples and
heritage, our religious sources (world religions), and social and
environmental justice. We also use curricula from Our Whole Lives, an
age-appropriate human sexuality course developed by experts from both the
Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ.
Classes for 2016/2017
NURSERY - PRE-K
Caregiver: Faith Harrison
For our youngest learners we focus on building a trusting community. We want our children to feel safe and secure during their
time at Prairie while at the same time having lots of fun! Our childcare workers strive to introduce UU values through play and problem solving.
"Prairie Play" - Join us for our version of the popular UU curriculum 'Spirit Play'. This story based, Montessori-style program will highlight our innate desire to make sense of the world around us through stories that come from our various sources and traditions. Students will feel empowered to 'do their work' each day in a center-based environment as they engage with big questions. Teachers will facilitate wondering in the context of strengthening both interpersonal and intra-personal skills.
2ND & 3RD GRADE
Teachers: Paula Pachciarz, Maya Hayslett, Rebecca Strome, Linda Sheehy, Barbara Chatterton
"Harry & UU" - This wildly popular social action curriculum is based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (though students and teachers do not need to be familiar with the stories to fully participate). The class forms Dumbledore's Army and fights seven real-world Horcruxes, such as Illiteracy, Hunger, Poverty, Animal Cruelty and more! Students will achieve tangible results on real problems facing the world. Students will create wands, participate in potions class, and even play Quidditch as they work together to make the world a better place.
4TH & 5TH GRADE
Teachers: Karen Deaton, Carl Wacker, Deesa Pence, Rick Ruecking
"Jedi Academy" - The force is strong with this curriculum. Students will work on self-development and mindfulness training exercises in this exciting program. Padawans will be rewarded for their introspection and dedication to development in the the five training categories of Skill, Senses, Courage, Insight and Spirit. The focus is on a development of mindfulness, peace and justice. Though based on the mythic "Star Wars Saga", students and teachers do not need to know the stories to fully participate.
6TH - 8TH GRADE
Teachers: Robin Proud & Molly Plunkett
Our middle school students will experience a student-led social justice project and discussion course. In this class students will collaborate with teachers to determine a social justice issue and develop a plan to impact this issue through their combined efforts. What will each class look like? Well this is up to the interests and interpretation of our students. Baking, crafting, discussions and more - all to make an impact on our society and put our UU principles into action!
9TH - 12TH GRADE
Teachers: Rachel Long & Barb Park
Our high school students will participate in a rich discussion course titled Compass Points (Author: Gaia Brown and Michelle Richards) Compass Points will lead its participants to discover what they believe about life's big questions; acquire enough background in Unitarian Universalist history, polity and theology that they can know and express what Unitarian Universalism stands for; and understand that religious liberty is a hard-won legacy that continues to need protection.
Workshop & Principal Action Days!
This year we will use the LAST Sunday of each month to delve deeper into service to our community. Instead of going to our separate classes, students of all ages will gather together to meet a guest speaker who will speak to us about a specific social justice issue. After meeting with our guest, students will have lunch together and then work on service projects. Monthly issues for 2016/2017 are:
September - Voting
October - Community Beautification
November - Displacement, homelessness & refugees
December - Intergenerational friendships
January - Hunger
February - Literacy
March - Gun Safety & Regulations
April - Environmentalism
Parents are encouraged to spend some child-free time in Madison after service on Workshop Sundays - students may stay until 1:30. This program is free for families who are paid/registered in our program. If you are not registered we offer pay-as-you-go options for these events to cover lunch and materials. Pre-registration for these events is required. You can register by emailing Holly Tellander at email@example.com.
Several of our Sunday services each year are intergenerational, designed to fully engage both children and adults. These services are often arranged around holidays, and can include crafts, dance, music, skits and readings. Children often participate in presenting or even leading these services, which are among our most enjoyable Sunday programs. During these
services there are no regular RE classes and infant care is provided downstairs.
Special All Ages Events
Several times during the school year, Prairie hosts a social event open to all RE participants in grades K-12 and their invited guests. Keep an eye on the calendar to join us for one of these fun events!
Fall Frolic - The Fall Frolic is a great chance to come together after the long summer and kick off the new year in a fun way. This year Prairie RE has rented "The Pontoon Porch" for a cruise around Lake Monona! Seating is limited to the first 35 participants - and cost is only $5 per person! Tipping is encouraged - as we are receiving an AMAZING gift at this price! We will take a two hour cruise, with the possible option to swim. Join us for a picnic lunch afterwards. You can register by emailing Holly Tellander, DRE at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Wintering - Our winter event is always a lot of fun. Past events have included sledding, snow fort making or tubing. A poll is usually taken in the fall to help plan for the coming winter. Keep an eye out on the calendar - or register to get on our event email list so you don't miss this great event.
Spring Retreat - You won't want to miss Prairie's Annual All-Ages Congregation Retreat, a fun weekend for kids and their families. Games, events and lots of great company make this a wonderful bonding experience for Prairie members & friends of all ages!
Other special activities
“Nifty Gifty” One Sunday in December students make craft gifts for friends and family using simple materials, assisted by some of our more artistic members.
“Mystery Friends” In early spring students exchange letters for four weeks with Prairie adults. They don't know who their partner is at the start, but they usually figure it out by the time everybody guesses during the party at the end!