A comprehensive sexuality education course is being offered for 8th & 9th graders in the mid-coast starting in November. This program has 25 sessions that will be offered twice a month on Sundays from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. through April at the OUT Maine office, 63 Park St. in Rockland. Lunch will be provided. Trained volunteer facilitators guide participants through an engaging curriculum that addresses topics most important to young adolescents, including those typically excluded from sexuality education and health classes. The First Universalist Church of Rockland is sponsoring this non-religious program because we recognize a real need in our community for mindful, respectful sexuality education.
There will be an information and orientation session for parents and caregivers on Sunday, October 30 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at OUT Maine. At the end of the session, parents can register their children in the program, which starts on November 13. There is a $25 fee to help defray the costs. We also try to arrange transportation if needed. Our lead facilitator is Ashby Bartke of St. George. Experts from the community will help to supplement the material.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives uses approaches that work, and is used in schools and community organization across the country. The curricula are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (PDF) 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 (SIECUS).