I want to welcome you to our Religious Exploration program here at the UU Fellowship of Bay County. Many families have joined our program because they are looking for a place for their kids to learn values without indoctrination, where they will be free to explore the Big Questions of life in a safe, accepting environment. That is what we are here for! The program for the Kids and Youth at the UU is centered around relationships and is all about showing them our Principles rather than telling them about them. As one parent put it, “they’re in school all week, let’s do something different on Sunday!” We would love for you and your family to join us on this adventure of child-directed learning.

All children and adolescents involved in any Religious Education program at UUFBC, including Youth Group, must have a current, updated, registration form filled out and on file.

A new registration form needs to be filled out annually or whenever a child’s living situation changes. Any time new people wish to attend UUFBC Religious Education classes, they can register.

Parents, children and youth do NOT need to be members of UUFBC to register for and participate in UUFBC Religious Education and Youth Group programs.

The doors for all children’s Religious Exploration programs open at 10:20, the program begins at 10:30, we ask that you

Youth – Middle School and High School

The Youth and Elementary begin service with the adults before leaving for their own class in the DREAM Building directly across from the handicapped entrance to the main building. They discuss a variety of ways a person can live the Unitarian Universalist Principles, and explore the Sources that UUs use to create our path. The Youth program is a balance between the a Unitarian Universalist curriculum, and essays written by UUs designed to help the Youth explore their own truths. Our Youth are encouraged to join the congregation if they are interested in a Service. This year, the Youth will be encouraged to get out into the community and work on service projects.

Elementary – Grades 1 through 5

The Elementary and Youth classes begin service with the adults before leaving for their own class. The Elementary class begins in the DREAM building, directly across from the handicapped entrance to the main building. Our Elementary has a fun and exciting new program this year: Spirit Play! This amazing program is biased in the Montessori style of teaching and encourages the kids to form relationships within their community, and with the stories that they will hear. The classrooms is designed to be child friendly, and to keep materials at child height. Each week, the Elementary class will have a different story basket, designed to capture their attention, and based on Unitarian Universalist stories, histories, or principles. After the story basket is completed, the children will have a time to wonder and ask questions about the story they just heard. There will then be roughly 20 minutes of work time, when the children will be given the choice to either stay in the DREAM building for more contemplative work or go to the Little Red School House (next to the DREAM building) for active projects. The children can work with any of the materials that are in the room and explore any of the stories that they have heard.

Preschool- Ages 3 through 5

Preschoolers meet in the Office at the back of the main building. They work with a young version of Sprit Play and the classroom is set up with access to art and play materials. Every Sunday the children will hear one of 6 short stories related to the UU. They will then have the opportunity to work with the art materials in the room or to play. If it is a nice day they may venture outside to explore the world.

Nursery- Ages 9months through 3 years

Our Youngest UUs meet directly across from the office in the main building. The most important part of their education is that they feel comfortable, safe, and engaged. The Nursery has a variety of toys, books, and sometimes music for these children to explore. On nice days, the kids sometimes venture out to the play area (located next to their classroom outside). There are also times when the nursery aged children enjoy taking supervised walks around the pond. Please be aware that we will make every attempt to comfort and entertain the babies in our care however some days they want their parents. If your child is crying and cannot be comforted within 10 minutes we will call you from service to assist him/her.

I hope that you will find yourself at home here as much as my family does!

Gienah Harris, Director of Religious Education

If you would like more information about our Programs, Religious Exploration office hours at the UU are Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or by appointment. You can reach Gienah by e-mail at rec@uuofbaycounty.com. You may also call the UU at (850) 615-4127.

Summer Program

Hello Parents and Welcome!

I would like to introduce you and your family to “Outside Over There” the UUFBC’s Summer program. Every Sunday from June 18-August 13 the children aged 3 years- high school will start their day in service with the adults. They will then leave together for an all ages class that explores various religions and customs from around the world. After the story the children will be given the opportunity to work with the materials in the room to further explore the ideas in the story. This class will be held in the DREAM building directly across from the handicapped entrance to the main building.

Sunday’s class will be followed by a Tuesday outing from 8:00 am-5:00pm. We will be exploring Panama City and the surrounding area. The cost for this program is a non-refundable camp registration of $40 per child. Scholarships are available. To register your child, receive a schedule, apply for a scholarship, volunteer, or if you have a question please e-mail me at rec@uuofbaycounty.com .

I am looking forward to a fun, vibrant, playful summer and hope that you will join us in making it special for everyone (adult volunteers included).

Gienah Harris, Director of Religious Education