Religious Exploration Reflections – June 2015

Core values about sharing and giving are values that all of us would like to pass on to our children and grandchildren. But how can you instill those principles in today’s fast-paced, social media–driven world?

I have been looking into curriculum choices for next year through the UUA website.  Because of the work that the children have done this past year and the work they will continue to do next year, and most importantly, building on the interests of the children, I found a curriculum that I found interesting and one that includes outside activities from the regular Sunday morning.

The UUA has suggested that the program Learning to Give, though not a UUA developed curriculum, can teach the Seven Principles of our faith within their lessons.

The Learning to Give program defines philanthropy as giving, serving, and taking action for the common good. The definition includes the traditional giving and extends the definition to cover volunteer work and social activism. A key element is the voluntary participation of others acting for the common good.

Research indicates that children learn the value of philanthropic behavior through

  • Modeling: By observing voluntary behavior intended to help others modeled by their primary caregiver, teacher, or religious leader.
  • Cognitive Learning: When explicitly informed by a knowledgeable adult about philanthropy, its benefits, and the causes and effects of philanthropic behavior.
  • Experiential Learning: Opportunities to engage in giving and serving activities.

Children and youth benefit from involvement in service and giving activities that are directly linked to the teaching and practices of their faith and religious values. The “faith factor” has been identified as a factor having a positive influence on all kinds of secular philanthropy, particularly in the areas of high risk youth.

I think that our children will increase their awareness of philanthropy and will learn more about how they can make a difference by caring and helping with causes important to them.

Please take a look at Learning to Give, at and let me as well as members of the Religious Education committee know your thoughts and suggestions on this curriculum for next year.