Over the last few months, as we have been redesigning our Kids Connection spaces and rituals, we have been moved to consider how our Kids Connection program might affect our UUCM children in the long run. What will our children remember about their time in Kids Connection at UUCM? How might their memories of Kids Connection influence the people they grow up to be? To cast these questions in terms of our community-wide theme for the month of February, will experiences in Kids Connection help our children to understand how they can be carriers of justice and equity out into their worlds?
These programmatic questions cause me to reflect on how children learn about what is just, what is fair, what is equal, what is right? Certainly, there are many distinctive learning experiences that lead children toward an understanding of these issues related to justice and equity. One that seems especially resonant with what we are attempting to make happen in Kids Connection is captured in the following quote—
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.H. Jackson Brown
A very slight rewording of this quote might better reflect what we intend as outcomes in our Kids Connection setting—
Live so that when our UUCM children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of their time and experiences in Kids Connection.
Our hope is that value for, understanding of, and actions aligned with justice and equity will be learned through immersion in the just and equitable environment that is our Kids Connection program. We believe that our children will learn about justice and equity through the actual connections they make with the other children and the adults who show up to co-create Kids Connection for that week. Ideally, our children’s memories of Kids Connection will include how it felt to be in the spaces and with the people who constitute the Kids Connection program at UUCM. Justice, fairness, equity, and integrity should feel good, in the moment and as a future memory!
As I suggested in the opening sentence of this piece, we have made many changes in the physical and ritual aspects of our program over the last few months, always with an eye on helping our UUCM children internalize the principles and values that are the heart of Unitarian Universalism. Please feel free to come up to see what we have been up to. Included here are a few photos of our new room arrangements.