Welcome to East Shore Families where Sundays are the best day of the week!
East Shore Kids at ESUC exists to nurture children and their families so that we can listen, experience, and be transformed in a loving community. Using a child and youth centered approach, gathering in small groups, we engage in an uncovering of shared values, deeper reflection, exploration of beliefs, and sharing within a community of peers and mentors. Learning experiences emphasize practical skills for changing the world alongside spiritual and emotional wellbeing. All of our kids community members, infants through high school, build loving agency to live UU values through love, community, justice, and spirituality.
We welcome children and families of all kinds – of all races, genders, abilities, and faith backgrounds. What emerges is a sense of belonging, a commitment to justice and an open, respectful questioning of others and oneself. Many youth graduate from our PreK-12th Grade programs identifying as Unitarian Universalists.
We are available to work with you and your family on spiritual needs, inclusion issues, or any faith development questions. There are several ways for kids to engage at East Shore. The ages listed are recommendations, not a hard rule. We want kids to be in the environment that is best for them. We can’t wait to meet you and get to know your family!
Engage with our congregation. Explore the programs below. Come and see how it’s done.
All kids attending Sunday School will need to check in at the kiosk when they get to church. You can make check-in fast and easy by registering your child-in advance. When you arrive, head to East Shore Kids Kiosk to check in your family. We ask that you complete a new family registration form so that we can get to know you and your child. We’ll then get your child checked in, answer any questions, and direct you to your child’s class. If we need to contact you for any reason during the service, we’ll use the number provided to call or text you.
To best serve your family, personal information such as birth dates and allergies are collected. This information will be entered into our secure database and will not be shared with third parties. This information is used to better equip us to serve your child, ensure safety, and provide the best possible experience.
Check-in begins 15 minutes prior to the worship service start time. We use a secure online check-in system.
Children of any age are welcome to attend worship service with their families.
Worship is a sacred and powerful way to nurture our faith community and values. We have busy bags with books and coloring activities in the Sanctuary foyer, and an activity table and rug in the Sanctuary. There is an additional play area in the Administration building if you wish to have your children remain in your care.
Registration is now open for the 2023-2024 Youth & Children’s small groups. Please visit this link to register your child. You do not have to be a member or pledging friend to register.
We ask parents to register their kids and youth (ages 0-18) for East Shore programming each year! This is so good! It will:
- Help staff to plan lessons and purchase supplies that are tailored to the group
- Guarantees that you will receive the information and invites to programming and events for your children
- Make sure all of your family’s information is up-to-date in our system each year
Please register all the children and youth in your family that might want to participate — whether they would want to participate weekly or for just a few events during the year, this information is vital to our planning! Once registered, you will be added to our newsletter and announcements list.
Our programs have no cost or tuition fee directly associated with them. However, we are a small non-profit whose primary source of income comes from pledging friends and members of the congregation. As you become a part of the East Shore UU community, consider offering, as you’re able, in-kind donations or becoming a pledging friend or member.
INFANT AND ELEMENTARY
Little Uu’s Early Learning are creating…new pathways and foundations for their lives! (Infants-Pre-K)
In Early Learning, we offer a fun, nurturing, safe place for your child to learn about values and spiritual practices while experiencing a loving community. We do this through sacred stories, play, crafts, games, music, and more.
Discovery Year Lower Elementary are discovering…how to create lasting connections! (Grades K-3)
In Lower Elementary, we offer small group learning environments to enrich and continue the faith development that adults experience in the worship service, only its presented in an age-appropriate way! There are interactive stories, song sharing circles, making lasting friendships, and small group experiences to help your children connect with a loving community.
Stepping Stones Upper Elementary are stepping…into a greater sense of self! (Grades 4-6)
In Upper Elementary, we build on our foundations of Unitarian Universalist values with rich and creative learning environments. We focus on developing last friendships, articulating our values, and building community through developmentally-appropriate small group experiences.
MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL
Middle school and high school kids are invited to attend worship with their families. There are also opportunities to engage in serving with elementary age kids and in worship, helping in the kitchen, and participating in worship leadership.
YES-UU Jr. High Youth are exploring….their spirituality and community!
Junior high youth ages 12-14 are invited to join the Youth Exploring Spirituality Youth Group! Youth programs include a variety of curricula to develop a great sense of self and connect with your values in service to yourself and the greater good. Jr. High youth typically participate in Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education and Coming of Age youth development programs. Following Coming of Age, our children are typically members of ESUC and friends are always invited to join!
YUUP High School Youth are becoming…. who they want to be in the world!
Young Unitarian Universalist Project is a safe and encouraging place for high school students to meet, engage with their values, and contribute to the ESUC vision and mission of an awesome and inclusive community. At this time in their lives, youth have the need to form community, explore their values, and deepen their engagement. YUUP rotates programming between games, snacks, field trips and youth conferences in the region. Kids are welcome to join for some or all events and friends are always invited to join!
PLEASE SIGN UP FOR EAST SHORE FAMILIES EMAILS
East Shore Families leaders send out weekly e-mails to help parents engage their kids, these messages review the previous Sunday’s message, give the plan for the Sunday to come, and include upcoming dates and events of interest.
For more information, please email [email protected]
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Leadership & Volunteering
From working with children, to staffing events, all of your community members can find a way to contribute to our community. East Shore Kids programs are created in the spirit of community ministry, with staff and congregants partnering to lead and develop children and youth programs. Be sure to meet our wonderful staff and get in touch with them to start your UU journey at East Shore.
The greatest volunteer need is in our Sunday programs. As an East Shore Kids or Youth Advisor volunteer, you will be part of a teaching team of four people to lead small groups of kids, build community, and encourage confidence and self-awareness. The time commitment is approximately two Sundays per month.
East Shore Kids and Youth Programs are supported by the Religious Education team, organized through the shared ministry model of UU congregations, and honoring the UUA’s youth safety and inclusion guidelines. Additional information, assessment, and training will be required to complete the volunteer application process.
CHILDREN’S SAFETY IS A PRIORITY
All our staff and volunteers are trained and background check, in accordance with our Safe Congregations policy and background checked. We are committed to a providing a fun, safe, and secure environment for your child to learn and grow!
Read more in our Safe Congregations Handbook
Here at East Shore, we value the personhood of everyone who walks through our doors. In that, we must also be intentional in making our multigenerational community safe. Our congregation cannot ignore this reality. In love, we must respond with direct, positive, and preventative actions to build and sustain our congregation as a safe place for all children, youth and adults. We do this through Safe Congregation Training and Development.
Creating a Safe Congregation community at East Shore includes:
- A screening process to assure that all persons working with children and youth can provide a healthy and safe place.
- A training component to build awareness and provide skills that help us be sensitive and alert to abusive situations and an appropriate loving response.
- An expectation that all those who provide care for those under 18 will undergo in-person training and development at the congregation.