The fifth circle of hell; a grotesque wasteland where overworked teachers and posers alike turn defenseless 12 year olds into vapid shells of their former selves. After about 3 years of this methodical torture, these poor souls are to be shipped off to the ninth circle of hell (otherwise known as high school).
Dante: “And now we see the fifth circle of hell. Note the acne, the ‘bedhead’ and Monster energy drinks.”
6th & 7th Graders attend small groups on Sunday mornings during both the 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM worship services. 2018-19 is their Lodestone Year. The Middle School years are a time of intense change for parent(s) and for their kids. They really aren’t children anymore, yet they aren’t quite teens yet either. In the eyes of young teens, parents will be morphing from beloved guides for all things, to imperfect, sometimes even hated, adults who get in the way of freedom and autonomy. The parent role needs to evolve from parenting into coaching. Each new issue will have to be negotiated. The Lodestone curriculum will help navigate these waters by providing opportunities for conversation and dialogue both within the family and with other parents of middle schoolers.
8th Graders attend their small group from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on Sunday nights. Our oldest middle schoolers participate in Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) – an inclusive and developmentally appropriate curriculum that addresses sensitive topics that are excluded from many sexuality curricula. The proactive goal of the program is to help our youth become sexually healthy people who feel good about themselves and their bodies, remain healthy, and build positive, equitable loving relationships in preparation for their high school years.
Our Junior Youth Group (JYG) is a monthly gathering of our middle school youth. Socialization among this age group is an important part of youth’s growth. Middle school youth have a very strong need to be part of a social group, and that this is particularly important for youth who are shy, or who feel like targets of bullying. These Friday night JYG meetings include activities that are varied enough to appeal to a variety of youth (playing games, talking, working on social justice projects), so that youth may share their particular talents, values and interests and discover other youth who share them — creating another cohort of friendships to help these young people navigate this sometimes-bumpy journey through adolescence.