Middle School Presentations

Overview

The Mission

The Respect Life Office champions Church teaching regarding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. As a part of the mission of the office, all presentations for students and faculty are provided free of charge.


Counteract the Culture

Our culture and our media, particularly social media are saturated with the promotion of all forms of sexual activity as “positive” and synonymous with “self discovery.” Unfortunately, inundated with our culture’s messages on sex and “love”, experimenting with sexual activity can begin as early as the 5th grade.

The variety of grade and middle school presentations aim to counter these messages with medical, ethical and theological truths about the dignity of the human person, the culture, life, love and relationships. All of these presentations encourage young people to embrace the beauty and freedom of God’s plan for their lives, and to be empowered to be agents of change to restore the ‘culture of death’ to a ‘culture of life.’

That is not all…

In addition to the listed presentations, and upon request, the Respect Life office provides customized presentations on life issues topics as needed. These customized presentations can be requested for a particular grade level(s) or for a faculty seminar/retreat. The Respect Life Office is also available to provide classroom presentation assistance or retreat assistance for life issues topics as needed.

The Respect Life office has an electronic library of over 1000 articles, journals, research and various other resources. These materials are available to the schools, and can make strong supplements to curriculum on the biology of the human person, theology of the body, dignity of life, historical significance of abortion etc. These resources can also be strong guides for school administration and faculty when it comes to navigating challenging life issues as they arise in the schools.

 

FAQs

Q: How much does it cost to host a presentation for students or faculty?

There is no charge to the school. Presentations are provided free of charge as a part of the mission of the Respect Life office to champion education on the Church’s teaching regarding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

Q: Our school uses the Theology of the Body curriculum. What is the benefit of scheduling a presentation through the Respect Life office?

These presentations supplement Theology of the Body principles with more medical information and explanations of the physical consequences of inappropriate sexual experimentation prior to marriage.

Q: Can my school’s administration, faculty or staff review the content and curriculum of the presentations prior to the scheduled date of the presentation?

The Respect Life office will gladly accommodate the administration, faculty and staff’s requests to review the content and curriculum of the scheduled presentations.

Q: Does the Respect Life office travel outside of the Denver metro area to lead presentations?

The Respect Life Office does travel outside of the Denver metro area for presentations. Depending on a number of factors, which include distance and weather, the Respect Life office may need to make additional plans for lodging accommodations. That being the case, it is in the best interest of schools located furthest outside of the metro area to submit requests for presentations as far in advance as possible.

Q: Many of the parents at our school speak only Spanish. How can the Respect Life office support our school’s need for bilingual presentations to our patents?

As needed, a special parent night can be arranged where explanations are given to the parents in regards to the information that will be explained to their students. On that night, please allow extra time for an interpreter to translate all materials. Each venue will need to supply a trained translator for this evening.

Q: How does my school schedule a presentation with the Respect Life Office?

Schedule a presentation online through our website! In addition, scheduling can still be done through the Respect Life Program Coordinator via phone at 303-742-0828 ext. 1193 or via email at aforster@ccdenver.org.

Q: What other support can the Respect Life Office provide to my school?

In addition to the listed presentations, and upon request, the Respect Life office provides customized presentations on life issues topics as needed. These customized presentations can be requested for a particular grade level(s) or for a faculty seminar/retreat. The Respect Life Office is also available to provide classroom presentation assistance or retreat assistance for life issues topics as needed.

The Respect Life office has an electronic library of over 1000 articles, journals, research and various other resources. These materials are available to the schools, and can make strong supplements to curriculum on the biology of the human person, theology of the body, dignity of life, historical significance of abortion etc. These resources can also be strong guides for school administration and faculty when it comes to navigating challenging life issues as they arise in the schools.

Presentation Specific Questions

8th Grade: Life Issues

Q: What are the four lessons that are covered in the full day retreat?

The day begins with an overview of embryology and early human development. Then, the day transitions in an age-appropriate explanation of the history of abortion in the US as well as an overview of both the surgical and chemical methods and the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of abortions (no graphic images are ever used). After a lunch break, the retreat moves into education on the current STD epidemic and transmissibility vs. chastity and healthy choices. The final lesson of the day focuses on the value and dignity of every life – including those with disabilities and disorders. Before the retreat officially concludes, the students are given an opportunity to sign a chastity commitment card. Funny and thought provoking DVDs and YouTube videos are used throughout the presentation. If possible, the retreat can be presented to the girls and boys on separate days. It is recommended that a parent meeting is held prior to this retreat in order that the parents have an opportunity to review the content, and ask any questions.

Q: Is it appropriate to talk about abortion and STDs with 8th grade students?

Our culture and our media, particularly social media, are saturated with the promotion of all forms of sexual activity as “positive” and synonymous with “self discovery.” Unfortunately, inundated with our culture’s messages on sex, experimenting with sexual activity can begin as early as the 5th grade.

Our mission is to counter the messages of our culture with truth spoken in love that embraces the beauty and freedom of sex within the lifelong sacrament of marriage, and communicates to young people the proven painful, heart breaking and life altering consequences that come from sex outside of it.

Q: Can parents also attend this retreat with their student?

Prior to a “Life Issues” retreat, the Respect Life office strongly recommends organizing a parent meeting in order that parents have an opportunity to review the content and ask any questions, but our office does not recommend that parents also attend this retreat. With parents physically present at the retreat, students tend to be more embarrassed to participate or ask genuine questions out of a heightened sense of self-consciousness.

Q: I understand that a parent meeting is important to hold before this retreat, but how does the Respect Life office speak sensitively to parents about “Life Issues?”

God made us out of love and for love. As our Creator, He knows best what will make us most happy in this life and the next. Our office aims not to present as judges, but to lovingly offer the most perfect way for obtaining happiness when it comes to our sexuality as given to us by God, and to uplift the beauty of sex that is free, total and faithful within the sacrament of marriage.

Q: Where does a “Life Issues” retreat take place?

These retreats are held on-site at the school that has scheduled the presentation. As the day is designed to be a retreat, it can be conducive to hold this event outside of the typical classroom setting, and in a large parish hall. If this is not possible, designate a classroom space that will fit all of the students.

 

7th Grade: Chastity 101

Q: How is “Chastity 101” different from the curriculum already covered in Theology of the Body?

“Chastity 101” touches more deeply on the principles that are introduced in Theology of the Body. This presentation also reinforces concrete reasons why chastity should be embraced at a young age.

5th Grade: Bridge to Adulthood & Our Changing Bodies

Q: What does a girl do if she doesn’t have a mother to attend this program with her? What does a boy do if he doesn’t have a father to attend this program with him?

If it is not possible for a girl to attend this program with her mother or for a boy to attend with his father, the girl or boy is welcome to attend with another parent that is available (i.e. a mother may attend the program with her son). That way, the student is still able to attend the program, and benefit from hearing from their peers’ parents. If the other parent is not able to attend, a girl may also attend the program with a motherly figure like a grandmother, aunt or adult sister, and a boy may attend the program with a fatherly figure like a grandfather, uncle or adult brother.

Q: How do I promote this event to the parents? Does the Respect Life office provide promotional materials that we can send to our parents?

These nights are most easily promoted through the 5th grade teachers. The Respect Life Office can also provide a generic template that can be redesigned with school specific information.

Q: I have additional questions that were not answered on the website.

Contact the Respect Life Office’s Program Coordinator directly via phone at 303-742-0828 ext. 1193 or via email at aforster@ccdenver.org.

Presentations

Featured Faculty Seminar…

Understanding Your Student’s Spiritual Gifts

As educators, you already know that each of your students is unique – in temperament, culture, family background, learning style, socioeconomic status, faith base and the list goes on. There is another rich dimension of uniqueness to your students – their spiritual gifts (based off the motivational gifts from Romans 12).

This understanding is crucial for educators because a student’s set of spiritual gifts strongly influences the way the student thinks, acts, leads, works with others and even the way the student is best motivated in the classroom. A working knowledge of these spiritual gifts empowers teachers with another tool for understanding and meeting the distinct challenges and dynamics of their classrooms.

 
 
 

5th Grade Offerings

“Our Changing Bodies” is an evening program for boys and their fathers, which includes information about physical and emotional changes, hygiene, character development, behavior control, healthy diet and exercise, purity and respect.

“Bridge to Adulthood”is the correlating evening program for girls and their mothers. It addresses all of the above from a feminine perspective, and offers additional information about fertility cycles.

7th Grade Offerings

“Chastity 101” is an in-school hour-long program for girls and boys. It is a supplement to Theology of the Body for Middle School. It provides an overview of the importance of choosing a chaste lifestyle, and provides more medical information and explanations of the physical consequences of inappropriate sexual experimentation prior to marriage.

8th Grade Offerings

“Life Issues” is a full day retreat format for both boys and girls. It is broken down into four lessons, which aim to prepare the students for the aggressive ‘anti-life’ culture they will soon face in high school. The retreat is dynamic, positive and from a Catholic perspective.

Other Middle School Offerings

“Discover & Understand Your Spiritual Gifts” is a program based upon the seven motivational gifts from Romans 12. When we understand our gifts, we have a better understanding of why we think and act the way we do, and how these gifts affect our relationships.

This half-day program includes a personal gift assessment and an overview of the gifts with a breakdown of the strengths and weakness of each gift as well as how Christ functioned in these gifts while He was here on earth.

“Pro-Life Boot Camp” is a high-energy event that is great for a school assembly or youth group. It aims to equip students with the medical truths of the continuous development of the human person (beginning at conception), and the harmful physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of abortion (graphic images are never used). Students will leave the boot camp strengthened to articulate their pro-life views, advocate for life, and best counsel a schoolmate, cousin or friend facing an unplanned pregnancy.

“Power of Prayer & Actions Students Can Take in Pro-Life Action” is a program for students, but it also is a powerful event to invite parents to. It strengthens students to take action for life with a special emphasis on the most important weapon we can take into the battle, prayer.

Schedule a Presentation