Parents can often be at a loss trying to hold back the tide when it comes to helping their children navigate difficult topics like abortion, euthanasia, and other social issues. They may struggle to formulate cogent responses to the culture’s perspective on these topics and to present them in age-appropriate ways. Throw into the mix teaching their children to engage in dialogue with peers and eventually even teachers or professors, and what’s a parent to do? Enter: the Culture of Life Studies Program.
In 2014, American Life League launched the Culture of Life Studies Program curriculum for use in grades K-12. From their website: “The Culture of Life Studies Program strives to build a culture of life by helping students to understand the value of every human being and by inspiring a new generation of young people who will defend preborn children, respect all human beings from creation to death, and speak the truth with confidence in defense of the innocent.” Director of Outreach Mary Flores informed Live Action News that last summer, Light and Shield Ministries has since become its own organization separate from ALL.
CLSP understands that our culture will be won by instilling respect and appreciation for all human life in our young people, rather than waiting until they are adults to engage them in dialogue about anti-life messages they’ve been hearing from the culture for decades. Beyond simply “owning” pro-life perspectives for themselves, as they grow up, children must additionally be equipped to engage with and respond to the anti-life culture at large.
The program includes five series: Life Primer for grades K-3, Life Foundations for grades 4-8, and Life Quest, Life Lens, and Life Scope for high schoolers. Students begin by learning about how God creates each human being as uniquely valuable, and deserving of respect regardless of age, race, size, background, or ability. Students then grow to study age-appropriate pro-life topics in literature, history, science, and religion. In high school, students focus more on evangelization and communication through critical thinking and hands-on activities.
The program can be used by homeschoolers, private schools, or adapted as parents desire into an at-home study for children who attend public or parochial schools. All content is age-appropriate; for instance, abortion is not specifically mentioned until grades 4-8, and the emphasis, according to the website’s FAQs section, is on “what each student can do in his or her life to build a culture of life.”
The CLSP website also includes free movie and book discussion guides for different ages. Each one includes “a story summary, a culture of life theme that explores a specific pro-life message in the film, discussion questions, and suggested activities for parents to guide their children through popular media that support the culture of life.” The free downloadable movie discussion guides include the 2018 movie “Gosnell,” about Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic in Pennsylvania, as well as the “Christopher Robin” movie, “The Blind Side,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” among others. Free downloadable book discussion guides include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Giver,” “Wonder,” and “The Secret Garden.”
Editor’s Note, 8/13/19: Added comment from Mary Flores regarding Light and Shield Ministries.
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