Life at the Crossroads (LATC) is a 30 lesson curriculum ideally designed to provide one year’s worth of weekly, 45 minute lessons. The lessons are highly interactive, incorporating games, stories, small group discussions and activities, role playing and personal-reflection journaling. LATC teaches students how to develop good character as they study the life of Jesus of Nazareth from an academic perspective. Growing in good character, students become mature persons, able to make decisions based on respect, responsibility and compassion toward themselves and others.
LATC explores the value of each person, as special individuals created by God, and from that perspective, encourages students to embrace a personal, risk avoidance strategy. The consequences of sexual activity before and outside marriage are examined and the relevance and wisdom of abstinence before marriage and monogamy after marriage – risk avoidance – are developed.
Unit 1: Relationships
Our lives are profoundly affected by our relationships—relationships with parents, siblings, other family members, friends, marriage partners, and neighbors. Some relationships are naturally a part of our lives, such as our relationships with parents and siblings, but other relationships are formed as a result of the choices we make, like our friendships and marriage partners. The types of relationships we choose can have a significant impact on the decisions we make for our lives. In this unit, students learn the importance of strong relationships, explore how to carefully choose friends, and discover how to be a friend who supports good decision-making.
Unit 2: The Character Connection
Students examine the answers to important questions that will help determine the quality of their relationships, such as: Can your friend be trusted to do what she says? Can you? Do you show respect for her and for others? Are you responsible? Are you kind? Do you treat others justly and fairly? What contribution are you willing to make to the larger community in which you live? Good character and the decision to consistently make good choices are presented as the best foundation for healthy relationships and for making wise choices in difficult situations. Students will learn what it means to act with good character and will discover that the development of this trait takes time and courage.
Unit 3: Sexuality in Perspective
Sex involves the total person—the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of one’s life. Sex in the presence of good character can create a beautiful, unbreakable bond between two people. The absence of good character can have the exact opposite effect—destroying relationships and causing physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. This unit helps adolescents evaluate the purposes of sex and the appropriate context for a sexual relationship. Sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, are addressed in detail. Students are encouraged to choose abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage as the best means for keeping relationships and physical bodies strong, and for experiencing the joys of a healthy sexual relationship in the future.
Unit 4: Life Skills
Knowledge is power. The question this unit attempts to answer is: How will you use the power of your knowledge? In the previous units, students learned about healthy relationships and good character and considered how that knowledge applies to their sexuality. Now they are given the skills and opportunity to decide how they will act on what they know, how they will handle difficult situations, and how they will make and follow through on good character-based decisions for their lives.
Unit 5: Navigating Your Future
This unit asks the question: Where will you go from here? Looking toward the future, the unit explores the courage required to act on the new knowledge gained and to follow through on decisions and make a new start. This is a very positive, encouraging unit. Through it, students examine their lives at the crossroads of decision and change, and are given confidence to navigate the future.