For years, girls and parents have been telling us that Girl Power summer camps were too short! We heard you, and started up an after school program last October. Here’s how the first three months of Girl Power After School have gone.
The first topic we explored was Gender, where we looked at media messages and talked about what the girls would like to see instead. It culminated in a letter writing campaign – some girls wrote to McDonald’s about getting rid of the distinction between girl and boy toys, while others wrote to Power Rangers to thank them for writing strong female characters. After Gender, we moved on to discussing Friendship and Girlfighting, which we will continue in the new year.
The girls also have a say on what they get to learn about, and suggested a Talent Show. After some preparation and planning, the show happened in November and was a huge success! Eleven girls performed in front of friends and family – there was acting, dancing and a funny costume or two. Girls not only performed, but emceed the show as well.
Throughout the first few months, we had 15 girls between the ages of 10-12 years old registered. In 2016, we are expanding that to include 13 years old as well.
During our first evaluation day, girls told us the following:
- 80% of girls said this program helped them make friends.
- 90% said they feel better about themselves.
- 100% of girls said Girl Power helped them realize that they are leaders.
Facilitators try to incorporate leadership opportunities in different exercises, including setting up for activities and taking notes during discussions. The long-term, pie-in-the-sky goal is for girls to “graduate” from Girl Power and take on roles facilitating the program for future 10-13 year olds.
After the break over the holidays, we’re excited to get started again on January 5th in our newly-painted purple, pink and green space!
This is a free, drop-in program with snacks and bus tickets provided. If you’re interested in signing up, please contact Sarah at 403-264-1155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.