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Teen Programs Across the US

Provide non-formal educational opportunities for girls and young women, including work with girl guides and girl scouts and public speaking
SI Rim of the World "Every Girl Counts" programme

SI Rim of the World “Every Girl Counts” programme

Because You’re Special

Suicide, alcohol and drug use and eating disorders are increasing among teenage girls. Alcohol and drug use make girls more susceptible to sexual abuse. These issues are associated with low self-esteem among teen girls. SI Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills used a grant from the Federation to produce a series of skits for middle school girls that addressed various social issues and peer pressures, such as bullying, substance abuse and self-image. Funds were used to purchase journals for the girls, educational materials and stipends for the actors. Club members worked with the schools to organize the performances, introduce the performances and distribute educational materials following the performances. The girl participants complete evaluations. 81% of girl participants rated the program “worthwhile.”

This program you set up for the girls has changed our lives. Now whenever we get into a situation we remember what you have told us…that we should stick up for ourselves.”

A Healthy Relationship – You Deserve It

Local law enforcement, school personnel and community outreach workers confirmed that teen dating violence and lack of respect for women and girls is a serious problem among youth in the community. A culture of respect is necessary to help boys understand healthy and unhealthy relationships. SI Somerset County cultivated a culture of respect by increasing awareness of teen dating violence and providing examples of healthy relationships among children, teens, parents and educators.

Club members collaborated with the school district, community organizations and parent-teacher organizations to ensure literature was distributed in schools. They also worked to gain permission from property owners to erect road signs. The objectives were measured using a pre- and post-survey to see whether participants learned and remembered the information presented, and whether behaviors changed as a result of the presentation. Results:

  • 64% agree that they are now more careful in their dating relationships.
  • 62% pay more attention to their friends’ dating relationships.
  • 56% are now more likely to state their needs in a dating relationship.
  • 54% have since discussed healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors with others.

Girls: Rock Watcha Got

Rock Watcha Got was a day long workshop for 12 and 13 year old girls which focused on good self-esteem, goal setting, money management, nutrition and the importance of education and healthy lifestyles. Soroptimist members and community leaders facilitated the workshops. Goody bags were given with educational materials, healthy snacks, and a healthy lunch provided.

S.T.A.R.S. (Sensitivity, Tolerance, Attitude, Responsibility and Self-esteem)

Best Buy Corporation provided a $6000 Grant to S.T.A.R.S., while Elder Beerman donated their Community Days Event booklets worth $200. 11, 12, and 13 year old girls are taught personal health and lifestyle, appropriate behavior and professional abilities. The club recruited women volunteers who assisted in providing 15 sessions to teach the girls various types of non-formal education such as etiquette, fashion sense, self-esteem, posture, stress management, proper manners, self-defence, public speaking and financial independence.The project addresses physical fitness and nutritional health as well as learning skills. The girls receive Certificates of Achievement at a Graduation Ceremony followed by a celebration with refreshments and various items to raffle off. In addition, many of the girls who have matured out of the program volunteer to return as mentors.

Every Girl Counts

The goal of this program is to allow the 11, 12, and 13 year old girls to learn about themselves, prepare for secondary school, and help them focus on a confident path for the rest of their lives. With help from other community volunteers, the club has sponsored programs to increase their knowledge and practice of healthy living skills. The workshops have included: Dealing with Conflict among Peers; Building Healthy Relationships; The Dating Game (Ready or Not!); Internet Safety & Technology; and Nutrition and Fitness; CPR/First Aid; Personal Safety Awareness; Personal Hygiene. Some of the activities include: jewelry making, healthy cooking, crafting recipe boxes, Zumba dancing, yoga and bowling.113 girls signed up for this program – the club was hoping to reach at least 40! Having good role models for positive healthy living can keep some students on the right track. This program is free to all students.

Some of the girls volunteered and worked with the club on Saturdays for their Artful Bra project for Mammograms, Saturday of Service in March on Human Trafficking, and on on Rebuilding Together, a community project fixing up homes for the less fortunate. They are gaining a strong understanding of community service.

Now, the club is seeing more independent, confident attitudes and outlooks, inclusion of peers and better communication with both peers and adults. The girls have also learned to participate in programs and activities with other girls outside of their own inner circle of friends. The school and parents have given us feedback regarding the girls increased interest in other school projects, academic results and interpersonal skills building confidence and friendships outside of their immediate circle of friends. The girls themselves give us feedback through conversations and year end written reviews of the programs. Their input is very important in order for us to continue to shape the program to meet their needs.

 It makes me sad to leave middle school, knowing I have to leave EGC. (Fatima, 8th grader)

Fatima asked if she could come back to the program as a volunteer after school, as a bus comes from the high school to our school and she could be there on time.

This could be one of the best things ever that SIROW has done for our community and ourselves.” (Sue, SI club member)

Clubs :SI Cameron Park, SI Dorado Hill, SI Somerset County, SI Zanesville, OH, SI Rim of the World, PFR: 30665, 30561

SoroptiTips:

  • These programmes show how the same project architecture can be tailored to meet the individual needs of different communities, different contexts, and different participants.
  • Evaluations are the ONLY way to truly measure success and change – whether qualitative or quantitative, formal or informal, projects will never know if they have achieved their outcome goals without asking!
  • Participation is a core principle of human rights – in most of these projects, the girls themselves were consulted on course content that would make a difference to their lives, filling gaps and needs that they themselves have identified.

*This is one of the International Directors’ Picks. They say:

The variety of approaches used by the clubs in this overarching SIA project is very impressive. It is an extremely good example of how working together on one theme or topic can have real impact. This project increases our reach and our credibility to have a relevant voice on a subject as important as this”.

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