Back to School Girls' Program


Friday August 17th 2018

School is around the corner and there are many things to be excited about. Meeting new friends, the first day of school outfit, staying organized, doing homework and finding time to socialize are just a few! However, back to school isn’t fun or easy for all girls. Bullying is a serious matter, and often takes place within the school setting where girls are supposed to learn and prosper. Being a victim of bullying can often effect girls in how they interact with their peers and teachers, their grades and may even cause them to withdraw and feel isolated. Studies show that 1 out of every 4 girls face either depression, eating disorders, cutting and other kinds of mental/emotional disorders, and some experience anxiety, lack of sleep and continue to face significant pressure (Hinshaw, 2009). We believe that school should be a safe place for girls to love themselves and get excited about, and that is why we have come up with our first “Girls’ Back to school Program.”

About the ‘Back to School’ Program (B2S)

Love Our Lives’ Girls’ Back to School Program is a one-day program which focuses on getting our girls prepared for back to school using fun ways to encourage being happy and healthy. Our 4 main topics are Mindfulness, Conflict Resolution, Healthy Choices and Self-love. B2S uses the P.E.A.R. Method which is a tool used to promote Prevention, Engagement, Action and Resilience (explanation found in next section). Therefore, the B2S Program prepares and equip girls with strategies on how to make their back to school experience a positive and meaningful one.

This year we have partnered with the Louise Russo W.A.V.E. Organization and have received funding from Taking It Global and the Government of Canada.

What is the P.E.A.R. Method?

The P.E.A.R. method is a tool created by the founder to empower girls through early detection and preventative intervention that are aimed to help girls understand their self-worth and reject different forms of  bullying. The P.E.A.R. method focuses on the following:

Prevention: We use preventative methods by helping girls to learn about the tell-tell signs of bullying and its impact on their lives. We provide a space by which girls can express themselves, while teaching them how to address signs of bullying in their classrooms or among their peers.

Engagement: We provide activities and tools (such as reinforcing positive words) to help young girls engage with one another and build high self-esteem. Skills such as eye contact, public speaking, role playing and problem solving are focal points in our sessions as they allow girls to feel safe and free to express themselves while having fun!

Action: We encourage girls to be proactive and take action. By girls taking action, we provide opportunities for girls to participate in programs, become mentors and contributors to their schools and local communities. We believe that Action enables them to learn team building and leadership skills.

Resilience: Studies show that resilient youth are less likely to get involved in substance abuse involving alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, participation in gangs, or other behaviours that are harmful (Parent Action on Drugs). Resilience is the ability to bounce back and to make healthier choices when coping with challenges and difficult situations. Love Our Lives provides various tools that will enable girls to bounce back. Besides sharing their experiences, they are also able to self-identify acts of resiliency and be praised for their achievements. Bullying can take on many forms such as physical, emotional, mental and even financial. However we believe that if girls have the right tools to identify bullying and address it, they will be strong enough to reject its long term and short term effects, no matter the circumstance.

Vision & Mission

Vision: Girls will be confident and know their self-worth

Mission: Creating fun ways to be prepared and excited for the school year

Short Term and Long Term Goals:

Short Term:

  • Girls will learn fun and practical ways to stay organized and prepared for back to school
  • Create a safe place where girls can use the program as an opportunity to make new friends and socialize
  • Girls will leave with an understanding of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle
  • Girls will leave learning more about themselves and why they are amazing and beautiful just the way they are
  • Girls will leave with resources to start off the school year

Long Term:

  • Girls will become strong and confident individuals who will be able to detect unhealthy relationships or if someone is being bullied
  • Girls will further engage with their community and find creative ways within their school community to be involved
  • Girls will be confident in including others who may be new to the school or making new friends if they are the new ones
  • Girls will use the tools and knowledge that they have learned and as a result they will share it with their family and loved ones

 

The Sessions

Session 1: Self- Love

Self-Love is the foundation to success. If I don’t know how to love myself and treat myself right, I will begin to eat things that aren’t good for me, treat people in a way I wouldn’t want to be treated and find myself being unorganized and all over the place. This is a session for lots of discussion! Therefore, by discussing matters that effect girls (body image, social media and even self doubt) we can begin to understand the beauty that lies within us. Therefore, this session seeks to address how social media plays into how girls see themselves and what false ideas they have about who they are. We will also be speaking about the concept of “rewriting the script” which is also very unique to Love Our Lives. To end this session, we will be coming up with non time consuming and creative ways to take care of ourselves and learn techniques to be positive thinkers and confident individuals.

Session 2: Healthy Choices

Choosing to be healthy is both physical and mental. For an example, eating is a way that many girls deal with stress and pressure. Sometimes we don’t even realize we do it, but next thing you know we have eaten much more than we were supposed to. Now we feel sick and don’t like the way that we look, so we continue to eat. Or we do the exact opposite, we don’t eat. This creates bad eating habits that takes a toll on our bodies and also the way that we think. But it doesn’t have to be like that! = This session will help girls to understand the connection between food and our emotions and will provide them with fun, healthy snack alternatives as well as an opportunity to exercise their physical and mental muscles. It is important for us to eat healthy, nutritional foods which will help us with our school work, making decisions and even problem solving. Food doesn’t have to be harmful to taste good!

Session 3: Conflict Resolution

Problem solving is often a sticky topic to discuss, especially when both parties feel they are in the right. Usually when conflicts arise, we either become emotional and express ourselves through tears and aggressive behaviour or we become very passive and avoid dealing with conflicts. Conflicts are healthy, however how we deal with them is what matters. Learning healthy ways of dealing with conflicts can help girls build healthy relationships with one another as well as with family members and teachers. This session will also cover how to get along with peers and make new friends with people who are new to your school or if you are the new one. These skills are people skills that are necessary at every stage of life and allows girls to know the benefit of being friendly and open individuals

Session 4: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is very important and needed for just about anything. It allows girls to be consciously aware of things they need to do and how it needs to get done. Procrastination is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to getting things done. This session consists of helping girls to tackle issues of fear when it comes to doing something they put their mind to. Writing things down is a good way to start being organized and accountable. This session will be filled with activities which will help girls to remember how to be organized from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed.

References

The Triple Bind, Steven Hinshaw. Retrieved February 15, 2017 from http://www.heartofleadership.org/statistics/

Parent Action on Drugs. Building Resilient Youth. Toronto Public Health. Toronto, Ontario.