Go Girlz Group Empowers Northwest Middle School Girls
For the last two years, educators Aimee Tatton and Elena Olivo have been coordinating the after-school girls group Go Girlz. The program is supported by the University of Utah’s Women’s Resource Center. University of Utah facilitators, who are University of Utah undergrad and graduate students, regularly attend and teach the weekly lessons. These University students serve as role models and mentors. Approximately ten Northwest Middle School girls attend the group regularly.
A few of the lessons and activities the girls participated in were writing and videoing anti-bullying campaigns, learning about dating violence, and practicing techniques for managing stress. Participants practice self-reflection through art, poetry, and writing. For one project, the girls drew a life-size outline of their body and then filled the outline with words signifying their feelings as well as personal character traits. University of Utah speakers share about their experiences in the science field and what skills are necessary to be college ready. The girls visit college campuses and learn about college resources.
Annually, the Go Girlz program hosts a family dinner so students can display their work and share what the program has meant for them. This year, the group shared paintings and poetry as well as gave speeches expressing how the program has benefited them.
According to Olivo and Tatton, the program informs the girls of what they are entitled to in the world as females and helps them build leadership traits. The two educators have witnessed how the program raises self-esteem. You go, girls!
Author: Rebecca Stewart, Northwest Middle School