Lesson 10: the final celebration

Wow, what a great final celebration. What made me the most happy….when 11/14 girls raised their hands to say that they wanted to continue doing Girls TALK next school year !

The topic of our lesson was learning to like yourself. The book reading was The Dot (one of my favorite books). The teacher convinces her student Vashti that her art is great and worthy of sharing with others, which makes Vashti love her art and want to help others learn to love their art. That is the message that we want our girls to take and spread….be the teacher/person that convinces others that they should like themselves! Check out one of my Jr Counselors as Vashti (it was her birthday…and yes, I am aware that the t-shirt company misspelled counselor…sigh. New comp. next year!)

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Then it was time to celebrate with the balloon release and icy pops!

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And then this special note from 3 of the girls.

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I really think I had so much more fun for us than than the girls!

Lesson 9: Being true to yourself

The topic of this week’s lesson was being true to yourself. This can be very challenging for young girls to do, since most often the goal of being in a group is fitting in and being liked others. This is a topic that you will need to continue talking about with your daughters. Liking yourself when there are things that others perceive as being different about you can be challenging even for some grown ups.

The book reading was Chrysanthemum by, Kevin Henkes. Chrysanthemum’s friends made fun of her name, but with help from her parents and a super supportive teacher, she learns to be proud of who she is.

The exercise was free choice, and most girls chose to play parachute games.

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Lots of canned good for TABLE!

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Only one more lesson left for this school year….when we announced this news, a lot of the girls were sad. I explained that we would have our program up and running again next year and we are doing the Woods summer camp, so our time apart will only be temporary

Kristan

Lesson 8: How to deal with bullying

Today we talked about a super important issue….how to deal with bullying. Here is the definition we used for bullying: when you do or say something with the intention to hurt someone’s feelings. I was glad to hear many of the girls say that they would speak up if someone bullied them. Other choices mentioned: walk away, tell an adult. The important take away message that I hope parents will talk to their daughters about in more detail is that it is not ok to be bullied. There are so many opportunities for bullying these days with technology, social media, etc. I was surprised when we started to hear about it at our house in 3rd grade!

The exercise today was kickboxing. We did mention that we were not saying it was ok to kickbox a bully, but that sometimes this form of exercise can be a good way to relieve stress and a way to feel more empowered.

25 canned goods donated today…..so many BIG cans too! I had to practice good squat and lift form to get all those cans to my car….what a great problem to have. Super proud of the continued parental support with our community service project!

Now..the pictures.

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community service focus

We decided to have the girls set a goal to bring in canned goods for our community service project. Our donations will go to the Take and Eat Food Pantry in Chatham Co. A few weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook that the organization TABLE had an urgent need for canned meats. TABLE is the only area non-profit that provides food for needy children in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. So at the next lesson, I asked the girls if they were ok with us donating some of our canned meats to TABLE. The vote was an unanimous yes.

We got a letter from TABLE yesterday. Here it is….

Dear Girls TALK, Thanks for your donation of 15lbs of good! The shelves at TABLE were very low at the beginning of April, but thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we have been able to feed all of our 200+ kids every week! We have heard several stories recently of how much TABLE’s children rely on this food. So on behalf of the kids, thank you for donating!

I really like the idea of having the girls set a goal related to helping individuals in our community, directly helping other children is an added bonus. I am thinking TABLE will be our next community service focus for sure!

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Lesson 7: making good food choices

Making good food choices was the topic of yesterday’s  lesson. We introduced the new version of the food pyramid called my plate. Here is a link to more info for those that are interested – http://myplate.gov/

The girls set a goal to make a healthy food choice before we meet again next week, and I am happy to report that a parent already emailed me to say that her daughter requested a side salad at dinner last night!

Check out the pics from our fun lesson –

First, Betty Bunny and her chocolate cake.

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Our weekly canned good donations.

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Relay racing and collage making activities.

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props and planning

The book readings are my favorite part of each lesson. This week’s lesson is about making good food choices. The book is Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake. Check out the props for this book reading: bunny ears (of course), peas and carrots, cake…. just finished putting a coat of chocolate color paint on the cake :-). As my daughter watched me plan and put the props together, she said “wow, I had no idea you did all of this work for the lessons.”

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I explained that I love doing the “work” for the lessons because it is super fun. I love that she wants to be a part of what I do!
Kristan

Lesson 6: Making good school and play choices

Wow, what a good discussion with the girls for this lesson. The topic of the lesson was making good school and play choices. I introduced the concepts “thinking things” and “saying things” which is very helpful in making good choices in play. If you think that what you say to a friend might hurt their feelings, you should keep it a “thinking thing.” One girl brought up a good related point….you can think things that might hurt someone’s feelings, but oftentimes your facial expression says it for you anyway. In these situations, it is best to walk away so your face does not give you away 🙂

Another girl mentioned not distracting others as a good school choice, which led to a discussion of what to do if someone is distracting you. Often if you ignore the person, they will continue to distract or get their feelings hurt. How you say to a person that they are being distracting is very important. My example of “geez, stop bugging me!” was voted against as a good choice.

The book reading was That Is Not A Good Idea by, Mo Willems. It has a funny twist to the ending that the girls loved!

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We played jump rope games for our exercise, and despite the humid temps, we still had fun. Here are some pics of our fun!

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