the holiday week

Despite my lingering cough and head cold, we had lots of fun at our holiday lessons this week.

We made healthy holiday snacks – The Grinch (think grape with a slice of banana, topped with a strawberry and mini marshmellow). What in the world did we do for fun without Pintrest?

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Next up – the White Elephant Game.
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The book reading was Bad Kitty Christmas. Bad Kitty learns that the holidays are not about gifts, but being with people that you love.

For our last game of 2015, we had a good old fashioned snow ball fight…with recycled paper. Check out this video.

The girls at 2 of the sites voted to bring in toys to donate to Toys for Tots. I love that they love to give back. Check out our donations.

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Kristan

celebrating what is unique

In our lessons this week we talked about celebrating what is unique about each of us. The book reading was Chrysanthemum by, Kevin Henkes. Her friends make fun of her name until a teacher shares that she also has a special name. Check out our interpretation of this book.

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We then wrote down (in a girl silhouette) the things that are special about each of us. I asked the girls to hang up these drawings to remind them the amazing things unique to each of them. They can refer to it if someone questions their amazingness one day. Here is a list of some of the words girls could pick from.

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We ended the lesson with some sock wars. Super silliness and fun resulted.

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the most amazing week

I thought after the Giving Party there was no way the week could get any better. Check out my personal blog about what happened on Thursday this week! I have been offered a contract to publish the Girls TALK curriculum. Even better? They are also interested in the children’s book. Woo hoo! I have learned the hard way about how things can go very, very wrong in the publishing world, so for now I am cautiously optimistic and waiting on the contract to come in the mail.

With all this excitement, I have not posted about this week’s lesson. Here it is!

Now that girls know how to calm down (STAR – Stop, Take a deep breath And Relax) we talked about how problems come in all different sizes. Sometimes our reaction to a problem is much bigger than the actual problem. I was super proud of the examples girls shared. It really shows that they are becoming more comfortable with our weekly discussions… and another reason why I like the year round format of the program (vs just 10 sessions in the fall or spring).

The book reading was Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by, Rachel Vail. Once the girls saw Katie’s big reaction to her problem, we then brainstormed some ways they regroup when upset. Some said go to their rooms, pet a cat, punch a pillow, go for a walk, etc. The goal is for the girls to recognize when they are having a big reaction like Katie, calm down and find a way to regroup. This will be an ongoing discussion throughout the year.

Kristan

The Giving Party

The Chatham Co Giving Party was last night. It was held on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is intended to kick off the season of giving in a very different way than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The goal of this movement is to harness the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Girls TALK was ready to share and talk about all that we do. Not just me, but some of the girls too. It made for a long day for me and the girls that participated, but TOTALLY worth it. We received donations to support 4 scholarship participants in the program for the rest of the 2015-2016 school year! A much bigger achievement than we were expecting. The girls kept asking to count the money, and so I had to remind them that would be rude…but there were SO MANY checks on the table that it was also hard for me to resist. I only did when one of the party coordinators asked for my total about 5 mins before the party ended. When I added it all up and shared our total, her eyes went big. I think this means we did a good job 😉 I am especially proud because Girls TALK was the youngest non profit featured at the party.

At the end of the party, Samantha gave me what I think is a compliment…. “mom, you sounded smart, and you did a good job of being social.” Wow. The girl does know me. Here are Samantha and Ila in action working hard for those donations.

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The kid obviously has a knack for this non profit thing. She shared that the folks next to us were *asking* people donate, and that is not the way to do it. Haha. She might just be my future executive director down the road.

Super happy and grateful right now!

Kristan