Apr 262012
 

Prince of Peace middle school girls participate in a positive affirmation exercise at a Girl Talk meeting. The girls put a paper on their back, go around the room and write something they like about the other person, while someone writes what she likes about them.

Students at Prince of Peace Catholic School are working together to help each other have more positive school and social experiences.
This academic year, school counselor Heather Carlson and the high school and middle school girls have launched a local chapter of “Girl Talk,” a national non profit organization created to help female students build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the importance of community service.
The structure of the organization allows high school students to mentor middle school students, and provides a safe environment for girls to discuss the unique challenges of their gender and age group. At regular meetings specific topics — such as Being a Good Friend, Being Unique, and Embarrassing Moments — are addressed by students who share their personal stories and experiences, ask questions of one another and discuss how to use their strengths to make positive impacts on themselves and one another.
Carlson said she was made aware of “Girl Talk” by a newspaper clipping given to her by school administrator, Nancy Peart. After researching the organization, Carlson determined it would be beneficial to the female students at Prince of Peace Catholic School to establish their own chapter. When interest in the idea was shown by students, group leaders were democratically chosen and are responsible for determining the topics addressed, scheduling the meetings and facilitating the group discussions.
The idea has been well received by the participants. Hannah Peart, a high school senior, was selected by a committee of teachers to serve as the president of Girl Talk and to work with Carlson to establish the new chapter at Prince of Peace Catholic School.
Peart’s responsibilities include organizing meetings, delegating tasks and ensuring that things run smoothly at each meeting.  With Carlson’s guidance, the group is completely run by the students involved.
Peart said, “It’s inspiring for me to have a positive impact on the attitudes of the middle school girls.  My goal is to have the Girl Talk program continued at Prince of Peace and have the current Girl Talk girls someday be wonderful Girl Talk leaders.”
It seems the idea may be catching on.  Another local school has already reached out to the Prince of Peace Girl Talk girls. For more information on the national Girl Talk chapter, visit www.desiretoinspire.org.

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