I know my blog is entitled “My Online Journey” but today I am not writing about technology, really, but I do have an idea that could use blogging.
Our school is having our second “Girl Power” day this week. (Our first was last school year) The purpose of this day is to separate our girls in the school and address issues with them that concern their well being and self esteem development. (I would like to expand this to just Empowerment Day, having both the males and females having discussions/dialogues about issues relevant to them)
Last year’s theme was “body image” and this year’s theme is “healthy choices”. Last year we had a former Elite model come in and talk about how the media distorts images and derails girls’ self esteem as they try to achieve a perfect body. We had viewed a film, listened to her presentation, had questions and answers, then broke up into smaller groups to talk about issues facing our girls.
This year, we have a variety of speakers coming in to address our girls. We have a well respected speaker coming in to talk about exploitation and keeping our girls safe. He is also giving a self defence lesson for the girls. The second half of the morning we have four different speakers coming into discuss nutrition, exercise, sexual choices and sexting/cyberbullying. We feel these are all issues of great concern for our young women and they need an opportunity for further education and discussion.
I truly hope the girls can learn to make informed decisions, stay healthy and safe. I realize though, that just talking to the girls is not enough. We need a session in which the males in our school are also told about these issues. They can learn from strong male role models about treating women, themselves and being responsible. Only getting our “healthy choices” discussion to half the population may not achieve our desired goals.
Now, here is my technology link. I was thinking maybe we can get the girls to create a safe place in the school. A website? A blog? They can share their stories, give advice, find help. They can create a private site to document their feelings as maybe a cathartic release instead of a physical manifestation. They can be peer mentors (with some staff monitoring if needed) We acknowledge that they may want to share more with people closer to their own age, but could still use adult help, guidance and protection.
It’s just a start. A beginning. Some of our students are in need of information, access, guidance and we are slowly moving forward with ways to help.