“The majority of Stanbridge students are male,” said Counseling Intern Cohen Duncan, who runs the groups, “and sometimes there may be only one girl in a class. It’s great for the girls to have an opportunity to be with other girls and have a space to discuss topics that may be easier to address with a female audience.”
“There are so many boys at this school, we need a girls’ group,” said one Junior High student. “We do talk about Disney princesses and My Little Pony, but not all the stuff is girly. We also talk about things we’ve seen or done and future plans for field trips and activities.”
Talk at the beginning of a recent Junior High Girls’ Group meeting consisted mainly of which celebrity they would most like to meet, but it quickly shifted to community service projects.
“I would like to have the Junior High girls work together on a project for the elementary students,” said Cohen. “We’re still brainstorming on what this project will be, but I would like to have divisions interact more to foster leadership and self-esteem.”
“I think it’s important to celebrate being a girl,” said Junior High Teacher Malia Lytle, who helps lead the Junior High group. “It’s wonderful that the community has a group like this and to have the opportunity to get to know these girls on a deeper level.”
Participation in the groups is optional and attendance every week isn’t mandatory.
“Just knowing this space is available can be a comfort,” said Cohen. “Everybody—male or female—benefits from extra reinforcement in a positive environment.”
Counselor James Warren may start a similar set of groups for boys in the new year if there is interest.
“It’s great to get away from all the boys and have fun with all the high school girls,” said one high school Girls’ Group participant, “...not just the ones I’d normally see in class.”
Want to join a Stanbridge Girls’ Group? Students get together during lunch on Tuesday for Elementary, Wednesday for High School, and Thursday for Junior High. Contact Cohen for more details.