Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mentoring to Improve Self-Esteem in Girls

For the second year, the Darke County ESC has partnered with 2 local elementary schools to provide a self-esteem building program to 4th grade girls. According to clinical psychologist Robin F. Goodman “Girls' self-esteem peaks when they are 9 years old, then takes a nose dive," (McGraw, Carol, "Media, hormones, peer pressure do a number on girls' confidence", The News-Sentinel, Mon, Jul. 31, 2006). The Uniquely Me! Program, a girl Scout/Dove collaborative, addresses that concern.

The Darke County ESC version of the Uniquely Me! Program is a six-week, one-hour, structured self-esteem program. Activities for this program include identifying values, understanding emotions, and participating in an activity to “give back” to the community. All of Ansonia Elementary and Arcanum Elementary 4th grade girls participated in the program this year.

Another unique twist is the use of high school girls in the program to serve as mentors. Ansonia HS and Arcanum HS provided students chosen for their unique strengths to serve as mentors for the program. The mentors participated in a training and planning session and were given the responsibility for implementing the weekly activities.

Overall response to the program was positive. During this year’s wrap-up session, the mentors identified several successes including increased acceptance of peers and improved body image.

Below you will find a picture of this year’s mentors from Arcanum High School and Ansonia High School, respectively:

Back Row (L-R) Evanne Shellabarger, Allison Brehm, Cheyanne Aikman, Ashley Myers, Kate Summers
Front Row (L-R) Jenna Hangen, Tara Simpson, Tessa Jobes, Savannah Light

(L-R) Sierra Leonard, Sarah Berger, Kari Kramer (not pictured: Jennifer Mayo)

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