Workshops for Girls and Women
and Facilitator Training
with Sandy Taylor
Funded in Philadelphia by Womens Way
"It is increasingly clear that our cultural values have been undermined, so that even among the masses, and especially among today's youth, there are individuals who are seeking, not so much the destruction of the old, as something new on which to build. And because the destruction has been so widespread and gone so deep, this new foundation must be located in the depths in the most natural, the most primordial, most universally human core of experience."
Marie Louise von Franz (1975)
Girl Power is an empowerment program for 5th and 6th grade girls to guide them through their significant life transition. The structure is intended to enable participants to discover who they are, ignite ambition, learn how to accomplish goals, develop their talents and serve others and their communities, as they fulfill their life dream. It will provide guidelines on 1) how to deal responsibly with a changing body and biology, 2) the right behavior that guides an emotionally mature person, 3) cultural responsibilities and privileges and 4) spiritual tools that provide meaning and purpose.
Girl Power is heavily formulated around a variety of multicultural arts including theater, storytelling, the written word and visual arts. Representative cultures from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Native American Nations are explored. The stories, which address issues and concerns of girls of 9-12 years, are selected for the life lessons they teach. To bridge the stories and their personal integration we will use a process called mimesis, which incorporates dramatic role play, art and personal sharing The young women will not only hear the stories told by a professional storyteller, they will learn the techniques of storytelling, techniques which can be applied to any communication.
The format for the project can be likened to the heroic journey in which each participant passes through a threshold into a world of tests and trials, where guided by mentors and helpers, they bring back to society the vision for a better future and the enthusiasm, tools and knowledge to begin implementation.
Campouts provide time to practice confidence building and community building activities: survival, primitive living and nature observation skills. Structured alone time will be used to access individual goals related to life purpose and to discover and appreciate the problem solving and restorative healing aspects of silence.
Girl Power runs for 14 weeks, one day a week. Each workshop if two hours long.
FemPower is for teens and women addressing age appropriate issues and concerns while learning 1) to be impeccable with the words we use when talking to others and to ourselves (brain chatter), 2) to voice assumptions, 3) to refrain from taking things personally. FemPower and Girl Power have similar program objectives and many of the same activities and methods.
1. Build self-confidence of the individual
2. Access creativity
3. Develop ability to meet and take on challenges
4. Motivate the individual to be the best they can be
6. Improve communication and interpersonal relationship skills
6. Develop understanding of unique cultural and ethnic heritages
7. Learn creative problem solving skills
8. Empowerment of the individual through commitment to making a difference in
the quality of life for themselves, their communities and their country
9. Promote earth stewardship based on an understanding of interrelationships and
interdependence of natural and human systems
10. Provide positive role models
11. Explore the meaning of 'looking good' 12. Recognize and avoid abusive relationships
ACTIVITIES AND METHODS
1. Storytelling •Great Stories provide role models from the archetypal world that are not limited by culture or time. •The transmission of values through storytelling is
understandable by the child, yet offers inspirational levels of deep reflection for the
adult •Personal stories resonate with these great stories offering insight into
motivation, actions and reactions
2. Storytelling Methods Workshop •Observe, identify and practice skills of storytelling
3. Theater Games •Games used throughout to develop group bond, learn to work as
team, to rely on and trust each other, to improve speaking and listening skills
4. Mimesis •Convergence of personal stories with archetypal stories to gain insights
about motivations, actions and reactions. This method of personalizing and internalizing stories utilizes •Imagery •Drawing •Sharing of personal stories •Gestalt •Role-play improvisation of scenes •Debriefing and integration wrap-up.
5. Discussion •Having the courage to speak the truth of the mind and heart. Experiences shared in a non-judgmental atmosphere •Mutual sharing of wisdom
6. Movement •Dance from Native American, African, Asian and European culture
7. Building Community •Building trust, working in groups, helping each other
8. Camping Trip (optional) •Wilderness survival, nature observation and primitive living skills, sensory awareness, earth-bonding and deep ecology •Vision quest
9. Self-Expression Through the Arts •Completion and presentation of personal and group projects
10. Cultural Awareness •Presentations of a variety of cultures and practice of the various cultural arts specifically storytelling, dance, song, and craft.
11. Journaling •Entries made at each session to reflect on lessons learned and changes in perceptions and attitude •Journals are individually decorated to reflect individual aspirations, talents and values
Girl Power Facilitator Trainings are eight days, six hours each day. Facilitator Trainings can be set up in or around Philadelphia or the city of your choice. Please call for more information, scheduling, fees and fundraising.
GIRL POWER RECOMMENDATIONS
JoAnne Deglin, Counselor
The J.H. Brown Elementary School
GIRL POWER has been specially important for our multicultural community. This program has attested to the possibilities of an interracial group to bond. After an extremely successful year with our first group of Girl Power’s young women, our 5th grade girls are confident and ready to move on to the challenges of Middle School.
I have experienced the pleasure of working with Sandy Taylor with this rites of passage program as well as others programs in the past years. I have found our Girl Power Program as well as the other Rainbow Child programs to be excellently planned and executed. Ms. Taylor creates her programs to meet the needs of the participants. The girl’s benefit in every aspect of these superior, thoughtful and provoking Girl Power programs with activities from dramatic role playing and crafts, accenting the teachings in the stories, to the music and even snacks ,which enhance the issues in the topics presented. As a school counselor, I have seen a marked change in the lives of these students who have become more very supportive of one another, sensitive and considerate to others not in the group, responsible for themselves, in short working towards being the best they can be.
GIRL POWER Student evaluations from J. H. Brown Elementary:
“What I learned from Girl Power, I don’t lie anymore.”
“If you share when you’re young and tell the truth, at the end it will turn out good”
“Deep down inside you’ll find things you need to learn.” Shannel
“Other people have feelings. If they do anything mean don’t do anything back because it will make the situation worse.” Brittany
“You can’t always be thinking about yourself. You can’t be afraid to help others.”
“Don’t be jealous of others who need more attention than you do. I had a hard time with my cousins and was jealous, but not anymore because I see they needed the attention and it’s okay if my mom gives it.” Sinead
“Just because people seem bad or mean, they can still turn out to be nice. You just didn’t notice.” “If you put your heart in it, you can do whatever you think you can.” Lynette
“I learned how to make friends. I used to do the wrong things. I disagreed with things they liked. I learned that it’s okay to like different things.” “If you have a problem with someone, avoid them and talk it over with friends and parents” Brittani
“I learned not to be jealous and always believe in myself. When friends say, ‘you can’t’, now I say and know I can. I don’t have to believe what they say.” Alyssa
“Boys used to bother me and start a fight. Before I would have gotten into a fight and now I just walk away. “You can’t be ignorant, rude to other people.” Samantha
“When you need help, your friends are there for you.” Lauren