BGCA’s Youth Development Health & Wellness team are back on the ClubX Blog to join the world in celebrating girls!
We know girls are amazing. And the United Nations (UN) thinks so, too. In 2011, the UN declared Oct. 11th the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girl’s rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Annually since 2012, UN Women has highlighted the inequalities and needs of girls around the world with global stories, statistics and a call to action to ensure girls have access to safety, health, and education. Since the declaration, this day has become an overall celebration of girls.
- 12 million girls under 18 are married each year
- 130 million girls worldwide are still out of school
- approximately 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 have experienced forced sex.
But girls are breaking barriers.
Take part in the worldwide celebration by bringing International Day of the Girl to your Club or Youth Center. Here’s a list of 5 ways you can support girls to explore what matters most to them, girls in their communities, and help your members take steps towards being change-makers.
Breathe in, Breathe Out
2020 has been a difficult year for almost all of us. One important way to celebrate International Day of the Girl is by building girls’ skills in emotional wellness by supporting them in using coping strategies when they’re feeling sad, stress, or excited. Lead girls in identifying their emotions, and practicing new coping strategies using the newly released SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness curriculum.
Host an Event
Host a special event for female-identifying Club members. It could be a special dinner, a unique sports or game activity just for girls, or a conference focused on sharing and learning together. Make sure to include ways to recognize and celebrate each girl attending, and involve girls in planning the event!
Lead a Gratitude Circle
Ask girls to gather in a circle and share a reason they appreciate the girl to their right. Continue to pass the love around the circle so everyone feels appreciated. An alternative is to have girls write their name at the top of a piece of paper and pass the paper around the circle. Girls can write one positive affirmation or appreciation on each girl’s paper.
Lead With Impact
Build leadership skills using the SMART Girls in Action Community Service Guide! This guide enables girls to serve as leaders by walking them through an easy-to-follow process for identifying a need in their community, then addressing it through a service project. This resource includes a Participant’s Guide so girls can feel empowered to lead with their own voice.
Use SMART Girls Resources at Your Club
SMART Girls is BGCA’s small-group health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls, with developmentally appropriate activities for ages 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18. On BGCA.net/SMARTgirls you can find the age-level curricula as well as discussion guides on Teen Dating Violence, Consent, and Breakups.
You can also find SMART Girls on MyFuture! Earn badges by doing activities about feeling empowered as a girl, financial literacy, and engaging with social media content. If you haven’t visited MyFuture lately, you are in for a TREAT as the site has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, with new features coming all the time.
However you celebrate International Day of the Girl, afterschool can play an important role in encouraging girls to pursue their dreams, uplift their self-esteem, and celebrating all their talents. Club staff serve as models, teaching girls how to break boundaries and challenge the gender stereotypes that limit them from achieving their greatest potential. #WhateverItTakes!