Are you interested in starting your own group for girls at your school? If so, here are some resources to get you started. If you have any questions or would like more information about the group I started at the high school where I work, feel free to contact me.
During the fall semester of 2011, one of my classes was in the midst of a heated discussion about gender equality. One student noted that we had a group for boys to talk about issues on our campus, but we didn’t have a group for girls and asked if we could start one. Of course, I was on board. I spoke with the principal of our school, and once he gave us the green light, I gathered a group of girls to help plan what they wanted to talk about for the remainder of the year. We came up with all sorts of topics – bullying, relationship abuse, body image, college and careers, and much more. Thus, Fearless Females was born. We meet once a week and we talk about all sorts of important issues, invite important women from the community to speak, and sometimes just chill out in a safe space to escape from the stress of the week.
To this day, Fearless Females remains my favorite part of the week. The reasons girls come to meetings are as diverse as the girls themselves. Because of this, I try to allow the girls to choose topics and I come up with resources for them to foster interesting discussion. What follows is a list of resources I’ve come up with for our group that I will update frequently. Feel free to check back often and use whatever you want!
Sometimes, I’ll even write posts about what we’re doing. I try to do this once a week after each meeting, but sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow for that. If you want to check out what we’ve been doing lately, click here.
Where to Start
If you are a student trying to start your own group for girls, the first thing you’ll want to do is find a teacher to sponsor your group. Usually, you cannot meet on school grounds if you don’t have adult supervision, so this step is key. Next, work with the teacher/sponsor and maybe a few interested girls to come up with a plan to present your principal or activities supervisor. Your teacher/sponsor will know who to present the plan to. Your plan should include a name for your group, where and when you plan to meet, and what you plan to discuss. Then, set up a meeting to present your plan to your administrator and, hopefully, your group will be approved!
When and Where to Meet
Only you and your teacher/sponsor can decide where and when to meet, but try to find a time and place that works for everyone who is interested. Be willing to work around sports practices and other clubs and activities so girls who want to can attend. As far as where to meet, you should only need a classroom. Check with your teacher/sponsor to find a list of available classrooms and how to reserve them.
Once you’ve selected a time and a place, hang up flyers and posters in your school to advertise your first meeting and you’re ready to go!
What to Talk About
In your first planning meeting, you should have come up with a list of issues you want to cover. If you need some ideas, the following is a partial list my girls came up with at the beginning of this school year:
- body image
- abusive relationships
- photoshopping images
- Title IX
- media literacy
I have created a public Evernote notebook with links to articles and awesome websites for girls. I will update it whenever I find new materials, so feel free to subscribe or check back often. If you don’t know how to use Evernote, here is a decent video tutorial, but you don’t need an Evernote account to view my notebook.