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These past few weeks have been full of learning and laughter at Hawthorne Elementary School! Hawthorne’s third and fourth-grade girls have been participating in Girls Inc.’s Work It Out program, which highlights the importance of being a good friend to others.

On Tuesday afternoons, fourth graders have been learning about the friendship tools of respect, empathy, and fairness, as well as the necessity of being your own friend first. On Thursdays, the third graders have been focusing on the specific qualities of a good friend, and how to be a friend, not a bully.

Hawthorne has provided a very inviting environment to our Girls Inc. staff member who is leading the programs at the school. Hawthorne Elementary School is acting as a pilot program for Girls Inc. This means we are approaching this school a little differently: the same staff member will be leading all programs throughout the year, and Hawthorne will be receiving more programs than a school typically does. Having one staff member present year round will provide consistency for the girls; rather than having to start from scratch at the beginning of each program cycle, both the girls and the staff member know the expectations, and the trust is already present.

The expectation is that providing increased programming will likely result in a more well-rounded understanding of Girls Inc. curriculum, which will set girls up for success in their futures. It is our hope that what we observe and learn from Hawthorne will help us to shape future decisions at Girls Inc. This first program cycle has been such a blast, and we cannot wait to begin working with first and second graders at Hawthorne Elementary soon!