Did you know:
In 2015, 24% of American school-age girls said they had been bullied in school (New York Post).
41% of girls experience cyber bullying at some point in their lives, compared to 28% of boys (TeenSafe 2016).
83% of cyber bullying victims felt that the bullying hurt their self esteem (TeenSafe 2016).
The Girls Inc. program Work It Out seeks to lower statistics like these, by teaching girls about empathy for others, negative consequences of hurtful behavior, and maintaining healthy, positive relationships with friends and peers.
It is a part of the “Strong” category of Girls Inc.’s “Strong, Smart, and Bold” programming. Strong, because Work It Out is meant to help girls create strong, healthy relationships. The Work It Out curriculum is customized for each of the age groups Girls Inc. serves: 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-18. This way, girls can learn about the dangers of bullying and the value of female friendship from a very young age, and then receive help maintaining those lessons even later in their education.
Work It Out produces girls who respect their friends and peers, stand up for themselves and victims of bullying, and never resort to bullying themselves. There are many activities used during the program to garner these results, including lessons where girls identify possible platforms of cyber bullying, or another where girls step over a line when an attribute called out by the volunteer program leader applies to them. This helps them see how much they have in common with their peers, even the ones who they might not get along with.
Volunteer leaders have noticed in the past how constructive and fun Work It Out programs can be! It’s easy to tell that the volunteers make a difference, especially when you hear stories like this one from Natalie Woods, Girls Inc. program support coordinator:
“I’d have to say one of my favorites comes out of the Work It Out program. We were completing a cyberbullying and internet safety activity one day in my program, and I could tell it was especially clicking with the girls. Specifically, we were getting a good discussion on posting pictures of vacations. We told the girls how important it is to post pictures on social media only after the vacation is over, instead of posting them when you’re still away on the vacation. It was cool to see the “aha!” moment when all of the girls realized why they should do this, and when they decided to apply it to their own future social media practices.”
If you want to learn more about Work It Out or Girls Inc.’s other programs, click here!
If you’d like to volunteer to lead Work It Out yourself, click here!