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It’s a new year, and already, we’ve got a lot of new projects going! Our Girls Clubs have certainly been growing, and we’re happy to announce that another site in New York City has launched in Brooklyn Heights. The new site is at the PS. 8 School, led by teacher Marybeth Gazlay. Here’s what she had to say about her first day:
The PS 8 LitWorld Girls’ Club launched today, January 10, 2011 in Brooklyn. Twelve brave young ladies listened to their teacher attempt to sing the “Hello Song” and without a blink of the eye, they took the lead and the right tune and were off and running. The Name Game proved to be a dramatic performance with the girls adding movements to their catching adjectives such as “Magnificent Mia” and “Spectacular Schuyler”. Our newest addition, “Excellent Ella” is a twin sister from another class who jumped right in and joined the fun. The read aloud, “The Peace Book” by Todd Parr mirrored many of the discussions we have in class and in our Drama program. Our discussion about how to spread peace throughout the world could have gone on for the entire hour itself. Once I told the girls we could blog and talk with other Girls Clubs especially with our webcam, well, I lost them for a few minutes. “Can we do it now?” They were so excited! As the hour came to a close, we were knee deep in poster making trying to find the right words and images to appropriately model the Girls Clubs’ Seven Strengths. The girls filed out singing the “Good bye” song and greeted their parents with smiles. It was a quite a successful first day and we are looking forward to our next meeting!
Check back in for photos and more reflections from Marybeth and PS.8. There will be more to come soon, and we can’t wait to share!
The Girls Club in Kibera, Kenya, have created a new video of them reciting a poem. Have a look and “meet” the girls in Kenya below:
Earlier this month, the LitWorld Harlem Girls Clubs had the pleasure of meeting Arianna Huffington. Ms. Huffington’s warm spirit was so inspiring and contagious, that the younger girls wouldn’t leave her side! She was elegant, welcoming, and approachable all at the same time, a demeanor that many of the teen girls admired. She listened intently to the girls’ stories, and shared her own.
She offered stories of courage and fearless pursuit of dreams, and, joined by our Executive Director Pam Allyn, they both reminded us all of our power to become the best women we can be.
Joining hands for the Farewell Song
We hope to see Ms. Huffington again soon. Until then, we’ll keep you posted on our next cycle of Harlem Girls Club, starting again January 2011! – Ruby
After the first meeting for the Venos Girls Clubs in Erbil, Iraq, most of the young women now have the spirit to be leaders and to make change.
I asked them, “What is the thing that made you happy last week?” , and all of them responded that participating in the Venos Girls Club is the most important thing that makes them happy. They think about their Girls Club all week until their next meeting arrives.
When they were asked about what they benefited from since the first Girls Club meeting, this is what the young women had to say:
Arazo: When I told you about my story, I felt happy for the first time because you shared my story. This pushed me more and more to be active and make a change in my life. Even when my family saw that I started to think in a different way , they encouraged me to attend these workshops till the end, and they also encouraged my sister to participate in this program.
Aisha: I told my colleague in the hospital about this important workshop, and we started to make a group to help keep the hospital clean. Now the girls there want to participate in these workshops with me!
Marwa: My family was so interested when they saw the change in the way of my thinking. After I told them the details about the program, they sent my sister with me to benefit from it.
All of the girls also established an environmental group in their school and led a cleaning campaign for the school yards and garden, and also donated different books and stories for their school library.
Renas: One of the girls in the school (not in our club group) made fun of me when she saw me cleaning the school yard, but this behavior pushed me more and more toward my goal to make my school clean and better.
The girls in the program are already becoming transformed, feeling proud to be a part of this global movement for girls. Surely, there will be more positive change to report for the next one!
- As reported by the Erbil, Iraq Girls Club Facilitator, Saadia F.Hassoon
We are very excited! Thanks to all your votes, the Harlem LitWorld Girls Club won a spot on Arianna Huffington’s book tour, and she will be arriving tonight at the Polo Grounds site for a personal appearance.
This Fall session has been filled with a lot of amazing discussions, new perspectives, and of course, exposure to new literature. The girls have grown so much, and their thirst for reading has only gotten more potent. They are filled with new visions and new personal missions of how they can affect the world around them. It arrives at such perfect timing then, that our closing ceremony for this Fall session will include a visit from a powerful female role model, Arianna Huffington.
We’ve spent the past few sessions preparing for her visit, rehearsing their written pieces to read aloud to Ms. Huffington, and practicing their introductions. I am very proud to introduce these remarkable young women to a woman who has achieved many things with confidence and courage.
Stay tuned for more photos after tonight’s event. We will be uploading them shortly!