Girls Promoting Safety Newsletter:
GPS (Girls Promoting Safety) have been discussing and engaging in various activities since the beginning of the school year. Here are a few of the topics that have been addressed.
One of the first things students talked about in GPS was assertiveness. We discussed the definition of assertiveness, and how it requires a balance of being upfront about your own wants and needs, while also being respectful about the needs of others. Assertiveness can also be empowering because seeing someone stand up for themselves and clearly communicate their needs can inspire others to do the same.
We asked the girls to complete a survey to see how assertive they were, with questions such as “I ask my friends for a favor when I need one” and “When people hurt my feelings, I let them know how I feel”. This activity helped students explore their own assertiveness. Some felt like they were already confident enough to speaking up for themselves, while others realized it was something they need to work on.
To see what assertiveness looks like in real life, we did an activity where students got the chance to be on a panel and respond to scenarios that would require them to make potentially difficult decisions, such as:
“Today at lunch, I went to sit down at my normal table with my friends. When I sat down, nobody talked to me – and they ignored me for all of lunch! I have no idea what I did. I didn’t say anything at lunch because I felt uncomfortable, what should I do now?”
Students came up with creative ways to navigate these tricky situations, and talked about how important it is to stand up for yourself in their day to day life.
Friendships, Family and Dating
We also talked with students the importance of healthy relationships and having a good support system. We asked them to talk about what are healthy and unhealthy qualities that make a healthy relationship. Some of the healthy qualities students brought up were honesty, communication, support, and respect. Some of the unhealthy qualities brought up were lies, disrespect, unsupportive and putting you down.
One of the activity students participated in when learning about healthy relationships was the “Talk Show Activity”, each student got the chance to be a “teen expert” on a talk show, and give advice on a number of different friendship scenarios that the audience would ask them, such as:
“A friend of mine has not been talking to me much lately. We have been best friends for more than two years. She is spending more time with another girl lately. I feel hurt and mad, but still wish she would be my friend. What should I do?”
“Lately, girls that I am friends with have stopped talking to me when we are in our friend group. Yet when they are on their own, they are friendly to me. What should I do?”
Student explored the ways they deal with situations and what kind of advice they give to their friends. It gave them a chance to reflect on their past and current friendships, and how they were already healthy or could be made stronger.
Girls Promoting Safety (GPS)
GPS is a strength-based violence prevention education program that uses evidence-based curricula to teach middle-school girls the resiliency skills needed to avoid being victims of violence and promote healthy relationships. Learn more!