Monday, October 25, 2010

Housing Authority Program a Success!

This past year, five Tuscaloosa Girl Scout troops participated in a life-changing program hosted by Girl Scouts and the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority. Approximately 100 girls ages 5-15 were enrolled in this program and met bi-weekly for several months at a local Housing Center. Each year, the program’s message changes to focus around a different current event affecting the country. This year it expanded upon First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy eating, choices and exercising campaign. Several guest lecturers, two field trips and community service projects helped reemphasize and teach this message.

For their community service projects, the girls chose to make slings for breast cancer patients and donate money from their Cookie Sale Program profits for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. These projects allowed the girls to see that any one person can make a difference in someone’s life and also educated them about current global issues.

Along with understanding current world issues, the Girl Scouts learned practical living skills throughout the program. They acted out different scenarios such as phone calls, introductions and dinners to learn the proper etiquette for each occasion. They also discussed the proper attire for various occasions, professional and casual.

Several professionals from around the community spoke to the girls about jobs and career planning. They learned about many different professions such as speech therapy, psychology and entrepreneurship. Girls were able to get an idea of what they wanted to do when they were older and learned some valuable tips for success.

Two field trips were also incorporated into the program as a special treat for the girls. The troops attended a University of Alabama gymnastics meet and went to see a movie that promoted healthy body images and a positive meaning.

The message of positive self esteem, and mental and physical success remained consistent throughout all activities. Instead of receiving badges for their achievements, the girls were given pens, writing tablets and books to encourage their continued success. Throughout this experience, these girls learned to promote values such as courage, compassion, sisterhood and citizenship and to encourage others to do the same. With help from the Girl Scouts, these girls have been given the tools and knowledge to be productive citizens and reach their full potential.