When faced with challenges working with at-risk girls (disengaged, disobedient, distraught or disconnected), many educators struggle to find the core ways to address the problems and to cultivate positive relationships with these students. Without connections, statistics show that society runs the risk of losing another child to violence, drugs, teen pregnancy, poverty or even death.
Academic success has been directly correlated to the student’s sense of belonging and accomplishment. Young girls who struggle to make connections at school are all too often viewed as being difficult, combative, disruptive and unable to be re-directed. Making matters worse is that educators are often uncomfortable reaching out to the families of these girls – for fear that their feelings of discomfort will be exacerbated by an unsuccessful conversation with a parent.
Unless proper communication and collaboration occurs, there will be a breakdown between the key players – the girl, her teachers, the school staff and the parents – potentially torpedoing any hope of success.
Schools must clearly identify not only the neediest girls but also where they are on the pendulum of reception. Not all girls are at a point where they are open to full-on, intense support. You must be able to gauge the right time, capitalize on the right incident, and embrace the moment when the girl shows she is ready to be reached.
This eye-opening 90-minute webinar will assist participants in identifying their neediest girls, understanding their specific needs, and developing a comprehensive school-based program that will not only reach the girls, but will surpass the expectations of the “here-and-now” and positively affect the lives of everyone who is part of a young girl’s village.
This webinar will help you:
To augment the PowerPoint™ presentation and activities, each participant will receive a (PDF) resource packet of the presentation with ideas, reproducible forms, activities and other suggested resources.
Dr. Aja Gardner
Dr. Aja Gardner is a secondary school administrator with over a decade of experience working with young girls and women. She is currently an Assistant Principal at a middle school serving 1,100 students. Dr. Gardner works one-on-one with families and their children on a daily basis. Living the day-to-day challenges that come with “partnership-raising” middle schoolers has helped her to develop a successful school-based mentoring program designed to reverse the trend of disconnection and distrust. Dr. Gardner came to education through a non-traditional route. As a former public health professional, she yearned to get closer to the source – the people making up the statistics often interpreted in health and medicine. Dr. Gardner holds a doctorate in Public Health and Medicine. Her research focused on how the health beliefs of minority mothers affects their decision to have their daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer. This research allowed Dr. Gardner to see how important it is to not only reach young girls but also to educate and partner with their mothers. She has presented her mentoring program at several professional gatherings, including the 2015 National Conference on Girl Bullying and Empowerment.
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