Teaching girls to become radiant during Spring Break; it worked!

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Planning for Spring Break – what are the options for parents?

Is it just part of the school year when parents have to find something else for the kids to do outside the classroom? Is it a time for a holiday break?

Time to go skiing or go south and frolic on a beach?

It can get expensive but households that have both parents working need to do something – the last thing a parent wants is to have kids wandering around aimlessly.

At some point someone or somebody is going to have to come up with programmes for parents of moderate means that keeps the kids out of trouble and harms way.

Gina Faubert is a “personal coach” who has a string of initials after her name that certifies her to work with people on their health and their life issues – and we all have those don’t we.

Donations and Nina

Some of the food donations in the background – the four girls raised $1500 in cash – the balance of the $5000 raised was in food and Cash Card donations.

Along with the career that includes a very robust coaching practice she has a sideline that is a special project for her; she calls it Radiant Girls where the focus is on working with girls on their leadership skills and their personal sense of self-worth.

After watching Faubert take four girls through the last day of a Spring Break session one comes away with the sense that this for her is a personal passion.  She lets the group set their own pace but is there to remind them of just what the objective is. The experience gained through the full time coaching practice is used to work with girls that are going to grow up in a world a lot different than their parents.

Preparing the LEGO path

Cashelmara in the background, Nina and Zoe prepare the LEGO for the traditional 23 foot walk that they stretched to 41 feet..

The March Break program this year started out with 11 students but got cut back to four with last minute decision changes. So, while the class was smaller – it was what it was supposed to be – an opportunity for a group of girls who didn’t know each other when the week started to set out with an objective and make it happen.

Sending the video to FAcebook

Nina, Dana Sperling and Gina Faubert setting up the cell phones to broadcast the LEGO walk live to a Facebook page.

Faubert describes the program as one where girls will develop self-love, self-expression and emotional intelligence skills. Girls will learn the importance of being brave and kind; discover the power of gratitude and the meaning of empathy. It is all this as well as a leadership camp designed to teach girls between 11-15 how to make a difference in their community which they do by designing and implementing a charity fundraiser for underprivileged youth in Burlington.

Walking the LEGO path

Nina and Hayley do the LEGO walk on the 41 foot pathway they laid out.

The program adds in a physical challenge – a 25 foot LEGO walk – yup – they set out 25 feet  (turned out to be 41 feet) of LEGO in a pathway which the walk over in the bare feet. It isn’t as painful as it sounds but these girls didn’t know that when they started.

The organization the fund raising was going to be done for was determined beforehand. What the girls had to do was design and then execute the program.

Funds were going to be raised for the community homes unit of the ROCK – the Reach Out Centre for Kids. The group getting whatever was raised was the EarlyON Program.

The girls first had to learn about who they were raising funds for and then figure out how they were going to do it.  These were girls who had no idea that there were people who weren’t as fortunate as they were. Food challenged households were just not a part of the world they lived in.

The four girls did a remarkable job of raising $5000 in cash, food donations and toys.  The manager of the Michael’s No Frills on Guelph south of Dundas made a donation and added to that the donation of a $100 Cash Card every month for the balance of the year.

They did this by cold calling on people and making phone calls asking for donations. This too was not the world they lived in day to day.

Celebration

When everyone had done the 41 foot LEGO walk there is a celebration: Nina, Gina and Hayley share high fives.

All they had was the five days to get to know each other, make the accommodation and adjustments for the different personalities and learn to work together. There were significant differences in where each girl was on in their physical and emotional development with one girl bringing significant learning ability issues to the group.

While our time with the group was limited – it wasn’t hard to see how they worked through the challenges with Faubert reminding them of what they had been taught earlier in the week.

We live in a world where #metoo and #timesup are part of the language we use. Faubert wants to ensure that these girls have a strong sense of who they are and that they have real potential and will never experience #metoo.

The week long session ended with the girls gathered around an outdoor fire to review what they had learned and enjoy some S’mores, a delicacy I had never heard of  –  chocolate melted on Graham crackers with marshmallows.  These were Halal marshmallows. We do live in changing times.

 

Thank you notes

Hayley writes out personal thank you notes to everyone who helped raise the finds for the EarlyON provincial program run by the ROCK people.

Did it work? Hard to say but the four girls that started the session on the Monday were different girls on the Friday. Besides doing something that made a difference for someone else they came away with skills they didn’t have when they started.

I wondered what the hashtag they create might be.

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