This week at GOALS, we decided to utilize this meeting to get feedback from the girls and to really focus on our recycling project and put it in full swing once we return from break. However, we began with a fun activity that we have done in a prior meeting, but with a small change. This time, we passed out a Skittle to each girl, but told them to not eat it yet. We began with one girl and made it around the circle, asking questions depending on the color of the Skittle they received such as: “what was the best part of your day?” or “what was something you wished happened today?” Once they answered those questions, they were able to eat the candy. This was an innovative way to get the girls to open up, which we are always encouraging. Subsequently, we kicked off the theme with a following activity. On the board, I wrote the phrase “If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would…” and asked the girls to finish the phrase. One by one they went up, and by the end we were met with a diverse group of answers including: do gymnastics, go skydiving, or in a general sense to “keep trying.” We followed with a discussion about this activity and asked the girls to further pinpoint their biggest fears. Some of them responded with tangible fears such as spiders and snakes, but many said they feared losing their friends or family. Because of her family issues, one of the girls even said she was afraid of waking up one day, faced with an empty home. I was extremely saddened and almost shocked that young twelve or thirteen year old girls were worried about being taken away from their beloved families. When I was twelve, I was afraid of the dark, insects, and heights; to some of these girls, my once biggest fears were minute, and rightfully so. Fear protects us from dangerous situations, but it also can be paralyzingly. Typically, we tend to fear change or unfamiliar situations, but if we allow that to hinder us, how can we progress? We threw thought-provoking questions at the girls to answer and this made many of them rethink their preconceived notions. We challenged the girls to name a task they could accomplish but they were simply too afraid to and then complete the said task within the next week or so. Whether it is approaching a new classmate or answering a question in class, we are excited to see the girls accept this challenge.
The girls have voiced an interest in pollution, climate change, and greenhouse gas emission and combatting those environmental issues; thus, it was natural that they would want to take action by acquiring recycling bins and compost for the school. We are extremely proud of the innovation, leadership, and philanthropy in the girls at Oak Grove Middle School! Aava F. 5/2/17