Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership is collaborating with the Park R-3 School District to offer Girls Circle. Girls Circle is a strengths-based model that fosters self-esteem, helps develop and maintain authentic connections with peers and adult women in the community, counters trends of self-doubt, and provides an outlet for self-expression. Through structured support groups, Girls Circle helps participants build personal and collective strengths and competence while counteracting negative social and interpersonal forces that work against their success. The circle offers a safe environment to develop critical thinking, strengthen self-esteem, and exhibit the ability to make good choices that are consistent with one's values, interests and talents.
Weekly meetings are approximately an hour in length and follow the same structured format each week. Each session is 15-17 weeks, and covers topics that are of interest and relevant to adolescent girls.
To participate, girls need only to have the desire, make a commitment to attend weekly circle meetings, and agree to follow the guidelines: no put-downs or interruptions; offer experiences, not advice; keep the focus on oneself; and keep what is said during group private. Through listening and respect for themselves and others, participants can reflect on and express their own thoughts and feelings. Girls Circle does not aim to provide advice, but encourages girls to share experiences that are helpful to one another.
Through these groups the desire is to see positive peer pressure take hold and for girls to become advocates for each other, leading to a greater sense of connection to school and community, higher graduation rates and less likelihood of involvement in the criminal justice system.
Contact EVRJP to learn more about Girls Circle.