CWC Empowerment Program by REALgirl/REALboy
We are proud to be partnering with Citizens of the World Charter – Mar Vista to bring a fully customized version of REALgirl and REALboy Empowerment Programs to all CWC 3rd graders. The CWC Empowerment Program by REALgirl® & REALboy™ is in direct alignment with CWC’s core mission to develop each student’s abilities, confidence, and sense of responsibility for themselves and their community.
Sessions will take place every Thursday as part of the regular school day. All 3rd grade girls and boys will participate in their 45-minute session with a Lead and Assistant Teacher who have received special training to facilitate this powerful curricula. The first 2-3 Thursdays of each month, the girls and boys will meet separate of each other to work on the Module of the month. The last Thursday will bring the girls and boys together to work on the monthly theme, while simultaneously exploring the meaning and value of equity and partnership, as they engage in powerful small group activities together.
The ‘REAL’ in REALgirl/REALboy refers to the courageous practice of being genuine and authentic. Our customized curriculum is committed to guiding each child in the ongoing mission of discovering and embodying their authentic self mentally, physically, and emotionally. REALgirls and REALboys are dedicated to consistently developing and protecting their social and emotional well-being, confidence, and courage so that they may make empowered choices from a place of self-knowledge, self-respect, and strength. Most importantly, ‘REALgirls’ and REALboys’ recognize that they are the authors of their own story and valuable contributors to the world in which they live. Read more about the REALgirl® and REALboy Missions™ .
This page has been designed with the purpose of keeping parents informed and guiding you in supporting your children through the REALgirl/REALboy experience. Here you can find information about each month’s module (theme), each week’s mission and any materials that may help you contribute to your child’s experience. Information and/or activities posted may be a story that we’ve read with the kids during their session, an activity sheet they’ve been asked to complete by interviewing a family member or members of their community, etc.
You will also find tips & tools for parents that we encourage you to use if you deem them to be helpful. Tips and tools provided for parents are specific to the module/theme that we are covering in the REALgirl/REALboy session and they will be designed to help you have a better understanding of the content that your daughter/son is learning and enable you to take an active role in their RG/RB experience.
THIS MONTH'S MODULE
Month 8: Module 8 – Creating a Healthy Relationship with Others
- Using the previous model as a foundation for this new model, we extend the idea of taking good care of yourself to the realm of maintaining healthy relationships with others. We focus on identifying healthy vs unhealthy behaviors in relationship, action steps for maintaining a healthy relationship and for dealing with unhealthy relationships. Some key activities include reframing how we use and receive “no” as a gift instead of a rejection and using respectful communication strategies, such as ‘I-Messages,’ when addressing problems within a relationship.
- Our goal in this module is to empower children with the ability to evaluate their relationships and identify healthy and unhealthy behaviors and have tools to either strengthen friendships that nourish them or problem solve to either improve unhealthy relationships or be able to respectfully remove themselves from them.
Month 7: Module 7 – Creating Healthy Relationship with Yourself
- True to our unique approach at REALgirl and REALboy, we emphasize the importance of creating healthy relationship with yourself as a pre-requisite to creating healthy relationship with others. The entire month will be dedicated to discussions, activities, art projects and games that will encourage each and every student to contemplate their unique self and how to be a true friend to the little girl or little boy inside them. Our goal is to create a strong foundation of self-awareness, self-value, and self-care, before transitioning to an exploration of how to create and maintain healthy relationships with others in Module 8.
Month 6: Module 6 – Treating Your Body as a Temple
- This module is designed to support the important foundation we created with the previous Body Knowledge & Appreciation module. Our focus will be on encouraging students to view their body and being as a temple – one for which they are the gatekeepers. We will discuss how to be an effective gatekeeper, how to identify healthy and unhealthy food, friends, communication and more. We will be visited by a nutrition expert for the second session of the month and end with an exciting 90 self-defense class led by Impact Personal Safety (pending funding).
Month 5: Module 5 – Body Knowledge & Appreciation
- This important module is dedicated to ensuring that the children feel comfortable, informed, and therefore empowered in relation to their bodies. This will include explaining the introduction of hormones in their bodies (a process that first begins around age 7-8 for girls, and 8-9 for boys) and how the presence of these hormones initiates emotional, physical, and psychological changes that are a perfectly normal part of healthy development.
- The delivery will be age appropriate and it will include teaching them about the impact of testosterone in boys, and estrogen and progesterone in girls. For boys this will include topics such as emotional and energetic ups and downs, creating healthy outlets for excess energy, physical changes such as growth of body hair, erections, and person hygiene. For girls this will include emotional and energetic ups and downs, physical changes including menstruation basics, growth of body hair and breasts, and personal hygiene.
Month 4: Module 4 – Media & Gender Roles
- Continuing with knowledge and skills learned during the previous module, students will be guided to identify their perceived gender roles and ‘acceptable’ but limiting behaviors for boys/men and girls/women, as dictated by both society and the media. Fairy tales will be explored as examples of how narrow gender roles are introduced and perpetuated in our society. Students will each create ‘Be All You Can Be, Don’t Let Gender Roles Slow You Down’ posters during sessions 2 and 3. They will also summarize all that they learn in this module by creating a ‘Call to Action’ commercial during their combined REALgirl/REALboy session at the end of the month.
Month 3: Module 3 – Media & Body Image
- Using powerful videos and other visual examples, students will learn how mainstream media presents a narrow version of ‘normal’ when it comes to how girls and boys ‘should’ look and how this can negatively impact girls’ and boys’ self-esteem and sense of comfort, pride and respect for their bodies.
- Our goal is to heighten their awareness and guide them to develop their own internal filter so they are less susceptible to trying to meet narrow, impossible and literally ‘unreal’ standards set by various forms of media.
Month 2: Module 2 – Creating Your Own Path – You are the Author of Your Own Story
- Our focus in this module is on each individual’s capacity and responsibility to create her/his own path as the Author of her/his own story
- We begin by looking at how to set and achieve goals as part of writing our own story
- We will explore the notion of interdependence and the ‘web’ of life we are all a part of
- Through discussion, games and activities, including the creation of vision boards, students will set intentions and begin to identify the path they wish to create and the tools they will need to do so (planning, identifying and overcoming obstacles, identifying and embracing their fears, etc)
Month 1: Module 1 – Discovering Your REAL Self: You are the protagonist of your own story
- This all-important first module is dedicated to introducing students to the structure and routines of each session, including the use of the REALgirl/REALboy Voice Box, Ground Rules, participation in Sister/Brother Acknowledgment and more
- All curricula will introduce the notion of being the author and protagonist/hero of our own story. Students will be encouraged to think about who they are today, their personal values and how they are expressing those values (or not) out in the world
- Through reading stories like Poder , participating in various activities, art and discussion students will begin to identify who they are as unique, valuable individuals with something to offer the world
***Each session will end with a ‘REALgirl®/REALboy™ Mission’ to help solidify the new ideas, skills and tools introduced that day.
THIS WEEKS MISSION
Every month is dedicated to a new module/theme and almost every week both the girls and boys will be given a Mission Card. Their mission will usually involve a simple task that will encourage them to share something that they’ve learned that day, with their family, gather information from their peer circle or community, and most importantly further digest the themes and core lessons that they have engaged in during their REALgirl or REALboy session.
Module 8 – Mission #1:
Express to one member of your family something you appreciate about your relationship with them because it is a sign of a healthy relationship.
Module 8 – Mission #2:
Discuss with your family the 5 Qualities of a Healthy Relationship and ask them to share examples of healthy relationships in their lives. Remember, the 5 Qualities of a Healthy Relationship are:
- I trust my friend
- I feel like my friend supports me
- I feel physically and emotionally safe when I am with my friend
- I feel like we can always tell each other the truth
- We tell and show each other that we appreciate each other
Module 7 – Mission #3:
Practice “I Messages” with family members. The more you practice, the easier they will become.
TIPS AND TOOLS FOR PARENTS
Tip #1: Seize or create opportunities when reading with your child to talk about the role of the author (s/he decides where the story takes place, what happens in the story, who the protagonist is and who his/her friends are, etc.). Emphasize the importance of choosing who you want to be in the world and demonstrating that through your actions.
Tip #2: Become aware of the various forms of media your child has access to and become informed about the content of the media. Applaud your child’s keen eye when s/he points out the use of photoshop and stereotypical norms for how girls and boys ‘should’ look and encourage discussion around this topic.
Tip #3: Ask your child every Thursday about their Mission for the week. It usually has a discussion-based task they are to complete with the help of a family member.
Tip #4: Become aware of how your own programming around narrow gender roles has taken hold in your own life and in your family. Fine opportunities in the car and around the dinner table to talk through how you might challenge narrow gender roles in your home.
REMINDER to PARENTS: Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about Module 5 (February) – Body Knowledge and Appreciation when we’ll be covering tons of important information on how our bodies grow and change as we enter puberty (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Here is the letter that went home in December: View Letter
Tip #5: Check out this great resource for parents to guide them in talking about sex education with their children: http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/FamilyandPeerRelations/Sexuality/Pages/Sex-Education-for-Children-8-Tips-for-Parents.aspx
Tool #1: Use dinner or bedtime to do a regular check in with your son or daughter to ask, “What is one thing you learned about yourself today?” Rarely are we asked this question and it will encourage your child to make self-reflection and getting to know her or himself an on-going and important part of their daily life experience.
Tool #2: In case your child doesn’t show you these videos, please watch them on your own and encourage discussion around what you see and learn about the use of digital alteration of photos and videos: