EAST LIVERPOOL – Studies have shown that a confident, self-sufficient girl is less likely to become underage and pregnant or a victim of domestic violence.
This is the theory behind the partnership between Way Station of East Liverpool and Columbiana County Job and Family Services, which are offering GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) programs in East Liverpool and Columbiana this summer for the third year.
As Sherry Blackburn, site director for the East Liverpool section, explained, the program is aimed at girls entering grades 5 to 12 in the fall. After the five-hour sessions all past week at Northside Church, the program will continue to meet weekly throughout the year at the same location.
Participants spend time journaling, listening to guest speakers, and doing arts and crafts alongside peer mentors, many of whom are former GLOW attendees.
“The goal is for girls to improve their self-esteem and set goals for their future”, Blackburn said. “If they dream about their future, they are less likely to act in a way that sabotages it.”
The messages are simple and full of affirmations to encourage uniqueness and positivity. For example, journaling included letters to themselves on how to respond to someone who was trying to pressure them, recover from their mistakes, and react when they were not feeling well enough. .
Daryl Hirsch of Ozer Ministries was on hand Thursday morning to speak to the girls about spotting red flags in relationships and the girls will be doing art projects to be included in the nonprofit agency’s annual art exhibit on violence domesticated.
Craftsmanship and self-acceptance are also important parts of the program. The girls made dreamy boards, GLOW light up jars as well as unique fingerprint crafts with positive affirmations throughout which they framed for display.
Blackburn said the program also encourages camaraderie and companionship.
More places are still available in the East Liverpool program, which runs all year round for the first time.
For more information on the East Liverpool GLOW program, register online at https://thewaystationinc.org/elglow