Adolescence is a period of great transition for all children. Adolescents have unique psychosocial needs because it brings significant physical, emotional, and mental changes. Girls Club is a peer support group that provides educational and recreational resources to support 80 students from Lafayette High School as they navigate the challenges of this period of life. We aim to empower our adolescent girls participating in this WEDI powered program with the health knowledge, life skills, and self-esteem to not only develop with the tools and resources to make healthy choices and live healthy lives but to thrive as they do so.
Students in Girls Club face a myriad of barriers that include cultural barriers, English language fluency, and poverty. Some girl's needs are even more basic--they do not know where to buy products, how to ask for them, or even how to use them. Many girls feel a crippling sense of shame related to their changing bodies. Girls Club addresses these issues head-on and helps students to understand that these bodily changes are natural and normal.
Girls Club meets on Saturdays in grades 9-12 during the course of the school year. Up to 20 students participate in four weekly, one-hour training on these days. The program topics include Puberty and Body Changes, Personal Hygiene, Self Esteem, and Bullying Prevention. Each topic is designed to fill an hour-long session.
All-female participants receive both training and a “Fem-emergency Kit” (The Kit) to keep with them. The Kit is a discrete bag that contains sanitary and hygiene products as well as instructions for their use. Girls Club also assists girls to purchase appropriate undergarments for their changing bodies. Students under financial hardship may be provided funds to make necessary purchases.