Smart-Girl, a Colorado nonprofit organization, launches nationally with its debut at the American School Counselor’s Association (ASCA) conference June 28 to July 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. Unlike most girl-centered organizations, Smart-Girl focuses on the development and practice of social/emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills that lead to life-long happiness and well-being. Smart-Girl embarks on nationwide accessibility by offering a workshop and an exclusive publication, Making Smart Choices: Social and Emotional Skills for Adolescent Girls, to ASCA conference attendees.
“Being showcased at the ASCA conference gives our curriculum the validation we know it deserves,” said Nicky Marone, Smart-Girl CEO. “We’re honored to be in partnership with such a prestigious professional organization. By teaming up with ASCA, we’re confident the Smart-Girl program will be initiated by individuals across the country with the training to deliver it successfully. When that happens, not only will the girls in these communities benefit. The communities themselves will benefit as well.”
Smart-Girl’s ASCA workshop will be led by Dr. Rhonda Williams, EdD, and Sameen Noorulamin, Smart-Girl Program Director. The workshop will comprise lecture, experiential learning and discussion. Attendees will not only hear about what makes Smart-Girl such a unique and important program, they will also experience it by participating in a sampling of the Smart-Girl curriculum. Workshop attendees also will receive a copy of the publication, Making Smart Choices: Social and Emotional Skills for Adolescent Girls to bring back to their schools.
Making Smart Choices: Social and Emotional Skills for Adolescent Girls contains a nine session sampler of the Smart-Girl curriculum. The full curriculum offers more than 100 hours of activity-based, experiential programming. Program sessions help adolescent girls to reduce their vulnerability to destructive behaviors, develop leadership, group and social skills, learn and practice critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, increase self-awareness, self-efficacy and self-respect, and develop attitudes and values that lead to personal and professional success. Ultimately, Smart-Girl helps girls grow into confident, capable, self-reliant young women.
“Emotional Quotient (EQ) is arguably more important than Intelligence Quotient (IQ) for success in life and well-being,” said Dr. Williams. “Smart-Girl teaches girls how to make smart choices – to delay gratification, persist in the face of difficulty, problem solve, be leaders, work in a team, identify and avoid harmful situations, and deal effectively with confrontation. We give girls the tools to become positive role models. This makes them better citizens in their schools, families and neighborhoods.”
“Additionally, the Smart-Girl program is data-driven and aligns well with the ASCA national model in the three key areas: personal/social, career and academic,” continued Williams.
Smart-Girls’ plan for expansion involves developing the programming, training and quality control necessary for community organizations to establish and maintain a Smart-Girl program. “Our participation with ASCA is the first step to ensure that eventually any girl that wants or needs Smart-Girl will be able to get it,” said Marone.
Frank Gonzales, principal at Kempner Middle School in Denver, can already attest to the positive results of Smart-Girl. Thanks to Gonzales, Kempner provides Smart-Girl to every female student during the school day. “Simply, girls treat each other better in the hallways,” said Gonzales. “Smart-Girl has led to an improved school climate. Girls learn that not only do they have a responsibility to themselves, but they also have a responsibility to each other.”
Smart-Girl is a Colorado nonprofit organization. It’s multiple-session experiential program is led by highly trained near-peer Guides and gives adolescent girls the tools and practice necessary to develop and hone social/emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills.