A poem by Danazsia Bobbitt
Inside This Pencil
Inside this pencil
are the words that will jump out of my head
The words nobody can think of
These words are stuck inside my pencil
Inside this pencil
are the words I, and only I,thought
Inside my pencil are words that I can only know
They are just waiting to come out
Inside my pencil are these words sitting squished up against
the skinny curved walls
Inside my penicil are the words
That are me
Just my thoughts
The thoughts that made me feel good
Inside this pencil.
SMART Girls, Smart Heart Event
Contact: Gwen Clayton (914)235-3736 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
And Fun is what nearly 70 girls ages 8-13 had on Friday, March 20th at Mascaro’s Boys & Girls Club in New Rochelle. It was a special partnership between the women from the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound and the Boys & Girls Club that created a memorable, meaningful, and exciting afternoon just for the SMART (Skills Mastery And Resistance Training) Girls program.
“It seems the times have changed dramatically for girls in the age group of 8-11 years in the last decade. Our girls are at a vulnerable age and yet they are under a great deal of pressure to handle teen issues prematurely” says Gwen Clayton, Project Director for SMART Moves. “What better way to take the stress off, than to have fun, be self –expressed, exercise and promote girl power.”
In the kick off session, the girls created a cheer and chanted the mantra for the afternoon: “SMART HEART, SMART MIND, SMART BODY!” Throughout the event, they enjoyed a feast of healthy snacks that included a fruit group, a vegetable group, and a protein group. The girls strayed from the typical fare and tried kiwi, mango, strawberries, grapes, boysenberries’, pineapple, sugar snaps, broccoli, carrots, turkey roll ups, yogurt, and cheese.
The girls enjoyed rotating workshops in self defense, friendship and self esteem. Self defense got the hearts pumping under the special instruction of Premier Martial Arts from New Roc City. The self esteem workshop was facilitated by JLWOS ‘s Shelly Freeman, supported by Dana Dierson and Marie Laguerre. The friendship breakout was led by Gwen Clayton, of the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle, and Meg Bausano, of JLWOS. This workshop included role playing, and a discussion centered on positive communication, dealing with girl friend troubles, being left out and the”whole popularity thing.”
After the breakouts rotation’s ended, a burst of girls clamored back to gym for more healthy food, raffle prizes, and goodie bags complete with “A SMART girls guide to friendship troubles.” Message and Mission accomplished! It was an energy boost for all parties involved. Chris Gerosa, a JLWOS coordinator/ leader on the project stated “ Truly, I don't think I have ever been part of a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. All of our work totally paid off in a great day for those great SMART Girls!” Nicole, age 9 said, “That was so much fun! I’ve never tried kiwi before. It was yummy! And I learned how strong I am, and how to be a better friend. I felt good about myself and the friendships I have.” With that came resounding question from all the girls, “When can we do the Karate class again? “
“We wanted to send a message to our girls within all the clubhouses in New Rochelle, that we care about them and want them to enjoy girl power and the power of community” says Anthony Johnson, Director of Operations at the New Rochelle Boys & Girls Club. “Our invitations read: Love yourself, Love Your Friends. Our partners from the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound created a great afternoon for everyone.”
Gwen Clayton, project director for SMART Moves also explains that this is just the first of several SMART programs that Club will host. This is part of the Healthy Students and Safe Skill grant initiative. SMART Moves incorporates SMART Girls, Passport to Manhood, and Street Smarts. Going forward, we will offer similar workshops to help boys understand the responsibility of manhood and healthy choices and lifestyles.
Our young people in today’s world are faced with numerous choices and dangers that can have long-term effects on their well-being. “We provide them with smart solutions to the challenges they face in every day life,” said Quay Watkins, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle.
The Junior League of Westchester
on the Sound is a non-profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism
and improving the Sound Shore communities. Their areas of impact from the
volunteer support are in literacy, health and education for women and children,
immigrant support and work with community partners. The two organizations share
a similar vision of supporting our children in fun and inspirational learning