The first day!

Hi everyone! First of all, thank you SO much for all of the positive feedback on the blog so far! It feels wonderful to know that I have so many people supporting me in everything that I do. I truly appreciate everyone who offered their kind words and assistance within this past week and I am blessed to know all of you. :) 

Anyway, this past Thursday was the first day of Girl Rising! HOORAY! It was amazing, wonderful, inspiring, beautiful...basically every positive adjective you can imagine. This day was very much anticipated by not only myself, but the girls as well. Every time I would see the girls in the hallway for the past two weeks, they would say things like "I can't wait for Thursday!" or "It's only three days away!" Their excitement made my heart so happy because there is no better feeling than knowing that what you're doing is sparking joy in others. 

After school on Thursday, 20 girls came into my classroom with big smiles and lots of zest (a little too much zest, but that's okay). It was beautiful to watch all of the girls, regardless of grade level, welcoming each other hugs and kind words. There was already a sense of community among them that came together so naturally. We started our meeting in a circle and we spent most of our time introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. Then, I shared my story with the girls and how this Girl Rising vision came to be. I told them about the class I took in college that originally sparked the idea and I told them about my passion for helping girls realize their full potential. After that, I distributed journals to each of them and gave them a few minutes to personalize them by drawing a picture of themselves doing something that they love. We came back together on the floor and I introduced a quote for them to write in their journal: 

"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants." 

We talked about what that quote means and they were all able to express to me that it means being able to do what we want without caring what other people think. They will get a new quote each week to add to their journal. Their task is to think about the quote throughout the week and write their feelings about it in their journal. I told them to think of this journal as a diary and that no one else has to read it but them. They all seemed very excited about it and I look forward to hearing their thoughts next week! 

We ended our time together with an activity called "The Pulse" in which we held hands, closed our eyes, and passed a squeeze with our hands around the circle. I wanted this activity to symbolize our unity and togetherness as a group. My hope is for every girl to feel as though Girl Rising is their source of family, support, power, and love. 

Overall, it was a wonderful first meeting! I couldn't stop smiling the entire time knowing that my dream is coming true right in front of me. The majority of the girls were very receptive to the things I was saying and I could tell they completely understood. However, because these girls are only 7 and 8 years old, some of them lack the maturity to reflect. I am confident, though, that as the weeks go on, they will grow into the little feminists I know they can be. :) 

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