Working Group on Girls of Schenectady, Inc. exists because girls need to build meaningful connections for healthy relationships and a successful future. 
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The Circle: Celebrating Our Girls and Their Families

Greetings! It's been a busy winter for the WGGS. In addition to our girls and muses meeting together in their circles on a regular basis, we were able to provide our 8th through 12th grade girls with two special field trip experiences. We're also working with community partners on a reading event centered on the young adult novel All American Boys.
In April we hosted our second Parents' Day Out and are in the midst of planning this year's Girls' Circle Celebration Dinner where we look forward to honoring important women in the lives of our girls as well as our graduating seniors.

We are pleased to share that The Schenectady Foundation has generously awarded us a  grant of $25 thousand dollars which will be used over a two-year period to help fund our executive director position as well as other vital programs. We have also received a grant from the Soroptimists of Schenectady to be used for Girls' Day Out next year as well as a grant from Emma Willard.

More reasons to celebrate include the honoring by the YWCA of Maxine Brisport and Angela Tatem, both long time WGGS members and valued muses, for their inspiring work to improve the lives of families and children in our community.

We continue to be grateful to our volunteers and community partners who help us provide support and encouragement to the young women we serve.
-Gwynne DeLong, President of the Board

About Us

Laraine Longhurst and Bernadette Cole Slaughter have been girls' circle co-leaders for five years. They are both retired educators and share the same philosophy - it's all about the girls!

Bernadette and Laraine are 100% focused on a positive, empowering learning experience in a circle where it's safe to share. As muses, they inspire, listen, enlighten, show girls that they care, and ensure that each girl in their circles expresses her voice. They credit excellent training and curriculum, but it is their consistent, creative, and deeply caring implementation of these tools that make their circles so special, meaningful, and fun.

We're so grateful to have such dedicated volunteers for Schenectady girls.
Parents' Day Out
On April 12, we held our second Parents' Day Out at Glen Sanders Mansion.

Our workshop topics included financial literacy, communicating with your child, coping with stress, advocating for your child, and more. We're thankful to community contributors like Wealth Education Exchange, Create Community Studios, Yoga Bliss on the Boulevard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region

Our afternoon activities included arts expression as well as a World Café, in which parents were able to connect with each other and school, civic, and faith leaders from the community and discuss issues facing Schenectady families. 

You can see a video of the speech by Jamaica Miles, our keynote speaker, on Facebook.
Spotlight on Girls

Co-Muses Bernadette Cole Slaughter and Laraine Longhurst recently asked their current circle of girls to write down what they've learned from Girls' Circles this year. Answers include:

  • "To love myself no matter what."
  • "Always do your best."
  • "Stay true about myself."
  • "Express your opinion."  
  • "Be ourselves." 

As Girls' Circles wrap up for the year, muses and clinicians will meet to share feedback from the girls and share their own experiences so that we can continue to use our time with the girls as effectively as possible in the future.

Field Trips

On February 2, we brought  8th grade and high school Girls' Circle girls to see Hidden Figures at Bowtie Cinemas, introduced them to some local female mathematicians, and treated them to lunch at Proctors. Inspired by these smart and motivated women, one of our students who had previously planned to forego college decided to apply, after all.

Speaking of college, the 8th grade and high school girls also attended a special field trip to Schenectady County Community College where girls took a tour of the campus, learned about the culinary arts and STEM programs, and were treated to a luncheon and learned about how to make an excellent first impression with not just interview skills, but etiquette as well. Many thanks to SCCC for providing this firsthand look at the college experience!
Upcoming: Girls' Circles Celebration

We're planning our annual Girls' Circles Celebration for today, May 11, at Schenectady High School. While our board and planning committee are diligently getting logistics in order, Muses have been talking with their girls about the importance of role models and honoring their mothers, aunts, and other important women in their life for all that they've done. Some girls will choose to share a few words, a song, or their artwork with their wider Girls' Circles community and the women who come to support them. This event is always fun and inspiring.
Upcoming: Meet the Authors

The WGGS is also collaborating with the SCSD, Schenectady County Public Library, Boys Day Out and the Open Door Bookstore to bring Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kielythe authors of All American Boys to Schenectady for 2 student assemblies and one community event this month. We also helped provide the book for our girls to read in book clubs being run by SCSD staff as well as books for parents and community members to read. See our web site for more information.
  • May 11 at 5:30 pm: Girls' Circles Celebration at Schenectady HS
  • May 16 at 6:30 pm: Meet the Authors of All American Boys at Schenectady HS
  • June 5 at 3:30 pm: Planning Committee Meeting at YWCA
  • July: next board meeting to be determined
  • October 5: Save the Date! Our 2nd Annual Circles of Support Fundraiser
Would You Like to Help?

Are you ready and willing to help girls in your community? We need you!
Special event volunteers are preparing for the upcoming Girls' Circle Celebration.

Donate Now to Help Support Schenectady Girls
Newsletter #4: May 2017

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