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: 2016-2017 Girls' Circles Have Begun

Our 8th annual Girls' Day Out was held on November 16, 2016. Bringing together 150 seventh grade girls for a day of education and inspiration each year is a joy and we are all looking forward to being a positive and supportive presence in our roles as muses. A big thanks to Elaine Houston for being our keynote speaker and for spending the entire morning with our girls as they attended their workshops. We're happy to report that Girls' Circles are under way at Central Park Middle School, Mont Pleasant Middle School, Oneida Middle School, Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy, and Schenectady High School.  

As you will see in this newsletter, we have many volunteers and organizations whose generosity of time, talent, money, and donated gifts make what we are doing possible. We are grateful to a generous and caring community that believes as we do that girls do have the strengths and abilities within themselves to succeed.  We are especially thankful this month to The Schenectady Foundation, a long time supporter and friend to the WGGS, for their generous grant of $25,000. Thank you all who support us in our support of girls.

-Gwynne DeLong, President of the Board
About Us

Colleen Guy (at left, with girls from one of last year's circles) is an LCSW and certified school social worker who received her BSW from Syracuse University and her MSW from Columbia. Colleen has worked at Central Park for ten years. She's been with WGGS from the beginning, when Ebony Belmar invited her to an organizational meeting.

"Immediately after meeting these women, I was inspired by their care and compassion for our youth, but also their drive and determination to create a meaningful, impactful program," says Colleen. "It’s been inspiring to watch the organization grow into what it is today."

About how Girls' Day Out and Girls' Circles have impacted students, Colleen says, "First and foremost, the programs spark excitement in our girls. They help to add a positive activity to our school culture.  I’ve also seen girls apply concepts in Circles to their everyday lives, in particular self-esteem, goal setting and healthy relationships. Additionally the girls develop positive relationships- with their peers, with the volunteers, and most importantly, with themselves."

We're so grateful to have a close partnership with clinicians like Colleen and to support their work for Schenectady youth.
Girls' Day Out

What a wonderful and inspiring event! The girls were so excited as they arrived, since many were reuniting with old friends who had changed schools for redistricting. They loved the beautifully set tables and got to work applying temporary tattoos with the day's theme, "Still I Rise," before settling down to welcomes from WGGS and a keynote address from WNYT's Elaine Houston.

Morning workshops covered topics like mindfulness, communication, social media, healthy relationships,and more, and they received rave reviews.

After a delicious buffet lunch, the girls split up again for some hands-on, active, and creative workshops that included self-defense, dance, art, singing, drumming, and much more. 

Our group of very energized girls loved receiving their t-shirts and backpacks put together by Jeanne Hagerty and full of goodies provided by
  • Boys & Girls' Clubs
  • Ellis Medicine
  • Fidelis Care
  • First New York
  • Girls, Inc.
  • Junior League of Schenectady & Saratoga Counties
  • Dr. Liebers
  • miSci
  • MVP Healthcare
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Safe, Inc.
  • Schenectady County Community College
  • Schenectady County Public Library
  • Schenectady Police Department
  • Target
  • Union College
  • YWCA
It was a terrific kick-off to another season of empowering, educating, and supporting girls.
  • February 2: Hidden Figures field trip for 8th grade and high school girls.
  • February 6 at 3:30 pm: Planning committee meeting at YWCA
  • April 12: Parents' Day Out at Glen Sanders Mansion
Spotlight on Girls

At the 2016 Girls’ Day Out, some 7th graders discussed how words on social media can hurt. With the guidance of Kristina Graves, Mont Pleasant Library Media Specialist, and Victoria Abdullay, Oneida ELA teacher, they produced a public service announcement.

Click the image above or this link to view the video PSA.

Special Thanks To. . . 

We are so grateful to everyone who helped us put together Girls’ Day Out 2016!

We were fortunate that so many women served as facilitators to share their wisdom and talents with our girls. Thanks to:
  • Victoria Abdulla
  • Yvonne Alex
  • Chrys Ballerano
  • Dr. Deidre Butler
  • Ariante Carter
  • Laura Combs
  • Latisia Danseuse
  • Jean Fei
  • Raeshelle Fraiser
  • Kristina Graves
  • Colleen Guy
  • Tanya Henderson
  • Heather Hutchison
  • Amanda Keil
  • Mary LaFountain
  • Laura LaFontaine
  • Marion Leap
  • Kiana Miller
  • Meegan Monstransky
  • Dawn Przekurat
  • Hemavattie Ramtahal
  • Shirley Readdean
  • Bernice Rivera & middle/high school students
  • Anna Robinson
  • Marva Rochford
  • Nikki Sanders
  • Ana Shaello
  • Diana Suits
  • Angela Tatum & Union students
  • Anasia Thompson-Lawrence
Most of all, we’re grateful to the girls for their energy, enthusiasm, wisdom, and good humor.
Upcoming Programs

Our board and planning committee are hard at work planning two upcoming events.

On February 2, we'll bring 8th grade and high school Girls' Circle girls to see Hidden Figures at Bowtie Cinemas, introduce them to some local female mathematicians, and treat them to lunch at Proctors. Even with significant discounts from our hosts,this field trip will cost about $1200. Would you like to donate to support this outing? Click here!

On April 12, we'll hold our second Parents' Day Out at Glen Sanders Mansion. We'll help Schenectady families learn parenting strategies, find support, and connect with resources to support them.

New Online Resources for Muses

We've expanded the Muse Forum section of our website to include links to forms and handouts. We've also added a resource page accessible to everyone that includes "girl power" voices from popular music, documentaries, interesting articles, and more. 

We've also created a private WGGS muse support group  on Facebook where muses and clinicians can share resources, ask questions, and offer advice.

If you are a current muse or clinician and you don't yet have access to these resources, please contact Laura LaFontaine at

If anyone hasn't already seen our new website, click here to visit
We're Also Happy to Report. . .  

We are so pleased to report that WGGS has been awarded:
  • $500 from Schenectady Rotary
  • $2000 from the First Reformed Church
We're grateful for their support!
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 Parents' Day Out

Donate Now to Help Support Schenectady Girls
Newsletter #3: January 2017

Copyright © 2017 Working Group on Girls of Schenectady, Inc., All rights reserved.

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