Girls "Movin Up"

August 28, 2008 3:20:13 PM PDT
Girls at the "Movin Up" program Thursday acted out possible scary situations they may encounter at school. Most of the girls will be starting middle school next week, and they're nervous.

"I'm kind of afraid of losing my friends I had at elementary school," soon-to-be sixth grader Kate McDermott. Fifth-grader Amity Wood said, "I'm afraid I'm probably going to get lost on the first day."

So through skits and with the help of high school role models "Movin Up" aims to give girls the tools they need to deal with situations such as bullying.

"We're trying to give them solutions, particularly for bystanders because most girls are bystanders and bystanders really have the power to make the difference," said Paula Singer, the founder and co-director of the program.

The five-day program also teaches positive body image and how to be comfortable in your own skin despite the images portrayed in magazines.

"We're trying to show them there's different shapes, colors, everyone's beautiful in their own way," said high school mentor Megan Wilson. That self-confidence will also help the girls be more assertive and once again give them the tools to stand up to a bully or protect themselves from a stranger.

Lastly, for many girls there's anxiety over getting lockers open in time. "Movin-Up" helps them practice that skill so they can shed the fear and get excited about the good things the change brings.

"I'm looking forward to joining sports and different activities after school," McDermott said.

The program was sponsored by the Middleton Center at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

For more information on preventing bullying, visit: Stop Bullying Now

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