Thursday, May 2, 2013

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Empowers Girls to Stand up Against Bullies Through Empathy

Lindsay Collett, Program Manager of Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland, recently wrote a column for Start Empathy.

"Power Up, developed by Girl Scouts of Colorado, focuses on encouraging the 85% of girls who are bystanders to bullying behavior—especially the gossip, exclusion, and drama common among girls—to stand up and defend targets and make the world a better place,” writes Collett. “The Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland decided to join in Colorado's efforts of empower young women to stand up to bullying. Doing nothing is not an option! By teaching girls how to think—instead of what to think—girls learn to trust their gut to know when they experience, witness, or perpetuate bullying; and to understand that no simple answer works in every situation.”

An all-girl program, Power Up is focused on preventing the unique verbal and relational bullying prevalent among girls.

“Though we haven’t had the program long—just under one year—we’ve already empowered more than 1,000 girls to become defenders against bullying behavior,” writes Collett.  “After completing the program, girls have thanked us for teaching them how to handle harassment and for helping adults actually understand what girls are like. Girls have shared how much they’ve learned—that it’s okay to help someone in need, ignoring bullying makes you a bully, and not to pick on anyone because they now know how much it can hurt. Since attending Power Up, girls have changed the way they look at bullying, how they think about people, and the way they treat everyone around them. We’re looking forward to the future, and being able to train more volunteer facilitators and teaching even more girls that doing nothing is not an option!” Read the entire piece here!