Cincinnati, OH — On March 10, more than 50 Girl Scouts and their families gathered at Independence Elementary School to celebrate the completion of a two-month long Free Being Me series. The program has been offered to Independence girls in grades 3-6 for the past four years and participation continues to grow.
Independence Elementary School Counselor Kelly Carstens planned the celebration in conjunction with the girls and Girl Scout staff to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and to provide the girls with an outlet to showcase what they learned.
The girls who participated in the program earned a “Free Being Me” badge, by completing seven 45-minute sessions on self-confidence, body positivity, and inner beauty. Participants discussed concepts such as where beauty standards come from, how beauty standards (“the image-myth”) contribute to our confidence and sense of self, and how this can be harmful.
Girls became noticeably more self-assured and were quick to point out that beauty is not skin deep, being kind, caring, and interesting is much more important to our friends and family than our physical attributes and that we need to spread this message to our schools and communities.
In order to share this message with their peers, the girls spent time planning Take Action projects. The 3rd and 4th graders decided to write positive messages on post-it notes. Each girl wrote at least 10 messages and displayed them on a large poster. The 5th and 6th graders broke off into committees for their Take Action projects to plan a similar post-it note writing project, a social media campaign, baked treats for the celebration, and wrote out and presented personal stories of how they have grown through their time in Free Being Me. The poster was presented at the celebration on Friday March 10th for the girls and their families, and is now on display at Independence Elementary.