Monday, April 28, 2008

Girls Together Visit Mount Union College

What happens when a group of sixth grade middle school girls meet a group of Mount Union College students? Lots of giggling and other good stuff!

For the past six months, a terrific group of sixth grade middle school girls has been meeting once a week over lunch with YWCA staff to develop skills and friendships in the YWCA Girls Together program. Over the course of this semester, the girls were joined by a Mount Union college intern and students from Dr. Sarah Torok’s gender studies class.

Bringing girls and young women together has been a win-win opportunity for everyone. The Mount Union students provide strong, positive role models for the girls; and the sixth graders assist the college students in learning what life is like for girls in middle school. And the YWCA is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Alliance Middle School and Mount Union College. The college class and the YWCA were brought together by Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, Director of Service-Learning and Community Service for the college.

Recently the group culminated their activities with an after school event on the college campus. An afternoon of activities planned by the Mount Union students included a tour of the campus, discussion about college life, interactive games that explored trust and teamwork, and dinner together. It was a toss-up as to which age group giggled more during the Three-Point Race, where teams of five worked together to pass the finish line first, while only allowing three points of contact with the ground. Equally exciting were a blindfolded team walk from the Campus Grounds to the bell tower and a spirited game of blindfolded soccer. Mental challenges included a word find and a memory teaser.

The event ended with all the participants receiving a specially designed Girls Together tee-shirt and glimpse into each other’s world. Each middle school participant also received a brochure about the college, a bag of Mount Union College items, and a Frisbee.