Gems Presentation Of Program


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GEMS Presentation of Program for the 2nd Annual National Relational Aggression Conference

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  • Welcome everyone and tell them how amazing it is to be presenting here. Introduce ourselves. Make sure to go to website.
  • Gems Presentation Of Program

    1. 1. GEMS – Girls Educated and Motivated to Succeed <ul><li>Created by Nancy Ball and Lauren Meek </li></ul><ul><li>St. Gregory the Great School, South Euclid, Ohio </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    2. 2. What is GEMS? <ul><li>GEMS is a socially mixed group of 6-8 girls who meet once a week for an hour after school to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learn about… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discuss issues concerning… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>come up with strategies for dealing with… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RELATIONAL AGGRESSION. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 7-8 sessions per group and 1 group meets per quarter. </li></ul><ul><li>Participation is voluntary. </li></ul><ul><li>We have always had 100% participation! </li></ul>
    3. 3. What the research says… <ul><li>“… relational aggression has been linked to a wide range of difficulties for both the victim and the perpetrators thus indicating that effective prevention and intervention are warranted for the pattern of behaviors that one may consider developmentally normal” (Yoon, Barton, & Taiariol, 2004, p. 306). </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Relatively New Topic <ul><li>According to one editorial for the Applied Developmental Psychology journal, “the focus on relational aggression…has been rapidly expanding in the past 15 years.” (Ostrov & Crick, 2006, p. 189). </li></ul><ul><li>Young, Boye, and Nelson state that “summarizing what is known about relational aggression is difficult because disparate findings have been reported, different constructs have been used in the research, and developmental differences are evident” (2006, p. 302). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Research shows need for relational aggression education… <ul><li>In articles written by Yoon, Barton, and Taiarol (2004), Young, Boye, and Nelson (2006), and Merrell, Buchanan, and Tran (2006) relational aggression is discussed in terms of its implications for schools. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, it is defined based on prior research and analyzed to show that it is harmful and that there needs to be something done at the school level. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions are made in all three articles that education needs to be available for adults dealing with adolescents, as well as for adolescents themselves regarding relational aggression. </li></ul>
    6. 6. GEMS is born… <ul><li>Spring 2005 I read Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco and pass it on to Nancy </li></ul><ul><li>2005-2006 school year Nancy and I try to find something to address the relational aggression occurring at our school </li></ul><ul><li>I research relational aggression for a research proposal I have to do for a class </li></ul><ul><li>March 2006 we attend the YouthLight, Inc. conference, Mean Girls, in Columbus and are inspired to begin our program </li></ul><ul><li>Over the summer of 2006, we develop a one-year program for our 6 th and 7 th grade girls </li></ul>
    7. 7. GEMS Today <ul><li>Since the 7 th grade girls already participated in the first GEMS program, we had to come up with 8 new sessions for them for the second year of GEMS </li></ul><ul><li>GEMS is now a two-year program with a total of 15 sessions, community service project, and culminating retreat </li></ul>
    8. 8. What happens in a session? <ul><li>Each session begins with a snack and the Serenity prayer (easily substituted with a pledge or mantra) </li></ul><ul><li>A topic is presented with some type of learning activity dealing with relational aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Sessions conclude with the “Tangle Hands” activity </li></ul>
    9. 9. Types of Activities <ul><li>Journaling </li></ul><ul><li>Art projects </li></ul><ul><li>Role play </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Note taking </li></ul><ul><li>Surveying </li></ul><ul><li>Posters (displayed in the school) </li></ul>
    10. 10. What you and the girls need <ul><li>Snack provided by GEMS girl each week </li></ul><ul><li>Drink provided by teacher each week </li></ul><ul><li>Art supplies, music, a safe place </li></ul><ul><li>Journal/folder (brought by girls to each meeting) </li></ul><ul><li>GEMS CD with reproducibles </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm and belief that this works! </li></ul>
    11. 11. GEMS in the community <ul><li>This year we wanted our girls to reach out to the community around them so we provided an opportunity to volunteer at a low-income day care </li></ul><ul><li>The girls read books to and played with the younger children while the school-age children learned about how to deal with friend problems from our girls. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Everyone loved it!
    13. 13. Girl Health Issues <ul><li>This year I asked my sister, Lisa Santoriella, a licensed counselor, to come in to discuss the issues of self-harm, depression and eating disorders </li></ul><ul><li>The girls enjoyed her session and were able to ask her questions about seeking help </li></ul>
    14. 14. Praise from parents… <ul><li>“ Students at this time in their life need a boost and awareness of their self-esteem. Bullying can exacerbate a depression/self-harm behavior…this program [GEMS] can educate, provide support, and hopefully provide intervention before a serious issue comes to light. My hat is off to both of you.” – Mrs. Jeanne Capretta, R.N. </li></ul><ul><li>“ On behalf of the PTC Board , I just wanted to let you know how impressed we were with your program as well as the hard work and dedication that you both have contributed in order to make it successful.” – Sandy Bauman, PTC President </li></ul>
    15. 15. Culminating Activity – GEMS Retreat! <ul><li>6 th Grade GEMS Girls </li></ul><ul><li>7 th Grade GEMS Girls </li></ul>
    16. 16. What is the GEMS Retreat? <ul><li>At the end of the year all of the girls who complete the GEMS program can participate in the retreat </li></ul><ul><li>We ask female teachers to be a part of it </li></ul><ul><li>The overnight retreat is held in our gymnasium </li></ul><ul><li>It is activity-filled fun! </li></ul>
    17. 17. What happens at a GEMS retreat? <ul><li>Dinner, sign-in and socializing </li></ul><ul><li>Directions and candle pass ceremony </li></ul><ul><li>4 breakout sessions (45 minutes each) </li></ul><ul><li>Movie setup, snack, preparing for sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Very little sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Breakfast & ending activity </li></ul>
    18. 18. Dinner, sign-in and socializing <ul><li>This is a good time for the girls to meet and talk because they are all extremely excited! </li></ul>
    19. 19. Directions and Candle Pass Activity <ul><li>Groups of 6 th and 7 th graders are organized ahead of time </li></ul><ul><li>Each group consists of two teachers and a 6 th and 7 th grade GEMS group </li></ul><ul><li>The groups are each a GEM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds & Sapphires </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Groups have a set rotation and additional teachers run the activities </li></ul>
    20. 20. Diamonds
    21. 21. Sapphires
    22. 22. Rubies
    23. 23. Emeralds
    24. 24. Activity - Journaling <ul><li>Girls bring their GEMS journals and are given a prompt and time to write while peaceful music is playing </li></ul><ul><li>The girls like this quiet time and usually write a lot </li></ul>
    25. 25. Activity – Role Play <ul><li>Girls are split up into smaller groups and given a skit to perform </li></ul><ul><li>After each skit girls discuss the type of relational aggression that occurrs and how to handle it the GEMS way </li></ul>
    26. 26. Activity – Team Building <ul><li>Girls love this station! </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher leading this has the girls lift each other as a group as well as do group juggling </li></ul>
    27. 27. Activity – Tie-Dyeing and Poster Signing <ul><li>The girls need to have something tangible to take with them from the retreat </li></ul><ul><li>Each girl designs a GEMS t-shirt to tie-dye and also signs each other’s 11x15 poster </li></ul>
    28. 28. Quotes from our GEMS girls… <ul><li>“ I liked when Mrs. Meek’s sister came to talk to us about her job, because she told me what these sort of nutrition and social problems can do to my body.” -7 th grader </li></ul><ul><li>“ My favorite part of GEMS was doing skits. Because of the skits, I saw (even though we were acting) the sadness it brought to people. I was either on one side or the other, being bullied or bullying.” -6 th grader </li></ul>
    29. 30. GEMS girls speak out <ul><li>“ Now because of GEMS I open up more about my feelings when I know I need help or advice. I tell the truth more when people ask what’s wrong. I help others if they have problems or need someone to talk to.” -6 th grader </li></ul><ul><li>“ GEMS has definitely made a difference. Instead of hearing, ‘We aren’t friends anymore!’ I hear more laughing and talking nice and ‘I’m so sorry!’ I really think GEMS has helped.” -6 th grader </li></ul>
    30. 32. Does GEMS really help? <ul><li>“ Yes and no. The girls who take the advice </li></ul><ul><li>to heart will change themselves, but there </li></ul><ul><li>are going to be a few who don’t, and that’s </li></ul><ul><li>life. But we have </li></ul><ul><li>gained better ways </li></ul><ul><li>to deal with those </li></ul><ul><li>people.” -7 th grader </li></ul>
    31. 34. Your turn! <ul><li>Now it’s up to you to take this program and make it your own </li></ul><ul><li>Start going through some of your favorite books, quotes, things you’ve taken from conferences (the GEMS CD) and put together a program that will meet the needs of your school </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative and be willing to share honestly with your girls </li></ul><ul><li>You WILL make a difference! </li></ul>
    32. 35. GEMS CD Materials (available for purchase through our website) <ul><li>Sample permission slip and letter of introduction for parents </li></ul><ul><li>Sample meeting agenda with snack schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Session summaries for Gr. 6 and Gr. 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Session power points </li></ul><ul><li>Session reproducibles </li></ul><ul><li>GEMS Pact and certificate </li></ul><ul><li>of participation </li></ul>
    33. 36. Special Thanks <ul><li>We would like to thank YouthLight, Inc. for inspiring us to begin GEMS and enabling us to share our program with all of you. </li></ul><ul><li>We would also like to thank all those who made this trip to Orlando possible: St. Gregory the Great PTC, Endowment Board, and all the St. Gregory the Great students, faculty and staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, to all of our GEMS girls – we do this for you and we love you! </li></ul>
    34. 37. Additional information Visit our website at Please feel free to contact us through email: We will be happy to answer any questions and take orders for CDs. We are also available for GEMS retreats and teacher in-servicing.
    35. 38. References <ul><li>Merrell, K.W., Rohanna, B. & Tran, O.K. (2006). Relational Aggression in Children and Adolescents: A Review with Implications for School Settings. Psychology in the Schools, 3(3), 345-360. </li></ul><ul><li>Ostrov, J.M. & Crick, N.R. (2006). How recent developments in the study of relational aggression and close relationships in early childhood advance the field. Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 189-192. </li></ul><ul><li>Yoon, J.S., Barton, E. & Taiariol, J. (2004). Relational Aggression in Middle School: Educational Implications of Developmental Research. Journal of Early Adolescence, 24(3), 303-318. </li></ul><ul><li>Young, E.L., Boye, A.E. & Nelson, D.A. (2006). Relational Aggression: Understanding, Identifying, and Responding in Schools. Psychology in the School, 43(3), 297-312. </li></ul>