I often write here about the girl in my life, my daughter, Maya.

Today I want to focus on girls nationally. The National Women’s Studies Association convened several girl-serving organizations at its 2010 conference, and learned, among other things, that the organizations wanted to broaden the audience for disseminating research and information about their programs.

To that end, NWSA created a research roundup. Some highlights:

  • 90% of Girls For A Change participants know they can create change in their communities, they can and will use those skills to create change in their own lives
  • The Girl Scout Leadership Experience curriculum is designed so that girls learn to advocate for themselves and others, locally and globally
  • Hardy Girls Healthy Women offers a strength-based approach to working with girls and is grounded in a review and critique of resilience literature for its over-emphasis on the individual and lack of attention to relationships and environments
  • Smart-Girl is a program that works with 8th grade girls in Denver, Colorado; a program evaluation shows that participants had increases in science grades and overall GPA

Even this brief overview points to some effective strategies for serving girls: we can teach girls to take leadership and translate their ideas into action.  We can create sustaining, respectful spaces for girls to engage and learn.  GWP readers, what has worked for you?  What other girl-serving organizations do you know?

You’ll also find highlights from girl-centered presentations at last year’s NWSA conference, with topics ranging from public education to food and sexualization.

This promises to be a growing area in NWSA.  The conference proposal submission deadline has been extended until February 21, 2011. Plan to come and find out the latest in the world of girls and girls’ studies!