Within the first couple of weeks, we split the girls into two groups. We could see that the first through third graders were holding the fourth through sixth graders back. The younger girls played around and couldn’t sit still through any of the activities or discussions, which was distracting and frustrating for the older ones who were interested in learning. The curriculum, we decided, was just too advanced for the young ones.
However, as always, these girls surprised us.
The first surprise came when I was talking with Samira, an employee of the Clintonville Resource Center who does not work at the Kids’ Club. “I ran into one of your 1girl girls today from Kids’ Club,” Samira told me, “She was telling me all about how much she loves going to 1girl and how much she has learned from it.”
I smiled, happy to hear good feedback from one of the girls. “She was saying how you guys talk to them about careers and that she wants to be an artist when she grows up, and she was telling me about the project she wants to do!” At this point, I was very interested, so I asked which girl she was talking about.
My expression had to have given away my surprise when she said Clara. Clara is our youngest girl—she just turned six years old. I had been sure it would have been one of the older girls to give that kind of feedback. The younger girls actually hear what we’re saying? I wondered.
Later, I found myself wondering what project Clara had told Samira about. She—along with all of the younger girls—had talked about many projects they wanted to do. Consistently, they brought up butterfly books and a puppet show. But, as we expected, the girls were making no progress each week outside of 1girl. “I forgot to do my project!” became a daily expression we heard from the younger girls.
We were unconcerned. We had started to focus our efforts on the older girls and the projects they were doing, while simply trying to ensure the younger ones had fun and learned a little something along the way.
Then, a strange thing happened. Clara came in one day and shared with us her completed butterfly book.
A week later, Mya came in with a completed “moths, butterflies, and caterpillars” book she has written and illustrated.
We were extremely proud that two of the little girls completed projects. But the greatest shock of all came this week, when a group of the girls came in with the puppet show. They had created a mini stage with a cardboard box and duct tape, sock puppets, and had even written a script to go with it. We could not have been more excited!
Once again, these girls impressed us and exceeded our expectations with their determination, positivity, and hard work. We never expected that these little girls would be capable of not only remembering to do the project, but also actually doing it.
This just goes to show the amazing capabilities that young girls have, when they put their minds to things. We are so lucky to see these great girls improve and make us proud each day!
Keep following our blog to hear more inspirational stories from the girls.