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New Program to Give Girls a Confidence Boost: FDSH to Add Initiative after Thanksgiving - from The Messenger

November 21, 2022

Helping girls navigate an ever-changing world is the goal of the ROX (Ruling Our Experiences) program that will be starting in the Fort Dodge Community School District.

According to the ROX program website, girls experience a 26 percent drop in confidence between fifth and ninth grade and most never regain that confidence.

The high school plans to implement the ROX program with sophomore girls in the building in an attempt to change that number.

“We decided to focus on sophomores because we felt like we could have more time with them,” said English teacher Tayler Streeter, one of the facilitators of the program at the high school. “We thought we needed more time to build those skills where we may not have that time with juniors or seniors. We thought sophomore year would be where we could have the most impact.”

Other high school facilitators include counselors Sydney Beck, Jolene Hays and Marcy Weinzetel along with teachers Ashley Beaumont, Deidra Miller-Clay, Crystal Kleigl and Becky Daniel. Each of the facilitators will work with groups of eight to 10 girls and meet weekly starting after Thanksgiving break.

“ROX builds the curriculum so we just have to follow it, which is really nice,” said Streeter. “It’s an effective curriculum that works well. It’s a 20-week program and then we’ll have graduation.”

The program will also be implemented at the elementary buildings with fifth grade girls and will be implemented at the middle school with eighth-graders.

The ROX program focuses on issues that teen girls deal with, such as confidence issues, jealousy, building better relationships, and body issues, according to Streeter. She said the program focuses on offering them support and the tools they need to handle those areas better.

“We used to have to navigate those things ourselves. Now, we’re hoping to create a safe place where they can learn how to handle those situations,” said Streeter.

Other topics include academics, confidence, dating, friendship, leadership, dealing with social media and stress and pressure.

“I showed some of the girls I have in other classes a little bit of the curriculum and they all said they could really use help with those things,” Streeter said. “It’s going to be hard at first, because they are going to have to open up about things and be vulnerable. But I think it will be really beneficial for them in the long run.”

According to the ROX website, the program has been used since 2006 and has reached more than 20,000 girls across the country. All the facilitators at the high school have gone through the ROX training program.

All the facilitators met earlier this fall with the entire sophomore class to introduce them to the program and showed them some videos about the goals of the program. Streeter said it was eye-opening for some of the girls.

“Some of them were angry,” she said. “They said this is exactly how they felt and they felt like now their feelings would be validated. We also gave them a survey and discovered some of the things that were going on in their lives like girl drama and issues with self image and self confidence. I am hoping we can help them navigate through those feelings and lead healthier lifestyles.”

Streeter also said the issues girls deal with affect them no matter what academic success they have already experienced in high school. She said one statistic that was surprising is that one in three girls with a 4.0 GPA still felt like they weren’t smart enough for their dream job when they become an adult.

ROX currently operates programs in more than 350 schools and community organizations throughout the United States. They partner with public, private, independent, charter and parochial schools in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country.

During the 2019-20 school year, more than 5,000 girls participated in the ROX Program at their school.

The program is being funded with district at-risk dollars and professional development funds were used for teacher training, according to Secondary Curriculum Director Kirsten Doebel.

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