Smart Girls Life Skills Training ®

Smart Girls Believe…

  • We need to be happy with who we are.  This requires daily exercise.
  • Important decisions are made every day.  We must stop and think about tomorrow.
  • We must plan for our future, a never ending process.
  • We must maintain healthy family connections.

The Mission of the Smart Girls Life Skills Training®

To provide young girls with the information and skills necessary for them to become empowered young women who are ultimately happy, healthy and successful in life! 

Smart Girls Life Skills Training®Components

  • Enhance Self Esteem
  • Sharpen Decision Making Skills
  • Set Goals For the Future
  • Strengthen Family Connections

AVAILABLE PROGRAMS

Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part I

Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part 1 is a program designed to prevent adolescent pregnancy.  Its major goal is to help young women between the ages of 11 and 14 develop the skills necessary that will result in positive life options.  The program seeks to accomplish this by emphasizing self-responsibility, especially in the area of sexual development.  Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part I curriculum utilizes multi-session components that meet over a period of time.  Locally, the curriculum is school or community based.

Smart Girls Life Skills Training®  Part II

Smart Girls Life Skills Training®Part II provides follow up to 9th or 10th grade girls.  The major goal is to help high school age girls maintain the attitudes, knowledge and behaviors necessary in making positive life choices by emphasizing self-responsibility, especially in the area of sexual development.  Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part II increases retention of positive attitudes for postponing sexual behavior, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing contraceptive use among sexually active participants.  Smart Girls Life Skills Training®Part II focuses on specific behavior changes, provides clear messages about sex and contraception and builds communication skills through interactive activities.  The development of Smart Girls Life Skills Training®Part II is based on a reflection of the age, sexual experience and culture of high school aged participants compared to those Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part I participants in middle school.

FOR TEENS

Smart Girls Leadership Academy

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, involving teens in prevention helps create stronger, more effective programs and offers leadership opportunities for participating teens.  The Smart Girls Leadership Academy (SGLA) promotes leadership, peer education, advocacy and mentorship among both middle and high school participants.  The Smart Girls Leadership Academy provides an opportunity to continue building life skills throughout all of high school, especially during the most crucial years for sexual experimentation.  Peer education training and opportunities for participants to positively influence their peers is required.  Advocacy training is provided for interested participants to encourage participants to be spokespersons for teen pregnancy prevention within the community, to the media and to local and state policy makers.  As participants progress within the SGLA, a mentoring component will be added.  Upperclassman will be recruited and trained to mentor Smart Girls Life Skills Training® Part II participants as identified by school counselors.  For more information on the Smart Girls Leadership Academy, contact Wanda Mackey at 336-641-4690, wmackey@co.guilford.nc.us or Laura Mrosla at 336-641-6113, lmrosla@co.guilford.nc.us

FOR PARENTS

Strengthening Family Connections According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy research has proven overwhelmingly that parents have enormous influence on their children’s decisions about sex (Science Says: Parental Influence and Teen Pregnancy, February, 2004). Over 45% of teens say parents influence their decisions about sex as compared to 31% of teens who say their peers.  Only 4% of teens felt the media have a strong influence.  Parent involvement serves as a protective factor not only for sexual behavior, but other risky behaviors such as violence, substance and alcohol use and school failure.   Teens who feel closely connected to parents are more likely to abstain or postpone sexual involvement, have fewer sexual partners and consistently use contraception.

Smart Girls Day Out was developed in 2001 to incorporate parent involvement in Smart Girls Life Skills Training®.  This innovative one day workshop builds communication skills and strengthens family relationships among Smart Girls Life Skills Training®participants and their mothers.  Recruiting parents for educational programs is one of the largest challenges faced by health educators and teen pregnancy prevention programs.  Smart Girls Day Out overcame this challenge by incorporating fun into an educational seminar with afternoon pampering that appealed to both teen and parent participants.  Smart Girls Day Out reaches 400 parents and teens annually.  It is the most well attended parent event the Guilford County Department of Public Health sponsors.  Educational sessions at Smart Girls Day Out include information on physical, emotional and sexual health.  Tips for effective parent-child communication are provided through a game similar to the “Newlywed” game.   Evaluations have shown positive results for better parent-child communication on sexual and emotional health issues.  Parent participants report the increased likelihood of being more “askable” and “approachable” upon program completion due to the provided forum and sexual health information received.

FOR PROFESSIONALS

Interest in Smart Girls Life Skills Training®  is spreading.  Curriculum trainings are available for educators and other professionals who would like to start Smart Girls Life Skills Training®  in their own communities.  Curriculum facilitators will work with you to develop a training to meet the needs of your agency and community.  If you would like to discuss scheduling a curriculum training or purchasing a copy of the Smart Girls Life Skills Training®  curriculum, contact Laura Mrosla, lmrosla@co.guilford.nc.us or 336-641-6113 OR Wanda Mackey, wmackey@co.guilford.nc.us or 336-641-4690 for more information.

Training Objectives

All participants will:

• Review Smart Girls Life Skills Training® philosophy and curriculum.

• Learn how to initiate and implement the program in their community.

• Understand the program’s evaluation model and how to make it work.

• Understand how self esteem affects the decision making process of adolescent females.

• Gain hands-on experience in designing and delivering program lesson plans.

This training is designed for individuals who would like to implement adolescent prevention programs for teen pregnancy, STIs and healthy relationship programs targeting adolescent females in their communities.  The training is also for individuals who instruct or supervise adolescent females, such as coaches, counselors, leadership facilitators and mentors.

Program Impact

Analysis of data, collected in the 2003 evaluation indicates the following positive outcomes of Smart Girls Life Skills Training® from program entry to six-month follow-up: Smart Girls participants showed:

• Improved knowledge of sexuality and consequences of sexual activity

• Healthier attitudes towards postponing sex and use of contraception.

• Increased use of contraception for those participants who reported sexual involvement.

• Increased communication with parents about sexuality

Furthermore:

• Participants in Smart Girls Life Skills Training® showed a significant delay in sexual activity as compared to non-program participants.

• The percentage of sexually active Smart Girls Life Skills Training® participants who reported always using contraception also increased significantly.