Additional Research

Girls Circle: Girls Circle curriculum includes materials for programs interested in teaching about: Friendship, Being a Girl, Body Image, Honoring Our Diversity, Relationships with Peers, Mind, Body, Spirit, Expressing My Individuality, Who I Am, Paths to the Future, and Mother-Daughter relationships. Girls Circle curriculum is currently used in schools, community sites, juvenile detention facilities, and residential settings. Curriculum has recently been developed for a comparable program for boys. Research results from several studies show that girls who participate in Girls Circle programming demonstrate, “a decrease in self-harming behavior, a decrease in rates of alcohol use, an increase in attachment to school, and an increase in self-efficacy ” (Girls Circle). Additionally, surveys of girls participating in Girls Circle curriculum programs revealed significant increases in the following short-term developments: “finding things they have in common with a new person, trying to see beyond girls' reputations, telling adults what they need, feeling good about their body, picking friends that treat them the way they want to be treated, [and] telling people how much they mean to them” (Girls Circle), proving the effectiveness of preventative education. The studies found that, “Girls Circle groups benefit girls nearly equally across the subgroups of populations represented, including girls with no history of school problems, girls in juvenile justice programs, foster youth, and LGBT youth,” (Girls Circle). Girls Circle curriculum serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, addresses a wide-range of issues relevant to girls, focuses on a similar age range as Girls Only!, and is based on research.

Girls Inc.: The Girls Inc. Girls’ Bill of Rights, upon which the curriculum is based, states, “Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes; Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm; Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success; Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies; Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world; Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence” (Girls Inc.). Girls Inc. educational programming serves over 900,000 girls each year. Evaluations and studies show that girls who participate in Girls Inc. programming are more likely to expect to go to college, read books, participate in sports, and feel safe in their schools than girls who have never participated (Girls Inc.). The Girls Inc. curriculum serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, addresses a wide-range of issues relevant to girls, focuses on a similar age range as Girls Only!, and is based on research. 

Girl Scouts: In Girl Scouts, “girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with other through service oriented leadership opportunities” (Girl Scouts). Research and impact reports demonstrate that girls who participate in Girl Scouts gain substantial skills in self-reliance, self-competence, ability to make friends, respecting others, feeling like they belong, responsible decision-making, helpfulness/concern for the community, teamwork, and leadership (Girl Scouts). The Girl Scouts of America curriculum serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, addresses a wide-range of issues relevant to girls, focuses on a similar age range as Girls Only!, involves experiential education, and is based on research.

STAR/PAL—GirL-E: According to Lanae Gutierrez, a Probation officer who facilitates the GirL-E groups, the GirL-E program is characterized by small groups of girls who meet weekly with a facilitator and guest speakers to discuss their life experiences based on various topics on which they have read media articles. The mission statement continues, “Positive female role models in the program play an active role in educating participants on how to enhance their sense of self-worth, protect themselves against teenage relationship violence, abstain from substance abuse, as well as develop awareness about other critical issues which impact the choices young women make” (STAR/PAL 1). STAR/PAL’s GirL-E program serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, covers a variety of girl- particular issues, and utilizes guest speakers to educate and engage participants. In being a preventative program for girls ages 8 to 12 Girls Only! fills a need in San Diego that GirL-E does not since GirL-E is an intervention program that mainly targets teen girls who are already in the juvenile justice system.

GUTS: “This program can be implemented as a school based or community based program. The purpose of GUTS is to provide mentoring and support to middle and high school girls through small group (6-8 participants) relationship building; focusing on improving their behavior and academic success. Girls usually involved in the program have one or more of the following risk factors: have been a victim of violence, have been a perpetrator of violence, have negative/disruptive behavior in school settings, have low academic success, have high truancy rate and/or high absenteeism, have negative police contact, have associations with violent peer groups (i.e. gangs), have a history of transition from juvenile detention facilities or probation.” The GUTS program serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, is based on small group discussions among girls, and focuses on participants’ life experiences as relevant educational knowledge. In operating as a prevention program for girls ages 8 to 12 Girls Only! fills a need in San Diego that GUTS does not since GUTS is an intervention program that mainly targets teen girls who are already in the juvenile justice system.

Jessie Aftercare program: The Jessie Program hopes to reduce recidivism by serving young women in juvenile hall via one-to-one mentorships. Adult female role models provide consistent guidance to program participants to encourage them to work toward achievement of their personal goals and dreams and to ensure their successful transition from correctional facilities to their homes, schools, and communities. An online appeal for mentors for this program says to contact the facilitator, “If you are a positive role model and are seriously committed in making a difference in the life of one girl, the lives of their children, and her children's children and future generations.” The Jessie Aftercare program serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific and is based on consistent mentorship and positive role models. In operating as a prevention program for girls ages 8 to 12 Girls Only! fills a need in San Diego that the Jessie Aftercare program does not since the Jessie Program is an intervention program that mainly targets teen girls who are already in the juvenile justice system.

Young Women’s Studies Club: San Diego State graduate and undergraduate students, an SDSU professor/mentor and two on-site high school teachers serve as mentors for the high school students at weekly club meetings throughout the school year. The Young Women’s Studies Club serves as a model for Girls Only! in that it is gender-specific, attentive to race and class diversity, uses community mentors, and guest speakers. In operating as a prevention program for girls ages 8 to 12 Girls Only! fills a need in San Diego that the Young Women’s Studies Club does not since the Young Women’s Studies Club is an education program for high school students and is neither expressly a prevention nor intervention program.