New programs offered for girls

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Montgomery County is implementing more programs geared toward building the characters of their young women.

The Rotary Jail Museum and Tannenbaum Cultural Center is launching a Wonder Girls program to help young women express their inner-selves. Also, the Boys and Girls Club of Montgomery County has organized a SMART (Skills Mastery And Resistance Training) Girls program to advise adolescent girls on making positive life decisions.

The Wonder Girls program will begin on July 16 at the Tannenbaum Cultural Center and will run through July 20 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day. The girls will engage in different arts and crafts activities that promote self-expression.

Executive Director of the Rotary Jail museum, Karen Hall, said art could help these girls convey personalities through creativity.

“We want to provide the girls with opportunities for empowerment and opportunities for healing,” she said, “We also want to provide them with activities for artistic expression through hands-on projects.”

The Boys and Girls Club of Montgomery County’s Rocio Hernandez anticipates that the SMART Girls program will help her members discover certain things about themselves as well.

Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., Hernandez meets with a group of girls between the ages of 8-12 to discuss prominent issues that they will inevitably face — including relationships with the same and opposite sexes, living a healthy lifestyle, and dealing with body image. Hernandez advises them on what to expect in certain situations and how to react.

“At this age girls aren't very informed,” she said , “When I was growing up, things were different because girls experience things at an earlier age now. We want to inform them of things that will happen in the future.”

The SMART Girls program and the Wonder Girls program were made possible by the a grant from Women’s Legacy Fund through the Montgomery County Community Foundation. The Women’s Legacy Fund was created in 2006 by a group of women dedicated to giving back to the community by offering grants to various organizations.

Hernandez said so far most of the girls are responding positively.

“Its going really well,” she said. “The girls really like to talk and ask a lot of questions.”

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