YWCA re­ceives $85K Sta­tus of Women Al­berta grant

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - J.W. Sch­narr LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

The YWCA Leth­bridge and Dis­trict has re­ceived a grant to ex­pand a pro­gram de­signed to em­power girls be­tween the ages of eight and 12.

A grant of al­most $85,000 from Sta­tus of Women Al­berta is al­low­ing the YWCA to ex­pand its Gir­lS­pace pro­gram into Coal­hurst and Coal­dale.

“It is good for one year,” said Lind­say Brown, Gir­lS­pace Fa­cil­i­ta­tor, YWCA Leth­bridge & Dis­trict. “So we are go­ing to run a week-long lead­er­ship camp in the sum­mer­time, one in each com­mu­nity, and then a 10-week ses­sion in each com­mu­nity. One in Septem­ber to De­cem­ber, and the next one from Jan­uary un­til March.”

Gir­lS­pace has been run­ning in Leth­bridge for the past 13 years. It is a girls-only ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar com­mu­nity pro­gram, of­fer­ing girls the op­por­tu­nity to in­crease their aware­ness about vi­o­lence and its root causes, while ex­plor­ing self, per­sonal achieve­ments and build­ing on pos­i­tive self-es­teem.

It builds skills, in­clud­ing lead­er­ship, team­work, self-re­liance, in­creased in­de­pen­dence, self-aware­ness, and pos­i­tive self-es­teem.

The pro­gram teaches girls how to be pos­i­tive and in­flu­en­tial mem­bers of their com­mu­nity, de­velop crit­i­cal think­ing skills, and build strong and mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ships with those around them.

The pro­gram is free, and any girl be­tween eight and 12, who iden­ti­fies as fe­male, and who lives in, or close to, the com­mu­nity in which the pro­gram is tak­ing place, is in­vited to at­tend.

There is a high de­mand in these com­mu­ni­ties for the safe, girls-only en­vi­ron­ment that Gir­lS­pace cre­ates, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease by the YWCA.

“Girls are told to look and act a cer­tain way, and wear cer­tain things,” Brown said. “There is a lot of pres­sure com­ing with be­ing a teenage or ‘tween-age’ girl. And there hasn’t typ­i­cally been a lot of spa­ces to talk about the pres­sure of be­ing a girl in so­ci­ety to­day.

“Gir­lS­pace of­fers a space for them to be able to do that.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the YWCA Leth­bridge and Dis­trict web­site at

yw­caleth­bridge.org, or con­tact the YWCA by phone at 403-329-0088.

Fol­low @JWSch­nar­rHer­ald on Twit­ter

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