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Welcome to The Center for Girls

Eighth graders take part in an annual Outward Bound experiential leadership trip.
Girls thrive at Forest Ridge. The curriculum and programs are engineered to build confidence—and motivation to step up. Students explore different ways to lead, whether running a meeting, taking center stage in the Lee Theatre, visiting a refugee camp in Germany or innovating in the lab.

Forest Ridge has a campus-wide commitment to girls’ leadership with a physical hub. The Center for Girls hosts a bustling hive of meetings, seminars and events focused on building leadership, emotional intelligence and social-emotional skills. The Center for Girls is also a resource for students, parents and teachers with a dedicated staff working to weave current best-practices in girls’ leadership into everything they do at Forest Ridge.

Forest Ridge staff and faculty keep one eye on mindful balance and the other on potential. Students receive hands-on experience in creative problem-solving, speaking with confidence and purpose, serving with strength and compassion, understanding team and power dynamics and developing resilience in the face of setbacks. Recognizing the important role of parents and other adults in the leadership journey, the school provides family support and a robust parent-education series. Students develop the strengths and develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams.

The world needs girls. The Center for Girls is all about helping our girls lean into the discomfort of stepping in, but also about helping them be mindful of balance. Girls are getting the message that they need to do it all. We want them to know themselves, be guided by their hearts and have healthy relationships with themselves and others.—Betsy Briardy, Director of Center for Girls

Speaker Series 2018-2019

Alexia Vernon, Step into Your Moxie
Tuesday, October 25, 2018 | 9:45-10:45 a.m. | Schafer Gymnasium

In a soul-searching call-to-action for girls and women to speak up and out at school, in their careers and in their communities, Forest Ridge alumna, Alexia Vernon, fuses hilarious and heartbreaking stories with mindful and actionable advice. Specifically, how to slay diminishing self-talk and cultivate the mindset and behaviors to walk into any room (or onto any stage) and use words to move people to action.

Laurie Thompson, Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 9:45-10:30 a.m. (9th-12th grade) | 11:40-12:30 a.m. (5th-8th grade) | Lee Theatre

Using real-world examples of young people who are making their mark on the world, award winning author Laurie Thompson will inspire students to dream big and take positive action in their communities – and beyond – as she shares practical tips for success.

Rachel Simmons, Enough as She Is author and Co-founder of Girls Leadership Institute
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | 7:00-9:00 p.m. | Lee Theatre
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 8:45-10:00 a.m. | Schafer Gymnasium

Praised by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as “the expert on helping girls become leaders,” Rachel Simmons, best-selling author, educator and leadership consultant, is helping girls and women become more authentic, assertive, resilient and fulfilled. Rachel will be on The Ridge to share her research-based and practical take-home strategies for both students and parents - delivering rich content and cutting-edge insight.

Parent Education Series: 2018-2019

Education goes beyond the classroom to include parents. All presentations will be held at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.

Changing up Conversations to Stay Connected
Presentation by Julie Metzger, RN, MN
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Julie is co-founder of the company, Great Conversations, which offers classes and presentations on subjects dealing with puberty, sexuality and parenting to families, teens and professionals. She is the author of Will Puberty Last my Whole Life? and This is Me–a Journal for Girls. In this presentation, Julie will give Forest Ridge parents an opportunity to consider strategies to strengthen communication with their girls.

Healthy Habits in an Interconnected World
Presentation by Stefanie Thomas, Victim’s Advocate
Thursday, November 1, 2018 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Stefanie will update parents on current trends in internet safety and provide strategies and guidelines for managing an adolescents’ digital lives.

Feedback and Its Implication for Girls
Facilitated by Molly Muller and Courtney Caldwell, Forest Ridge Educators
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Molly, 8th grade social studies teacher, will share her findings from her graduate research project on how middle school students at Forest Ridge perceive and experience grades, feedback and academic pressure. Molly and Courtney, Director of Teaching and Learning 5-12, will offer suggestions on how Forest Ridge and parents can partner to reduce achievement pressure and increase student learning.

Just for Dads
Presentation by Julie Metzger, RN, MN
Thursday, November 29, 2018 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Julie has spent over 25 years working with families and most significantly with preteen and teen girls. She will explain the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of girls and how dads can create important communication bonds with their daughters.

Mindfulness
Presentation by Mary Person, Anchor Mindful Teaching
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Mary will lead parents through an introduction to mindfulness, including its history and the neuroscience research behind its benefits. She will also share simple practices to help adults live a more mindful life, and strategies to guide children through the attention and emotion regulation they face in their home, school and social lives.

Beyond Birds and Bees: Giving Our Girls Body Positivity and the Foundations of Gender Equality
Presentation by Bonnie J. Rough, Author
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

The #MeToo movement has parents and educators considering more deeply how best to raise young people with healthy, positive, shame-free and egalitarian attitudes about bodies, gender, sex and love. Bonnie will share what she learned as a parent and journalist when she took a close look at the world-famous Dutch approach to sex education.

Turning Self-Criticism into Self-Compassion
Presentation by Shay Huff, Women’s Empowerment Coach
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Preoccupation with perfection is an all-consuming, fear-inducing, deflating, toxic and ultimately an unattainable merry-go-round relationship with self. It’s one that starts very early for girls. The ways in which a girl talks to herself (discouraged) versus how she talks to others (encourages) is like night and day. Shay will discuss how to empower and inspire girls to write themselves into the story of compassion and grace.

Resisting the College Complex
Facilitated by Nikki Danos and Laura Boismenue, College Counselors
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Rachel Simmons names the College Application Industrial Complex in her book, Enough as She Is, citing the intense pressures and apprehension that girls experience in anticipating college. At its worst, adoption of the Complex fuels a pervasive sense of inadequacy and fruitless striving. Join Nikki and Laura to discuss how to resist the Complex, seeking ways to connect with genuine interests, harness the value of risk-taking and making mistakes and redefine the path to happiness and success.

Own Your Presence
Facilitated by Alison Seaton and Marianni Groves, Forest Ridge Educators
Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | The Center for Girls

Join Alison and Marianni for a taste of The Center for Girls Presence Program. They will share ways in which we help your daughters learn to present themselves in an authentic and polished way. The morning will involve an overview of the program, a question and answer session and some hands-on presentation activities.

How to Help Girls in Crisis
Facilitated by Laura Boismenue, Director of Counseling and Associate Director of College Counseling
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Ackerley Conference Rooms

Laura will discuss how to identify warning signs and action steps to take in supporting adolescents who are struggling with depression, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts. This session is a part of our school-wide work with Forefront in the Schools, a school-based suicide prevention program based at the University of Washington.
 


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