In response to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, Saint Mary’s alumna Molly Bell, class of 1997, created the Bloom for Girls seminar, an opportunity for mothers and daughters to celebrate the gift of womanhood in a fun, open environment. The event will take place on Saint Mary’s campus on Sunday, July 13.Bell said she introduced the idea for Bloom for Girls, aimed at young women between the ages of 10 and 19, in the summer of 2012 at a reunion weekend at Saint Mary’s.“I was invited to present a lecture on the inundation of ‘pink’ into the marketplace targeting girls,” Bell said.After discussing the effects of the messages and images to which girls are exposed daily, Bell said she suggested moms start discussing this issue with their daughters before they enter high school.“Bloom for Girls workshops were the solution,” Bell said.Saint Mary’s contacted Bell six months after her discussion and asked if she would like to launch the program on campus, Bell said.“There could be no better fit to launch this program than a campus that supports women and where I spent four years building and harnessing my own power and voice as a woman,” Bell said.Bell said after graduating with a degree in communication, she spent ten years working as an advertising executive, an experience that showed her how companies market to young girls.“I became ingrained in the retail landscape for moms and tween girls when I worked with OshKosh B’Gosh on their national advertising campaign to launch a sub-brand called Genuine Girl,” Bell said.Bell said after attending focus groups, listening to moms all over the country and completing intense research on competitive brands, she thought she understood the market ⎯ that is until she had her daughter six years later.“I began noticing aisles of pink toys, sexy dolls, purple Legos themed with dog grooming and fashion shows and countless princess images, toys and books,” Bell said.Bell said she began to research this change in the market landscape and was able to justify her concerns with several books on the topic, in which she said she found terrifying statistics about the self-esteem and depression rates in American girls.“According to a study by NYU Child Study Center, the average American girl’s self-esteem peaks at age nine,” Bell said. “This was further reinforced by the Status of Girls in Indiana report compiled by Saint Mary’s College that showed Indiana girls have higher rates of depression and suicide attempts than boys.”Although the Bloom program is not connected to the Status of Girls in Indiana report, the event does promote a positive and action-oriented experience to counteract the high rate of depression among young girls.“Raising my daughter in an educated, upper-middle-class community, I naively thought my friends would be aware of these issues,” Bell said. “I quickly decided there was a need to start talking about some of the challenges our daughters are facing and to give our daughters the tools to maneuver through the pressures of technology, body image, friendship, stereotyping, gender biases ⎯ and the list goes on.”Bell said through art projects, interactive activities, skits and journaling, girls and moms are given the tools and conversation starters to build self-esteem.“Studies show that no matter how much extraneous ‘noise’ from the media peers and society surrounds our daughters with, it is within the family that a girl first develops a sense of who she is and who she wants to become,” Bell said. “A parent armed with knowledge can help her daughter reach her full potential.”Bell said the event starts with a few fun group activities that focus on the goals of the seminar. Participants also have the opportunity to share personal experiences in the workshops.Following the discussion, Bell said participants break for a catered lunch and then participate in a workshop called “Love Your Body.”“This workshop will address media images of our bodies versus a healthy body, inner beauty rather than outer beauty, a mother’s influence on a daughter’s body and our power over our own bodies,” Bell said.Bell said she hopes moms and daughters will leave the seminar with new knowledge and tools to spark conversation when friendship crises, bullying and other self-esteem challenges occur.“I’m thrilled to bring this program to my alma mater and to a place that offers countless empowering opportunities for women that extend far beyond Bloom for Girls,” Bell said. Tags: Bloom for Girls, Indiana report, moms and daughters, ndsmcobserver.com, seminar, SMC
BILL NEAL:10—ARE – YOU – READY – FOR – SOME – FOOTBALL?• YES, YES, AND YES! Here’s your training camp special report:• Steelers will go 11-5 this year. No. 1—they went 8 & 8 last year and they could have gone in the tank. No. 2—they gave away a game and lost two games they should have easily won last year. No. 3—The O-Line is back and with Hall of Fame lineman, Mike Munchak. Remember, it all starts up front!• The defense just got a much needed shot of mean, nasty, and I don’t give a damn and its name is Coach Joey Porter!• New speed at running back and receiver.• Vince Williams is pushing the entire linebacker core for that starting job.• That being said, LaMarr Woodley, Ryan Clark, James Harrison, Brett Keisel and the rest of the walking wounded are gone. Get used to it people. And trust me, it’s for the good.
Submitted by Washington Governor Jay InsleeWashington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.Joint statement from the governors:COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business. While each state is building a state-specific plan, our states have agreed to the following principles as we build out a West Coast framework: Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with it’s local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.Through quick and decisive action, each of our states has made significant progress in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 among the broader public. Now, our public health leaders will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future.Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground.In the coming days the governors, their staff and health officials will continue conversations about this regional pact to recovery. Facebook312Tweet0Pin0
Little Silver – The Red Bank Regional Education Foundation recently presented the Red Bank Regional (RBR) Board of Education with a check for more than $28,000 to fund a mobile Apple classroom for the school district’s world language classes.The funds will purchase a mobile IPad cart equipped with 35 iPads and three MacBooks with a two-year protection program and a voucher to purchase apps that foster the acquisition of foreign language. The new Apple Mobile classroom is expected to be operational in September.“This level of accessibility into other cultures and languages is completely unprecedented,” said RBR Assistant Principal Will Smith, who researched the program on behalf of the foundation.The Apple classroom enables students to interact in the language they are learning in task-based activities such as reserving a hotel room, obtaining weather forecasts or driving directions. Research suggests that the authentic use of language in this way serves as a boon to the language acquisition process.In addition, the Apple classroom will also connect student and staff with foreign language newspapers, pronunciation programs, videos, podcasts, classrooms from other countries and streaming online radio.“The foundation is delighted to fund this very valuable educational tool,” said Paul Noglows, foundation president. “Students will hold in their hands a dynamic new means of participating in a language lesson, thus encouraging a truly collaborative instructional model. Also, since all students at RBR are required to take a world language, this grant will potentially positively impact the entire student body.”Over the past few years, the education foundation has funded nearly $100,000 in grants that have a direct positive impact upon the classrooms, students and faculty of RBR.Additional information about the foundation is available on it’s webpage at http://rbrhs.org/Community/EF/default.aspx or by emailing RBR.Ed.Found@comcast.net.