It’s a Girl Thing, Oakley’s first-ever series of free, interactive workshops, will celebrate the wonderful, wacky and oh-so-wise world of young women. Sponsored by the City of Oakley along with Delta Vista and O’Hara Park middle schools, the event will highlight the triumphs, challenges and joys of being female.
“I see such a need for something like this (event) as a resource for girls,” said Jody Smith, Delta Vista counselor and event organizer. “We’ve been throwing the idea back and forth for a couple of years, trying to get this event going, and this year we just decided it was time.”
The event will open with a keynote address from Deer Valley High School student Sara Trail, 15, who has written a book on sewing and recently started her own business designing and selling clothes.
Girls in grades six through eight can participate in three of the following workshops:
Help! My Parents Are Driving Me Crazy!; Self-esteem: Fact and Fiction; Mean Girls; Self-defense: What Every Girl Should Know; Where Do You Draw the Line? Flirting vs. Harassment; Zumba (aerobic exercise); Drug Awareness for Teens; R.I.P.P.E.D. for Girls; Nutrition for Girls; Cyber Smart; Shh … It’s a Beauty Secret; and Money in My Life.
The idea behind the event is to give middle school girls some healthy, positive tools for navigating through the pressures and drama of the pre-teen and teen years – and come out on the other side as confident and self-assured young women. The seminar topics are designed to offer a wide sampling of subjects important to young girls.
“Girls this age are trying to find themselves, and they can sometimes be very mean to one another,” said O’Hara Park Counselor Rick Melgoza. “They (the girls) don’t quite have the communication skills to deal with things like that, and their natural reaction is to hurt the other person as a way of retaliating. We’d like to give them some better life skills.”
“Middle school can be really difficult, and girls are faced with so many challenges,” added Smith. “They really need something that provides them with some positive information that fuels them to be healthy in both mind and body.”
And although this party is for girls only, Melgoza is hopeful there will soon be an It’s a Guy Thing event. “We’re talking about organizing a boys conference next fall,” he said. “Middle school boys have plenty of things to talk about; they’re just very different topics. We would very much like to reach out to the young men in our community.”
Although the girls are encouraged to sign up for the event ahead of time, registration forms are still available in the school offices of O’Hara and Delta Vista.
“If there is room in the classes, we will certainly do our best to accommodate everyone,” said Smith. “There has been a lot of interest in this; we’re hoping for a great turnout.”
It’s a Girl Thing will be held on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at O’Hara Park Middle School, 1100 O’Hara Ave. in Oakley. For more information, call 925-625-5060 or 925-625-6840.