Sleep Out for Reggie

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

As the weather gets colder, I feel more and more sympathy for the homeless people I see on the street. A few years ago, a young homeless man named Reggie died in Des Moines, bringing much needed attention to the problem of youth homelessness. Searching for more information about the problem, I found these three shocking statistics– More than 1.3 … Read

Shuffle Power

Martha McCormickSocial Justice5 Comments

Sexual harassment has touched many women and men; I have dealt with it personally only a year ago. We can only hope that instances of such insensitive, bullying behavior will decrease as our society evolves and becomes more respectful to women, girls, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks. But, it’s up to each of us to confront it and to … Read

Love Your Body

Martha McCormickMindfulness & Movement, Social Justice2 Comments

There’s been a lot of controversy during the last week about a photo of a “normal woman” in the September issue of Glamour Magazine. Body image is certainly an area that trips a lot of women up, and I am one of them. The blog post about the reaction to the photo talks about how important it is for us … Read

Review the Chrysalis Report

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

As I finish the 2009 Chrysalis After-School Evaluation Report, I am impressed by the hard work and stellar outcomes of this innovative program. The third year of my evaluation work for Chrysalis documents positive outcomes for young women in: Resilience Economic Empowerment Leadership Girls, facilitators and parents are seeing positive changes in confidence, communication skills, school attendance and work, and … Read

Venture into Social Drama

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Annie Mielke and I met last year and got excited about the potential for working with girls on drama and then training them to work with younger groups as a service project. Annie’s specialty is working with kids with Asperger Syndrome and Autism, so her audiences learn a lot about these mental disorders, the challenges people with these diagnoses face, and how to relate well to … Read

Learn about Relationships

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Several years ago we were brainstorming about different approaches to adolescent pregnancy prevention, and came up with the idea of an adventure education program framed around healthy relationships. Part of the rationale is that it might be easier to talk about sex and sexuality while you’re busy climbing a wall or getting your group through a giant spider web. We … Read

Explore the Teen Brain

Martha McCormickCoaching for Growth, Social Justice2 Comments

I became fascinated with brain research more than 20 years ago when science began to really get inside the human brain and explore it. I’ve done my best to keep up over the years as more and more information is added to the body of knowledge. Right now I’m planning a mind mapping workshop; this technique of visual note taking … Read

Run Like a Kenyan

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

How hard would it be to make a living running marathons? Salina Kosgei has done so since she was 16 years old, and won the 2009 Boston Marathon by 1 second. She trains hard, several times a day, and at 33, knows she won’t be able to run forever. She thinks of returning to prison work so she can be … Read

Develop Young Voices

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

Providing opportunities for making choices and speaking out are critical components of a model positive youth development program. But it’s challenging to do this with a large group of kids who may want to go in 30 different directions. These skills and qualities empower youth to plan for groups they belong to and for   advisory councils and committees. Make sure … Read

Bust the Cliques

Martha McCormickHome Learning Resources, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Cliques, gossip, put downs and relational aggression continue as difficulties for the girls’ groups. On the spring survey, about half the girls said gossip and put downs happen at least sometimes in their groups, and only about half the girls say they are stopped when they do happen. In 2007, I worked with a small group of 7th grade girls at Brody Middle … Read