The Go Girls! Theater Project at Glitter & Razz Productions, a small, women-owned business based in Oakland, CA, is a project that ignites compassion by promoting the social/emotional health of girls through theater and expressive arts. Elementary school aged girls work together to create and perform original plays with pro-social themes that express their feelings and ideas, improve their relationships, and bring their collective vision for a more compassionate community to life.
Go Girls! has just been selected as a finalist in the Ashoka Changemaker’s Activating Empathy, a competition to find the most promising innovations that will work to “transform schools to teach what matters”. Go Girls! is one of 15 finalists selected from 628 innovations received from 74 countries around the world.
“Many of us believe that the “mean girl” phenomenon exists only in middle and high schools. However, the problem is bigger and more impactful than we think,” says Lynn Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Glitter & Razz. “American girls as young as kindergarten are experiencing a serious compassion deficit in their schools. But, we think that girls are emotional superheroes. By supporting girls with the tools and skills to manage their complex emotional lives and stand up for themselves and others, they will lead us all to a compassion revolution.”
Go Girls! began by accident in 2008. That summer, 17 kids signed up for camp for Glitter & Razz’s theater camp. They just happened to be all girls. Lynn and Allison Kenny, her partner in life and business, were excited to use this time with the girls to create a safe and creative space to help them celebrate “the magic and power of being a girl.” And girls certainly have responded. This summer, Go Girls! will work with approximately 130 girls in 5 different camp sessions in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.
This past September, Glenview Elementary, a public school in Oakland, identified Go Girls! as the program that was going to help them increase compassion in their school. “That’s when we knew we were on to something,” says Allison. Over 200 Glenview girls have taken on an “I am a Go Girl!” identity. Allison explains, “they are proud compassion leaders, saying they value ‘teaching other kids what we’ve learned.’” The Go Girls! room in Portable One has become so popular on campus that the boys have made it clear that they want in. As a result of Go Boys!, programs for boys at Glenview have also started.
Vote for the Go Girls! Theater Project by June 12 by visiting http://www.changemakers.com/empathy. You must first create a login. After that, please check “Go Girls! Theater Project.” Only one vote per person, per innovation.
Glitter & Razz also entered the Chase/Living Social Mission: Small Business Competition for a chance to win a grant of $250,000! They will use this money to help bring Go Girls! to thousands of girls throughout the country. Visit https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/ and login with Facebook. Then, search for “Glitter & Razz Productions.” For this, you can vote for as many businesses as you like…but just once. Glitter & Razz needs 250 in order to go to the panel of judges.
You can contact Glitter & Razz and learn more about the Go Girls! Theater Project at www.glitterandrazz.com.
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