Year 7 students at Palmerston Girls Academy have been working on personal growth, identifying their strengths and discussing areas that they need to work on.
The contact time activity is part of the I am Me, I am Beautiful component of the Girls Academy program, timetabled sessions designed to empower the girls to make good choices for their mental and physical wellbeing.
With this becoming even more critical during COVID-19, Girls Academy was grateful to receive a $5000 grant from the Northern Territory Government to support the sessions in our Palmerston, Centralian, and Taminmin Academies in Term 2.
While Northern Territory schools were able to re-open after the school holidays, restrictions were in place and students were understandably concerned about the pandemic and what it meant for them.
They were already dealing with the cancellation of much-anticipated events and feeling unsure of the future.
It was essential to do whatever we could to restore a sense of control, and help the girls to develop coping strategies, through both practical advice and emotional support.
Staff used contact time to talk about the importance of good hygiene, social distancing, how to keep family and friends safe and where they could seek further assistance if they were feeling overwhelmed.
As tensions rise in difficult times, staff also delivered hands-on activities designed to develop and maintain respectful relationships. These included developing skills in critical thinking, problem solving and assertive communication.
I am Me, I am Beautiful builds self-esteem and encourages the girls to take charge of the things they can control. When the girls feel empowered, they are more likely to make the right choices for themselves and those around them.
Girls Academy is grateful to the Northern Territory Government, through the Office of Gender Equity and Diversity, for assisting the delivery of such an important part of our program.