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Council asked to fund ‘Uniquely Me’ program

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Town council has been asked for a $1,000 annual donation, along with the potential use of community facilities, for a program for girls and young women called “Uniquely Me.”

Local co-ordinator Heather Jarvis spoke to council about the program Monday night, noting it is being offered within the public school system here.

Created by Girl Scouts of America and Unilever, the program aims to promote leadership and build self-esteem skills among girls aged eight-17.

Jarvis currently is facilitating the program at J.W. Walker School, with 16 girls enrolled.

She said the program deals with issues of bullying and encourages the girls to do acts of kindness throughout the school week.

They also are encouraged to act as their own facilitators and help during each session, Jarvis added.

“My role is to get it going, and then to step back and have the girls continue bringing their ideas forward and making them happen,” she explained.

Jarvis said she has support from the Rainy River District School Board, Canadian Mental Health Association, Family & Children Services, and the Royal Bank.

She has received one-time funding for healthy snacks for the girls from RBC and some financial support from FACS, but has had to pay out-of-pocket for the remaining supplies.

Jarvis requested the funding from the town so she can continue to provide the program to young women in the community.

The money would be used for supplies for activities, speaker gifts, advertising and copying of materials, snacks, and other incidentals.

Meanwhile, the potential use of community facilities would be so the program could be operated in a public setting, thus not leaving out interested participants from area schools other than J.W. Walker, where the group meets each Tuesday.

This also would open the door for holding a “Uniquely Me” session during the summer.

The program currently runs in six-week sessions. Each week leads up to a community activity in the last week of the session, “whether it’s raising money for a family or doing community acts of kindness as a group to further develop those leadership skills,” noted Jarvis.

The request was referred to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation, with input from the Community Services executive committee.

The next session of “Uniquely Me,” is anticipated to start Nov. 16.

Registration is now open to eight-10 girls in each of the three programs: “The Way to Be (for Grades 4-6), “Inside and Out” (Grades 7-8), and “The Real Deal” (Grades 9-12).

Contact Jarvis at 274-3382 for more info, with the registration deadline being Friday, Nov. 4.

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