Allison Sperduti, Christine Hanratty, Alex Coletta - Teachers
At Polk Street School, in Franklin Square, NY, all fifth grade girls participate inBeautiful Me Sessions are held during the school day on Wednesdays, one class at a time (10-12 girls). Once all five classes have completed the program, we get all of the girls together for a Beautiful Tea. It’s a forty minute gathering in our Outdoor Learning Center. We start in the welcome circle. Each of the approximately sixty girls introduces herself by telling her name, something about herself and stating, “I am beautiful.”
It is very powerful to witness the growth of self-esteem from the past few months and the smiles that go along with it. We then enjoy some fresh fruit and baked goods donated by the girls’ families. Our administration and staff have been extremely supportive of the Beautiful Me program. One of our Dress Down Friday donation jars gets donated to HFF each year. This year we also donated the proceeds from our annual Walk/Run. We three teachers look forward to our Wednesday afternoon “girl time”. Each session provides opportunity for self-reflection and growth. The activities and the conversations are amazing. As the program progresses, we observe transformations from shy to confident, from unsure to positive, from deadpan to beaming. Word of the program has spread throughout the school. The younger girls can’t wait to get to 5th grade so they can attend Beautiful Me.