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Berner Students Explore Their Inner Beauty
The self-esteem building program Beautiful Me came to Berner Middle School, as sixth-grade girls took part in workshops during their physical education classes from Feb. 25 through March 6.
Each student attended three sessions, which were facilitated by trained Berner staff members including physical education and health teachers Erin Kollar, Katie McCabe and Amanda Ostapow, social worker Marisa Boulukos, and psychologists Kim Dempsey, Tracy Johnson and Heather Rowland. During the first day, students discussed the character traits that make them beautiful followed by a talk about their unique qualities on the second day.
The program concluded with workshop on giving and receiving compliments. The girls learned how to build each other up through kindness and filled each other’s compliment boxes.
Beautiful Me is a program run by the Hance Family Foundation in honor of three young girls who died in a tragic car accident, Emma, Alyson and Katie Hance. It has been held at more than 700 schools since its inception and this was the first time at Berner.
Ms. Ostapow said that the purpose of Beautiful Me is to help female students increase their self-esteem and become more confident and comfortable in their interactions with others. She noted that the hands-on activities helped the girls reflect on their many positive characteristics, and hopefully they all left the program feeling good about themselves.
“In addressing mental health with our students, it’s important that we give them positive life skills,” added Ms. Boulukos. “That includes accepting compliments, liking who they are and having a positive self-image. These are the ideas that this program brings to light for them.”