Enrichment‎ > ‎

Girls Leadership Club

Research tells us that as gifted girls get older, an alarming trend traced to socialization practices steadily erodes gifted girls’ self-confidence and undermine their aspirations. As educators and parents, we want to reverse this trend and encourage our talented girls to reach their fullest potentials.

Research discovered the following findings (Williams, 2002):

  • Gifted girls often use their talents to gain social acceptance, blend in with their group, and become invisible, rather than to be an outstanding leader or scholar.
  • Gifted girls often exhibit their talents and abilities more at home than they do at school; while boys try to be highly visible, girls tend to blend in and become invisible.
  • A survey of 1,700 families asked parents to described signs of leadership exhibited by their gifted children.  In almost every case in which the term “bossy” was used, it was used to describe a female child.  Parents used the term “a leader” to describe their sons.  This sends the message that it is inappropriate for a girl to be a boss; she should be a follower instead.
  • Girls demand thorough conformity of their peers; a girl who is different in any way may be ostracized and regarded as “poison.”  The pre-adolescent group tends to reject girls who appear too smart or successful.
  • Society’s message is that it’s not smart to be smart.  In many cases girls purposely make mistakes or refuse to answer questions so they will not be identified as gifted or considered to be smart.
  • Gifted girls may sacrifice gifted friends to gain acceptance of less gifted classmates.
  • Gifted girls are at great risk of denying, camouflaging, or abandoning their talents.
  • The self-esteem of gifted girls is undermined by their belief that high ability means achieving good grades effortlessly. She may think that if effort is needed to accomplish a task, then perhaps she is not smart after all.

At FSE, we want to protect our advanced/gifted/talented girls from this “disappearing girl syndrome.” For the 2013-2014 school year, Mrs. Radford is excited to announce that she will be the advisor for a new club for girl leaders. This leadership club will run for 18 weeks from November through May for girls in grades 1-6. Your daughter has been nominated by a teacher as a responsible and innovative girl who may be interested in serving as a leader.

The actual day-to-day activities of the leadership club will consist of a weekly meeting during lunch. Girls will meet in two settings, sometimes in smaller break out sessions by grade level on Tuesdays at the times listed below, and in a large group during second semester (from 12:00-1:00 pm on days TBD).

The grade level meetings are as follows:

  • 1st grade at 11:30-11:50
  •  2nd & 3rd grade at 12:05-12:50
  • 4th-6th graders at 12:50-1:30