The Henderson and the Kind Campaign
Posted by Jennifer Michael Feb 2, 2016
“Don’t get revenge, show kindness!” That was the main take-away of girls in the Strong Women,
Strong Girls (SWSG) program at the Henderson Inclusion Elementary School in Dorchester
during a recent lesson focused on bullying and teamwork. Girls kicked off an anti-bullying
campaign by creating a poster with alternative suggestions for other kids to follow when facing
bullying, plus personal pledge sheets that girls will use to engage others in the anti-bullying
movement. The role models of the week, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson—founders of
The Kind Campaign, a program that raises awareness about bullying—inspired girls to use the
skill of Teamwork.
SWSG’s Spring curriculum, Sisterhood in Service, helps girls learn about service and activism in
the community by empowering them to choose a nonprofit organization to support. Girls at the
Henderson and their college women mentors from Northeastern University chose to support
Partners for Youth with Disabilities, a Boston-based organization dedicated to empowering
youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring
programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. Their selection was
particularly relevant since the Henderson is an inclusion school, meaning that its students
represent a wide range of abilities. Each week, girls connect their lesson to their service project.
Starting a school-wide anti-bullying campaign—especially one in support of peers of varying
abilities—is just one aspect of the group’s semester-long initiative.
In my role as a Program Associate, I manage partnerships with three of SWSG’s college and
university-based chapters, and elementary schools and community centers that host the SWSG
program. One of my (very fun!) responsibilities is to conduct visits to our program sites to
provide ongoing monitoring, support, and training to mentors, maintain strong partnerships, and
capture success stories. I am consistently impressed by the dedication and skills of our college
women mentors who implement the program, and by the energy, creativity, and awareness of
our girls. The Henderson was no exception!