Workshops

GPS started as a 3-day workshop series for middle school girls and boys transitioning into high school. Today, we offer each workshop as a “menu option.” Depending on school schedules and needs of the students, GPS offers flexibility and customization. Workshops do not necessarily need to be held on consecutive days, and can be altered to half-days if needed.

*Suggested workshop package

*Parent Meetings for Girls and Boys-These meetings will take place ideally a week or less before the workshop. It is important for these meetings to be separate because of the developmental differences that occur between boys and girls. One or more of the students’ parents or guardians will be required to attend this meeting to be held on the school campus. Parents will be educated on the physical, emotional, and relational changes about to ensue as their child transitions into their teen and early adult years. This meeting will give parents the opportunity to build support for each other as they learn how to best support their sons or daughters.

Note: It is important for this workshop to be separate for each respective gender because of the differences between boys and girls developmentally and socially during adolescence.

*My Peers– Students will be educated on how peer relationships change during adolescence. They will learn a thermometer technique to gauge their feelings towards crisis in their relationships, and learn how they can prevent conflict by practicing relationship authenticity. In addition, the students will reflect on their own feelings regarding what Catholicism believes is the appropriate way to handle oneself in these situations. Through video and vignettes, the girls will discuss with each other how to handle peer conflict in a healthy way.

Note: It is important for this workshop to be separate for each respective gender because of the differences between boys and girls developmentally and socially during adolescence.

*My Sexuality– Students will reflect on their attitudes towards being male or female. They will discuss the roles and expectations of males or females in society and in the Catholic community. The students will also be challenged to take a look at how they express their own sexuality and how others might perceive their image. Lastly, they will empower each other as they start the adjustment to sexually maturing bodies and feelings during adolescence.

Note: It is important for this workshop to be separate for each respective gender because of the differences between boys and girls developmentally and socially during adolescence.

*My Future, My Identity– The students will consider what makes up an identity and what causes an identity to change. They will learn that as they gain increasingly mature roles and responsibilities in their adolescence, their identities will transform, including the decision of wanting to be recognized as Catholic. They will reflect on what their ideal future identities would be, and the steps that need to be taken as early as now to make their visions reality. They will identify coping strategies and support systems to help them along the way. The importance on having a relationship with their parents will be emphasized.

Note: It is important for this workshop to be separate for each respective gender because of the differences between boys and girls developmentally and socially during adolescence.

Puberty- This workshop educates students about physical, hormonal, and brain changes that occur in their bodies during puberty and adolescence. In addition, it will provide information on mental health and common problems that may also occur in adolescence. Students will identify healthy coping skills and their support team to help them through the upcoming years. Schools will be given the option to separate the boys and girls, however it is recommended that they learn about each other together, to reduce shame or stigma. *This workshop can be paired with the following “Sex Talk” workshop, or elements from it*

The Sex Talk- Each school is given the freedom to decide which extent they want to teach their students about sex and protection. These decisions often rely on how comfortable the teachers are with the subjects. This workshop eliminates embarrassment by offering an entertaining, contemporary third-party educator to teach the material. After some ice-breakers and rapport building, the students will learn about “the birds and the bees,” different forms of protection, and be provided with tools and empowerment for potential social pressures. Students will also be given the opportunity to anonymously ask anything on their mind regarding the material. Schools will be given the option to separate the boys and girls. The full workshop is recommended to separate genders in order to cater to more specific needs and topics, and to reduce any hesitance to participate.

Drugs- Each school is given the freedom to decide which extent they want to teach their students about drugs. This workshop provides education on the properties of legal and illegal drugs, the effects they have on the body, and long-term consequences physically, mentally, and potentially with the legal system. Students will be given the opportunity to anonymously ask anything on their mind regarding the material. Schools will be given the option of hosting an additional guest speaker to share their personal experiences and repercussions with drugs.

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