3/19/2014 – PTA General Assembly Meeting

Mar 20, 2014 by

3/19/2014 –  PTA General Assembly Meeting

Montclair PTA General Meeting

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Montclair Elementary Multipurpose Room

Melissa called the meeting to order at 7:05pm.

 No official sign-in was provided, but approximately 300 people assembled for the meeting.  Quorum is 20.  Quorum is present.

MES Update:  Melissa reported that the financial report is online, and a more comprehensive report will be on next month’s PTA meeting agenda.

Montclair Parent Presentation

Girls Leadership Institute

“Raising Resilient Girls”

Co-founder Simone Marean

 The Girls Leadership Institute teaches girls about how to know who they are and what they can achieve in their world.  They teach girls the skills to live life boldly.  “We empower girls to know who they are, what they believe and how to express it.  These skills allow girls to engage more authentically with others and create change in their world.”  Simone started Girls Leadership Institute 13 years ago with her co-founder Rachel Simmons.

Simone offered the audience the following information:

1.  A girl’s self image is altered by looking at a photo-shopped picture for 1 to 3 seconds; girls are affected by advertisements.

2.  Girls feel the pressure to be:

  • Pretty
  • Cute
  • Popular
  • Well-liked
  • Perfect
  • A pleaser
  • Always busy
  • Good in school
  • Organized

Girls that are trying to live up to these characteristics have a very hard time with criticism.  Also, girls that are trying to live up to this, don’t apologize or acknowledge mistakes and have a hard time taking risks.  When a mistake is made, many girls “deny the mistake.”  Denial is a powerful action that can temporarily convince girls that they really didn’t do what they are accused of doing.  Also, they will “exaggerate the mistake;” blow the situation out of proportion in order to process the mistake.

Girls feel so much pressure to be perfect, and when in a conflict or mistake with other individuals, they conjure up all the things that have happened in the past between all girls involved.  Instead of feeding into this, ask how did you contribute to the present-day problem?  Have them talk about the present day problem and have them provide a “double-sided sorry.”  Teach girls to accept the mistake.  It’s okay to take personal responsibility.

3.  Peers are a big influence on girls.  Girls have a preconceived idea of the perfect best friend:

  • You do everything together
  • You never disagree
  • You do and like all the same things.

With these expectations girls struggle with friends.

4.  How do girls act when they are upset:

  • Get others involved
  • Avoid the issue
  • Hold grudges
  • Silent treatment
  • Spread rumors and gossip
  • Threaten not to be friends again
  • Exclude girls.

5.  So how can we create resilient girls?

  • Practice emotional intelligence with them.  Know what you feel and accept what you feel.
  • Teaching girls to be emotionally confident and know what to do when they experience those feelings.
  • Sharing your feelings with your daughter will help her be comfortable with the same emotions.

6.  Conflict is healthy and is an opportunity for change in a situation.  Positive change can come from conflict.

There are several ways to face conflict:

  • Cool off
  • Share emotions
  • Offer a contribution to the necessary change
  • Conflict is the result of needs not being met, so ask for what each individual needs in the situation.

7.  When conflict is outside the home:

  • Show empathy
  • Talk to your daughter about what she wants out of the situation
  • Avoid giving her advice
  • Role play future situations and then debrief the role playing to find out what is effective in order to give her the message that she can handle this situation by herself.


Simone held a question and answer session at the end of her presentation.  Girls Leadership Institute offers day and summer camps.  If you have any questions about her program you can visit her at www.girlsleadershipinstitute.org/welcome


The meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm.




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