ROCKFORD - It's a new school day at
"Bullying is not a good thing, and you should stop doing it," said 6th grader Madison Beck.
Beck is a 6th grader at
"We get to talk about bullying and everything," said Beck. "Because I've been having trouble with bullying."
She's part of a new program called a-MAZE, a class
just for girls.
"I think it's fun that we're all together, all the girls are together," said 6th grader at Flinn Middle School Dana Sinsox.
a-MAZE is a new anti-bullying class that all 6th grade girls at
"Teach them to pull each other up and not pull each other down," said a-MAZE teacher and coordinator Brook Bloomquist.
The program is offered through the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. It helps girls learn about good decision making and how to have and maintain healthy relationships, and not degrade one another.
"Stop those behaviors and try to prevent those
behaviors," said Bloomquist.
Skills Bloomquist says provides girls with a solid
foundation as they go through developmental changes while entering a new school
The program was piloted at
"They were proud to be part of something," said
Bloomquist. "To sort of feel like they
were all in it together."
But the success of the program really hinges on
whether or not these girls will work together, and that's why Bloomquist encourages
them to lead the way.
"I want to keep it girl led, I want them to make
their choices and their decisions on how they want to see this go," said
The girls currently in the class at
"I hope that it brings
us closer together," said Sinsox.
There is also a "Take Aim"
portion of the class, where girls in the program will participate in a
community service project.
All girls who participate in the program will be registered as Girl Scouts and can take advantage of other community programming offered through the Girl Scouts Organization.