Our theme-specific events focused on our main principles of social-emotional well-being, physical fitness and healthy eating & drinking habits:
May 2020 - Mental Health Awareness Month
National Denim Day, April 29, 2020
Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault.
Mother's Day Cards Campaign Benefiting Seniors in Local Nursing Homes
Girls Gen and our friends at the Yucca Valley chapter of the 4-H Club (the "Hi Desert Dust Devils") embarked upon a campaign to craft homemade Mother's Day greeting cards for women at local Antelope Valley nursing homes during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.
Virtual MS Walk, April 25, 2020
Our Girls Gen team has raised and donated over $100 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society every year for the last three years. This is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts, as one of our team members' mother has been diagnosed with MS, and there currently is no cure. MS symptoms in women can range from fatigue, walking difficulties and weakness to dizziness, vertigo and vision problems.
With the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the actual MS Walk has been transformed to a #VirtualWalkMS!
Whether it’s on a home treadmill or a social-distancing stroll around the block, on your Walk MS date (or whenever it's convenient for you) celebrate Walk MS your way. Put on your Walk MS finest and share a photo or video on social media using #virtualwalkMS! Join us!
April 2020 Project: PLP Fitness Fair (the intended plan)
The goal: to introduce younger students at our K-8 school to living a healthy, yet fun lifestyle by engaging them in hands-on activities during our Fitness Fair. We planned various activities (including hula-hooping, relay races, limbo, tug-of-war, jump rope, ball play, and PE warm-ups) to get our heart rate up and break a sweat. We'd have rotating stations manned by different Girls Gen members, as well as a health hydration station, and an area to discuss mental health, stress relief and coping skills.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 quarantine, we were not able to bring this idea to fruition this year. (We hope to be given the opportunity to try again next year!).
Instead, we worked with one of our partnerships we established this year - the "Women of Wisdom" Girls Build team at Foshay Learning Center - and helped them with their self-care project, #stayathome. We learned that sometimes when your own plans don't turn out right, collaborating with other teams is the next best thing! Our Girls Gen team members accepted their social media challenge and posted photographic evidence of creativity and self-care while under the stay-at-home order, and tagged The Wisdom of Women to show our support of their #healthandwellness cause.
Foshay Learning Center's "Women of Wisdom" Girls Build team. We actually met in person on March 2, 2020!
Please see their social media challenge below:
And here are some of Girls Gen's Instagram posts *accepting the challenge* from the Women of Wisdom!
Challenge Accepted! 1. Enjoying the visual arts 2. Working on puzzles 3. YouTube tutorials 4. Collaborating with colleagues 5. Baking 6. Taking photos of nature 7. Learning a new skill (how to bake apple pie!) 8. Healthy eating - creating new recipes 9. Relaxing at home with your pets
These are a few of the many activities we participated in and uploaded in support of Foshay Learning Center's Girls Build team. Their #stayathomechallenge encouraged us to commune with nature, do something creative, learn a new skill, hang out (virtually) with friends, and have family game nights. We were happy to oblige! Way to go, Women of Wisdom and PLP Girls Gen! #collaborationiskey
Earth Day - April 22, 2020
Inspired by the "Women of Wisdom" team, we also decided to create our own "pivot" project plan (post-COVID) and create our own #EarthDayChallenge social media campaign on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Please see what was posted on our social media accounts, below:
Despite our bad luck with our original project idea, our girls are always busy! Luckily, prior to March 13th, we still had lots of other opportunities to serve the community before social isolation:
Baking and Serving Dessert to Homeless Populations at Grace Resources in Lancaster, CA
Volunteering at the South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) Food Bank
Women's Health Campaigns
Using budgeted monies to purchase underwear, feminine hygiene supplies (Chicas Poderosas requested sanitary napkins and menstrual cups) for girls that may not have adequate access to them during their menstrual cycles. We also included hygiene kits with basic toiletries, and stationary sets so we can be pen pals.
Canned Food Drives
"Bags of Hope" Community Project Benefiting Deaf Children in the Philippines
Keep scrolling to view past events from previous years, otherwise, check out our community partnerships under "Links"...
IB World School African Dance Class - May 31, 2019
As an International Baccalaureate World School, Palmdale Learning Plaza strives to expose its K-8 students to the languages and cultures of countries worldwide. Girls Gen's health and wellness focus has inspired the team to ask 7th grade Language Arts teacher Dr. Hana Imoisili to share her Nigerian heritage with us and host a before-school dance class to keep us fit and moving! Students are excited to learn more about her Nigerian culture (and dance moves) while staying physically active.
Water Day is about focusing attention on the importance of water. Even in today's day and age, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive. Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
Girls Gen will be working with Palmdale Learning Plaza's ASB and Global Outreach elective to bring awareness to this critical topic of basic human rights concerning health and wellness.
Modern Woodmen Speech Contest - May 13, 2019 Topic: "Challenges Youth Face"
More than 1.3 million children participate in Modern Woodmen youth educational programs each year, gaining light-bulb moments of understanding through hands-on activities and reproducibles on topics relevant to today’s children, pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.
Girls Gen is committed to bringing voice to students on issues that relate to the health and wellness of our community. With the speech topic listed as "Challenges Youth Face," it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get involved in a campus-wide event that helped students explore the threats to our well-being and brainstorm solutions to conquer these obstacles. Students delivered powerful speeches, and spoke with authority on challenges such as depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, negative peer pressure, addiction, and so on.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - May 11, 2019
Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Again, Girls Gen thought that part of our health and wellness goal could be expanded to include healthy canned foods and non-perishable items to be delivered to underprivileged families in need.
Who knew $40 worth of canned foods could fit into just two grocery bags?!?
Trisomy Awareness Walk - May 4, 2019
The Ohana Center of Antelope Valley is launching their next community campaign to increase awareness of special needs families. The Center is hosting its first annual Trisomy Awareness Walk in honor of families impacted by the genetic syndromes Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) and Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). Girls Gen plans to participate in the walkathon (increasing our physical activity), as well as donate money to their cause to help bring awareness to this health condition.
Feeding the Homeless - Grace Resources April 26, 2019
Grace Resources' mission is to empower people to thrive (not just survive) with dignity through training, education, food, clothing, and spiritual investment. Girls Gen understands that many families on limited incomes and/or those that are homeless take advantage of their hot meals served during the week. On a busy night, volunteer groups and Grace Resources will feed over 200 people! In 2018, Grace Resources served 33,452 meals to families in the Antelope Valley. Girls Gen wanted to be a part of that commitment to the community.
WE Day California - April 25, 2019
WE Day is an unparalleled celebration of young people committed to making a difference. WE Schools is the yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create change in their local and global communities. PLP Girls Build LA teams have worked with WE.org for the past three years to offer our community the tools and inspiration to take social action, empower others and transform lives – including their own - either through STEM (2016-2018 GBLA focus) or health and wellness (2018-2019 current GBLA focus).
Clothing Drive - April 10, 2019
In 2018 Grace Resources distributed 12,344 pairs of socks and 6,053 articles of clothing. They also distribute many cold weather articles such as gloves, beanies and coats to many families in need. With the Antelope Valley's cold and windy weather, these coats help keep Antelope Valley neighbors healthy. "Grace's Closet" provides good quality, gently-used clothing at very low prices, including wedding dresses, formal ensembles, and outfits for job interviews. Seeing the growing population of homeless on the rise in Palmdale and Lancaster, members of our Girls Gen team decided to take action and have a school-wide clothing drive to benefit this charitable organization.
*PLP Literacy Faire - April 4, 2019* (our main event - please see project planner for more details)
The Literacy Faire was a meeting of the minds by several active student groups on campus. We decided to come together as one to focus on different areas each group was concerned about, all under the big umbrella of literacy (the current focus of our school's improvement plan).
Girls Gen wanted to combine the issue of literacy with our mission of improving community health and wellness. As such, we brought in informative literature in both English and Spanish to put on display at our wellness table, and we spoke to families about the importance of meal portions, serving sizes, reading nutrition labels, and balanced meals. We also had an adjoining exercise room where we held "friendly competitions" with our K-8 PLP students to see who would win bragging rights based on their successful performance with a hula hoop or jump rope! Fruit and vegetable smoothies provided by Jamba Juice were sold, and children were entertained by music, friendly faces, beaded name bracelets and vitamin-fortified fruit snack giveaways!
PLP Color Run - March 14, 2019
This was our second annual Color Run at Palmdale Learning Plaza. Students in all grade levels were asked to donate funds to our sister school, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos in the Dominican Republic, in order to participate in this fun-filled event. Girls Gen members helped publicize the event, donated funds to the charitable organization, and assisted with the set-up, clean-up and warm-up of the students prior to partaking in this physically demanding event. Over $5,000 was raised school-wide and gifted to the orphans at NPH-DR in order to provide them with sports equipment and health and wellness activities well into the future.
Palmdale Promise Ambassador 2018-2019
In December 2018, PLP selected four students to represent the school and attend the Palmdale Promise Ambassador Conference along with other student delegates from neighboring schools. Girls Gen member Orisha Lamon was one of our representatives. The day-long conference addressed many topics including issues of bullying, stress, mental health and kindness campaigns. Girls Gen is at the forefront, making a difference. We are acquiring the skills to bring awareness to important health and wellness issues that relate to today’s youth.
From left to right: Orisha Lamon (current Girls Gen member and current Palmdale Promise Ambassador), Rocio Rivera (past NASA GEG member and past Ambassador), and Jennifer Chor (past NASA GEG and current Girls Gen member).
"Rafiki" Means Friend: Friendship Bracelet Campaign
In November 2018, Girls Gen participated in a service as action project in which we hand-made rafiki bracelets to be sold as a school wide fundraiser. The money collected then went to purchase varies supplies and monetary gifts to be shared with our sister school in the Dominican Republic, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH-DR). The students in the Dominican Republic were able to benefit from the fruits of our labor by enjoying outdoor activities (hula-hooping and jumping in a "bouncy house") - getting plenty of exercise. Our focus on health and wellness does not only include PLP or Palmdale, California. We are also committed to supporting the health and wellness of children worldwide. Healthiness leads to happiness.
California Coastal Clean-Up Community Service
In October, PLP's Girls Build LA Team, along with our school's ASB, participated in the California Coastal Clean-Up Day in Santa Monica. Part of our health and wellness goal - along with diet and exercise - is keeping our environment clean and healthy, so our bodies can maintain clean and healthy. Girls Gen had fun communing with nature, while also dedicating time toward ridding the beach of bags full of unwanted trash and debris.
"Get Active" Sports Assembly
In September 2018, Girls Gen (with the help of PLP teachers) participated in a "Get Active" school wide assembly featuring guest speakers and UCLA athletes Rachel Garcia (softball) and John Ward (football). Both athletes were past students of Palmdale Learning Plaza, and came back to address the current 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes. Garcia and Ward stressed the importance of staying active and healthy - eating well and getting fit.
Guest Speaker Rachel Garcia
UCLA Athletes Pack the House!
6th - 8th Graders in Attendance
GBLA Getting Signed Softballs
Asking Lots of Questions!
"I'm Going To College" UCLA Football Game
This year, Girls Gen has partnered with UCLA's Athletic Department and Educational Outreach Program ("I'm Going to College") to bring free game-day tickets to interested middle school students. Girls Gen provided over 400 free tickets to students and their families to attend UCLA football, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics events on campus and in the Los Angeles County area. The plan was to expose our community to the benefits and joys of athleticism, thereby encouraging a more active lifestyle.
UCLA “I’m Going to College” Football Game
Fitness in Action
"Keep It Moving" - Cheer & Volleyball
The Girls Gen Team remains committed to staying physically fit and active in athletic activities on campus, including the Cheer, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer and Track intramural teams. Health and wellness means staying hydrated, warming up your muscles before physical activity, and modeling responsible, healthy behaviors for yourself and others. Girls Gen is a team of role models. We practice what we preach!
In August of 2018, Palmdale Learning Plaza's Girls Build LA Team, "Girls Gen," dedicated a Saturday morning to pulling weeds, tilling the soil, leveling the ground, and building new planter boxes for our community garden. Not only are we excited about growing healthy fruits and vegetables, but we also got plenty of exercise and worked up a sweat!