The concept of North Star originated at a birthday party for women. The party was lively and good-humored with laughing, storytelling and a real feeling of camaraderie, though many of the women had not previously met. Sometime during the course of the party, Patricia, Karla and Nancy began talking about the comfort of being in this all-female environment and the sense of understanding and respect we all experienced as a result. Each woman at the party indicated that she felt safe and free to share personal stories, ideas and perspectives. We all agreed that support systems grow from this kind of atmosphere.
This led to a discussion about the possibility of a program that would provide such an atmosphere for pre-adolescent girls who have many concerns on their minds as they go through that very delicate transition from puberty to adolescence. The program we envisioned would emphasize self-expression and self-care through specific art projects that would foster self-exploration. We believe that social emotional learning is key to self-confidence and self-respect which must be nurtured in order to lead to fulfillment and success in life. The seeds of North Star were planted that day.
The program has grown slowly over the past fifteen years. Nancy and Karla began with a pilot after-school program at The Foote School in New Haven. They have worked many hours on the development of this curriculum and its refinement over the years. The success of their effort can be seen in the growth and expansion of the program. Participants in North Star and their parents have shared their comments, which are presented here in Program Endorsements.
North Star began as a small after-school program for fourth and fifth grade girls at The Foote School. The program has been adapted for school-age boys and is now a part of the curriculum at The Foote School with separate programs for boys and girls in grade five. Throughout the years, Patricia has worked as a consultant on this project, blending her knowledge of child development, communication skills and the principles of learning with the passion and expertise of her colleagues. Our own social and emotional development has benefited greatly from our collaboration on this project. It is with great joy that we invite you to join us in North Star.