Dianna Flett created Girl Smarts when her son shared some of the challenges that his female peers were enduring as they transitioned into middle school.
“I had been the PTO president at my son’s [elementary] school and I saw these girls who had the world at their feet leaving elementary school. Then when my son was in middle school, he was concerned at their crash in confidence and said, ‘Mom, you have to do something,’” says Flett.
“I called the school and told them I could teach them. I wanted to do something. I asked myself, ‘Why are we waiting for these girls to turn 21 or 22 to tell them to lean in. We need to get them at 9 or 10.’ So we started with 24 girls at Margaret Brent Elementary School with 24 girls at four workshops,” says Flett. “I did a lot of research. I started reading a lot of the different studies that had been done on girls ages 9 and 10. Girls’ self-esteem peaks at 9. It falls based on body image and bullying behaviors.”