Toronto - In March as we celebrate International Women’s Week and Canada’s Nutrition Month, the Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds program continues to help girls transition into women who make healthy eating, self-esteem and physical activity choices. The teenage years can be a challenging and confusing time as girls make the transition from ‘girlhood’ to ‘womanhood’ and face the growing pains of puberty, friendships, peer pressure, self-esteem and body image. Through mentoring, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto’s program Go Girls! supports girls in dealing with the emotional, social and cultural issues they may face and provides  girls with information to help them make informed choices about healthy, active living. 

“Being a teenager is a tough time and as girls develop into women, it’s really important for them to know how to make healthy decisions early on. Our program provides a safe place for these girls to share their thoughts and worries on eating, self-image, friendships, family, puberty and exercise with supportive volunteers” says Cathy Denyer, President at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto.

Developed in 2001 by Ophea (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) and run by Big Brothers and Big Sisters across Canada, the program seeks to provide these girls with the tools they require to begin implementing a healthier and happier lifestyle. Go Girls! led by volunteer mentors (young women 18-25), consists of 7 mentoring sessions conducted over a 7 week period and held at lunch or after school, within school facilities. Each session addresses the topics of active living, balanced eating and feeling good, with reflections on body image, relationships, self-esteem, healthy eating and physical activity.

Go Girls! launched in Toronto thanks to the generous financial support of: Suncor Energy Foundation, Telus Community Foundation, Toronto Community Foundation, State Street Canada and the RBC Foundation. The program is currently running in partnership with the Toronto District School Board as well as community centers throughout the city.  Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto is in need of young women (18-25), who want to make a positive impact in the lives of girls in our community. Parents interested in enrolling their child in Go Girls! can advocate the program at their child’s school by contacting their school counselor or principal.  For more information on how to enroll your child or how you can bring Go Girls! to your child’s public school, contact Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto at (416) 925-8981 or visit http://www.bbbst.com/.

International Women’s Association of Toronto Supports Go Girls!

IWAT is celebrating its 20th Anniversary on May 10, 2008. The Association has been a centre to foster goodwill, friendship and understanding between women of different nationalities and backgrounds channeled in a cultural and social way. This year for their very special celebration, they have selected Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto - Go Girls Program to be the beneficiary of their fundraiser during IWAT's Gala Ball at the Granite Club.

Who: IWAT is an interdenominational organization and has no political or financial purpose other than welcoming women from different corners of the world, helping them get started when they arrive in the City of Toronto and offering an open door and continuous support to expatriatewomen who came to this city many years ago and are now the backbone of IWAT. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto supports mentoring programs for children and youth between 6 and 18 years of age and throughout our history we have served more than 112,000 children across the city. 

What: A Gala Night to celebrate IWAT’s 20th Anniversary! There will be great entertainment, dancing and superb foods to savour along with a silent auction and prizes. To complete IWAT’s circle of success , they will support “GO GIRLS”, a pilot project of Big Sisters of Toronto

When: May 10th, 2008 at the Granite Club, Toronto. $175 per person

About Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto: Big Brothers and Big Sisters is widely regarded as Canada’s best known and most successful mentoring organization. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) is committed to improving the lives of Toronto’s children & youth by delivering the highest quality volunteer based mentoring programs. BBBST believes the healthy development of every child is enhanced by positive, nurturing, mentoring relationships. Established in 1913, BBBST helps children between the ages of six and 18 years of age become caring adults by matching children with a mentor who provides friendship and positive support. Our focus is to be preventative by reaching children at a pivotal point in their lives when the impact of a mentor can change the course of their future. Our vision at BBBST is every child who needs a mentor has a mentor. For more information visit http://www.bbbst.com/.