The 318 Foundation’s initial pilot program consisted of 25 girls in a biweekly program that focused on developing the girls’ self-expression and identity, with a strong focus on mentorship. The program’s curriculum, written by 318 Foundation Program Director Kristin Kelly, consisted of 25 lessons for the year. But once the pilot was completed, Kristin and Alana Beard, 318 Foundation’s Founder, came together and saw the need for additional lessons. These lessons were tailored to build communication and team skills which in turn made mentor meetings more impactful. With the additional lessons, 318 Foundation further prepared the subsequent girls in the following year's programming, allowing them to take guidance from their mentors and effectively enact the lessons learned.
25 lesson plans grew into roughly 150, all of which can be altered in their delivery based on the needs of a class, and the ability of the teacher who is teaching the program. We saw this in action earlier this year at Woodlawn Leadership Academy where public speaking was a large issue. A week-long lesson was scheduled for March but those lessons were shifted and delivered in October. The building blocks of the program allow for easy movement of the curriculum which is one of the key benefits of the 318 Foundation’s curriculum.
A tailored curriculum is not without its challenges, however. We found that teacher participation is key to implementing the programming effectively. Because of this, 318 Foundation decided to also implement sessions with the teachers to facilitate lesson planning, answer all questions, and guide teachers through the program.
Effectively, 318 Foundation operates with a live curriculum, and as such, we foresee the curriculum growing and expanding, but always to the benefit of the girls we are working with.
(Marie Tucker working with students at Green Oaks in Shreveport, LA)