About Circle of Sisters

History: Circle of Sisters began in January of 2000 as a pilot project of the St. Joseph Health System's Community Benefits department.

Research and Program Philosophy: Circle of Sisters uses research from the Search Institute and believes that the more Developmental Assets a girl possesses, the more likely she is to overcome hardship.

Mission, Vision, Goals: Circle of Sisters seeks to empower adolescent girls in Sonoma County. Since 2001, Circle of Sisters seeks to empower adolescent girls in Sonoma County.

Curriculum: Circle of Sisters has a specialized curriculum aimed at dealing at the unique issues of female adolescence.

Staff: About the staff at Circle of Sisters.

St. Joseph Health System: Circle of Sisters is one of the many Community Benefits programs run by St. Joseph Health System.

Why 10-14 year old girls?
Many of the problems of adolescence begin to surface in the critical years of ten through fourteen. Important in its own right as a potentially rewarding time of personal growth and development, early adolescence is the phase when young people begin to adopt behavior patterns in education and health that can have lifelong consequences and implications. During early adolescence, creating and sustaining peer relationships is of paramount importance to girls. Circle of Sisters attempts to provide a safe place for girls to interact and create healthy relationships with peers and adult role models.

Why After-School?
Research shows that the majority of juvenile crime and victimization occurs between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. After-school programs keep children of all ages safe and out of trouble. With caring adult mentoring and supervision, youth receive the extra support and nurturing that can often make a significant difference in a child's development. During evaluations, parents, teachers, facilitators and participants all reported an observable increase in the self-confidence and development of social skills in Circle of Sisters participants. For example, many have learned to handle conflicts in more socially acceptable ways.