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BAWSI UpWard Roots engages girls in community service

The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) program is a free after-school fitness and confidence-building program that connects young girls with female athletes to inspire them to get active, believe in themselves and improve their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about physical activity.

An extended program of BAWSI is the Upward Roots program, which engages youth in a dynamic curriculum based on education, leadership, and service learning, promoting the idea that each and every young person can be a positive change maker within their community. By providing the training and mentorship needed to successfully plan and execute community service projects of their own design, Upward Roots helps young people develop into emerging leaders, while also improving self-confidence.

This year, a group of 5th-grade BAWSI girls at Bishop Elementary decided to address bullying for their Upwards Roots project. The girls worked together to create a script they then presented to the 5th-grade classes discussing bullying and the ways students could break the cycle.  Along with the presentation, the girls wrote a pledge for each of the classes to recite, promising to try and stop bullying. Finally, they provided each class a decorated envelope of “warm fuzzies” or compliments to be hung up in each class, along with the pledge. The idea being, if you are ever feeling sad or are being bullied you can take a warm fuzzy and read it, in hopes that it will make you feel better and brighten your day. It will be the job of the Upward Roots girls to continue to fill the envelope with warm fuzzies throughout the rest of the year.

students pledge to stop bullying and to treat others well