About Girls in Motion: Girls in Motion is a unique after-school program for girls at Langston Middle School in Oberlin, Ohio. Girls in Motion is now in its eighth year of operation. The motto "Move Smart - Talk Smart - Be Smart" reveals the philosophy behind the program. In after-school classes taught by Oberlin College student mentors, we introduce middle school girls to fun and integrative movement forms, including dance, yoga, and sports, as well as creative activities such as journal writing, arts and crafts, and theater games. The girls are required to work in groups, where they sharpen their active listening and conflict resolution skills. These activities develop physical fitness and self-esteem, as well as fostering each girl's sense of social responsibility and capacity for community leadership.
History: Girls in Motion was launched during the 2003-2004 school year by Ann Cooper Albright (Professor of Dance at Oberlin College) with the support of top administrators in both Oberlin College and Oberlin City Schools. The program is directed by Ann Cooper Albright in conjunction with Langston Middle School administrators, Nadia Johnson, the guidance counselor at Langston and with the support of the Oberlin School superintendent, Jon Schroth.
Program and Services: Girls in Motion is an after-school program that meets throughout the academic year. Girls can choose to attend classes either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Sometimes, it is possible for the girls to do all four days. Each group is facilitated by pairs of Oberlin College student mentors under the supervision of Ann Cooper Albright and Nadia Johnson. A typical Girls in Motion after-school session includes guided physical activities, such as yoga sequences, dance routines, and sports games, as well as a journaling/reflection period and an exercise aimed at improving the girls' leadership and communication skills. Additional activities have included trips to a rock-climbing wall, "step" (a form of African-American vernacular dance) classes, and workshops with "And What," Oberlin College's all-female hip-hop dance and education troop. Typically, there are at least two public performances a year, including the annual Cat-the-Cream performance in early December and the Big Parade march and dance-off in early May. We believe that by teaching girls to use physical activity to find focus, they will succeed not only in the gym and the dance studio, but in the classroom and the community as well.