This morning, CHARISM had the opportunity to attend the Women’s Fund breakfast and share with the audience what CHARISM does, as well as show our appreciation for their support of our Habits of the Heart and FACES programs.
Executive Director Julie Gunkelman described the educational and skill-building youth development programs at CHARISM. We mentor the wonderful and brilliant children we get to work with, helping with their reading and homework, as well as teaching them about hygiene, nutrition and leadership. We discuss the future, what the children hope to achieve as they grow older, and how important it is to be kind and responsible.
In the fall of the school year, CHARISM teaches a group of girls from Discovery Middle School the curriculum Habits of the Heart, which is supported by the Women’s Fund. The curriculum introduces the girls to a word: philanthropy. In the beginning, they just practice saying the word, and then they move on to discussing what “philanthropy” means, how it is practiced, and how it can affect the lives of those both close and far away. The curriculum explains the vital role that philanthropy plays in American culture.
These are very interactive sessions with lots of discussion. At the end of the 10 weeks of the curriculum, the girls select a nonprofit with which to practice their newly-found philanthropic skills and they award the chosen organization with a monetary gift. How rewarding for these girls to get to put the philanthropy they learn about as part of Habits of the Heart into practice right away!
In the fall of the school year, CHARISM teaches these girls the curriculum Habits of the Heart, which helps them learn about giving to others. In the spring, the girls learn about loving themselves through The FACES Project.Shanda Hakk displayed an example of artwork that was created as part of CHARISM’s FACES Project, a female-only program for junior high girls which encourages the girls to focus on their goals, talents, and to realize their self-worth. A portraiture artist is hired, and the girls get to learn about expressing themselves by painting their self-portraits. For 6 weeks they learn about beauty and indiviuality, colors and shadings. On the 7th week, they celebrate with an art showing at ecce art + yoga in downtown Fargo.
Rita Nimpaye, a 7th grader at Discovery, participated in The Faces Project. She shared with the Women’s Fund breakfast audience about what she learned from the program.
CHARISM is so thankful to have the opportunity to invest in the lives of young women in our community, thanks to the Women’s Fund’s support and their Habits of the Heart curriculum. We are so excited to have been granted the opportunity to expand Habits of the Heart into even more schools, thanks to the generous support from the Women’s Fund. Thank you to the Women’s Fund to supporting our FACES Project and for believing in the Habits of the Heart program!