Girls Growing Gracefully is an all-girls organization started on the campus of Natchitoches Jr. High School in the 2019-20 school year. The organization is sponsored by seventh grade math teacher Aqunette Morris and eighth grade math teacher Shantonesia Below.
The mission of Girls Growing Gracefully is to assist in the transitions from elementary to junior high school, and from junior high to high school. The organization focuses on structured activities and programs centered in teaching emotional and physical health, relationship and team building, community service and school involvement.
To start their first year in the club, the girls participated in an etiquette breakfast hosted by Tonja Whitaker-Prudhome from The Etiquette and Leadership Academy of Shreveport. To help spread Christmas cheer, the girls also hosted a toy drive where toys were collected and partnered with L.P. Vaughn Elementary to gift the toys to the children in their school’s community.
Bringing in the New Year, Girls Growing Gracefully sponsored a jacket drive, collecting jackets to help warm the hearts of the less fortunate during our winter season. With all of their hard work and dedication to their communities, the girls also helped promote the educational goals of their school.
They started a free after-school tutoring program in conjunction with helping to prepare their fellow classmates for the Leap Test. With the school year coming to an abrupt and unexpected close, Girls Growing Gracefully remained active in helping keep their classmates working and preparing for the next school year.
Girls Growing Gracefully has 15 eighth graders transitioning into high school this coming school year. They are Olivia Below, Taylor Brooks, Tylasia Caldwell, Callie Encalade, Madison Hayes, Eleesia McGuire, Kyla Middleton, Shona Marie Moses, Christionna Norwood and Yonica Payton. Not shown are Imani Black, Bailey Doss, Saudia Johnson, Shawnice Rice-Jones, Kristy Law and Tatianna Moses.