Starting a Chapter
How do I start a Girl Talk Chapter?
Visit the "Start a Chapter" section of the Web site!
How much does Girl Talk cost?
Who can start a Girl Talk Chapter?
Girl Talk is absolutely FREE. There are no dues or membership fees. The only cost is your time.
Anyone interested in making the lives of the middle school girls in their community better can be the starting point for a Chapter! We require the participation of high school peer mentors, so many Girl Talk Chapters are started
by motivated high school girls who wish to develop mentoring relationships with middle school girls. Others are started by an interested adult, or college girl, who would like to serve as an advisor and begins the process of finding high school girls to participate and a location to meet. Others are started by middle school girls, their parents, or teachers who learn about Girl Talk and spread the word to find high school girls to lead and an adult advisor to participate. If you think Girl Talk would help the girls you know, review the information on this website to learn more about how YOU can get the next Girl Talk Chapter started soon!
How many Girl Talk Leaders does it take to start a Chapter?
It only takes one girl to start a Chapter; however, as many high school girls as would like to participate can help lead a Chapter. We typically recommend that each Chapter have at least one Leader per five middle school girls that attend. Most Girl Talk Chapters have anywhere from 8 to 50 middle school girls who attend on a weekly basis. A low Leader to middle school girl ratio enhances the opportunity for the middle school girls to develop meaningful relationships with these high school peers.
What are the Girl Talk Leader requirements?
Girl Talk Leaders must be female high school students (grades 9-12). They are expected to be strong role models and community leaders. The following requirements have been set for Girl Talk high school Leaders.
A high school Leader must demonstrate a strong commitment to Girl Talk and encourage new girls to join the group. She must always abide by the rules and regulations of the Girl Talk Handbook. She must commit to leading one weekly meeting with middle school girls as well as spending at least one hour of preparation each week with the other Girl Talk Leader(s). She is expected to complete at least 10 hours of community service each semester OUTSIDE of serving as a Girl Talk high school Leader. This can be done alone, with other high school Leaders or with the Chapter as a whole.
A high school Leader is responsible for keeping her Chapter’s adult Advisor fully informed about events, her community service hours, and any ideas or changes she’d like to make in her weekly meetings. She must strive to be a positive role model and a community leader at all times. She must hold herself to the highest standards and understand that as a Girl Talk high school Leader, any bad decisions she makes will not only affect her, but the reputation of the Girl Talk program and, most importantly, the middle school girls who look up to her.
This includes being responsible about what she chooses to post on social media.
Is there a Leadership Contract?
Yes. Click here
to check it out!
Where are Girl Talk Chapters started?
Girl Talk is an international organization and Chapters can be started anywhere there are middle and high school girls who want to help each other. Girl Talk Chapters are currently in 48 states and 7 countries, but the curriculum topics are universal and can be adapted to the particular group using them. The majority of our chapters are in schools, but we have many chapters that are started through other organizations and places where girls come together including clubs, churches, neighborhoods, and sports teams. We currently provide our materials in English only, but there are otherwise no limitations to where our Chapters can be started!
Can I start a Chapter outside the United States? I want to start Girl Talk in another country.
Of course! Everything you need to know to start and run your Girl Talk Chapter is available at no cost on this Web site. We have had numerous successful programs outside the United States, and are happy to talk to you about ways we can help get you started!
Can a church/youth group offer Girl Talk?
Of course! Girl Talk was designed to reach all girls - and all of our resources will continue to be free. We have several youth groups that offer Girl Talk and give high school girls a great leadership opportunity to mentor their younger peers. Remember that we provide high school Leader Lessons which can and should be customized to best serve your particular group.
I want to be a Chapter Advisor. What do I do?
If you are interested in becoming a Girl Talk Chapter adult Advisor - all you have to do is contact with your local high school or a high school female who would make a great Girl Talk Leader and inspire her to start a Chapter in your community. All females who have graduated from high school are eligible to become Chapter adult Advisors. We encourage you to work closely with that school’s guidance counselors, teachers, and administration to ensure the success of your Chapter. Chapters can have multiple Chapter adult Advisors.
I work full time. Can I be an Advisor and have my Chapter meet in the evening, maybe even in a public location?
Yes! Our goal is to reach as many middle and high school girls as possible. However that may work for you - works for us.
I would like to visit a Chapter first or talk to a local Chapter to ask questions.
We think that is a great idea and encourage you to contact a Chapter high school Leader or adult Advisor at the Chapter you would like to visit. Use our
to find the closest Chapter, and contact us
so that we can connect you to someone nearby who can answer your questions.
Running a Chapter
How do I run a meeting as a Leader?
Full information on how to run a meeting is available in our Handbook
, and more specifics are provided in each Leader Lesson. Each Girl Talk high school Leader is responsible for the success of her Chapter. Have fun and be creative. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit to keep the meetings new and interesting. Here are a few ways you can encourage meeting participation.
- Place reminders on the girls' lockers or in the halls
- Hold your Chapter meeting outside
- Invite a guest speaker you know the girls will really enjoy
- Make the meeting’s lesson completely interactive
A sample schedule from a typical meeting submitted is also available here
. You don’t need to follow this exactly, but it gives you an idea of how to successfully plan and run a meeting.
How often does Girl Talk meet?
Girl Talk Chapters typically meet once a week for one hour. Individual circumstances may cause certain Chapters to operate on a different schedule. Please read how a “Typical Meeting” works to get a better sense of how the time is used.
How much time is a Leader expected to put into Girl Talk?
A high school Chapter Leader should expect to serve two to three hours per week. At least one hour should be spent preparing for the meeting. This includes planning the weekly lesson, making signs for girls’ lockers, calling members or sending a mass e-mail as a weekly reminder, and/or writing cards/notes to girls congratulating them on an accomplishment; there is one hour of actual meeting time with the girls; and there is usually about half an hour of follow up with individual girls.
Do Leaders and participants do this for multiple years?
Absolutely! Girl Talk high school Leaders can be Leaders in 9th-12th grades and it is our hope that 8th grade Girl Talk participants will aspire to become Girl Talk Leaders upon entering 9th grade.
Do you do any specific Leader training we can take part in?
By following the steps in the Girl Talk Handbook, Girl Talk high school Leaders will learn how to effectively and efficiently run a Chapter meeting with the support of her Chapter adult Advisor. Girl Talk is a leadership training program - so the skills are best developed over time by running the Chapter once you have read through the guidance provided in our Handbook. Additional leader training videos are also coming soon to our YouTube channel - stay tuned!
What is the purpose of the Anonymous Question Box?
The Anonymous Question Box serves as a wonderful tool for Leaders in determining which topics are most relevant to the middle school girls in their group, and helps them in guiding weekly discussions. For detailed information on how to make your own Anonymous Question box, please reference the Girl Talk Handbook.
Besides the Anonymous Question Box, how do Girl Talk Leaders know what to talk about during the Girl Talk meetings?
Girl Talk does it for you! We provide you with individual, easy to follow lesson plans - each with a different topic for every week of the school year. The lessons are available to high school females who are Girl Talk high school Leaders. The high school Leaders can choose a topic, download and print the weekly lessons through the Leader Login section of the Web site, and prepare for their meeting with very specific guidance. One example of a Leader Lesson is Being Nice.
What are the ground rules for Girl Talk meetings?
What’s said in Girl Talk stays in Girl Talk. No names or details about anyone are EVER mentioned inside a meeting, unless it’s to commend or congratulate someone. If a middle school girl breaks this rule, she should be addressed in PRIVATE by one of the Leaders. If a Leader breaks this rule, the sponsor/faculty Advisor should be informed immediately.
Are Girl Talk meetings supervised?
Yes. Each Girl Talk Chapter is required to have a Chapter adult Advisor present at every meeting. Numerous adults are eligible to supervise a Girl Talk Chapter. If a Chapter is in a school, there is usually an administrator, counselor or teacher happy to take this role. If you can’t find anyone at school to sponsor your Chapter, but the school approves the Girl Talk program, a high school Leader’s mother or local college female can take this role. If you are starting a Chapter in your youth group or at your home, make sure there is a responsible adult that will agree to fully sponsor your Chapter as an adult Advisor.
Are there any requirements for a middle school girl to be a part of Girl Talk?
None! Come as you are—you can come to every meeting or pop in once a month—whatever fits your schedule. We are happy to have you whenever you can participate.
What does “Leader Login” allow you to do?
Once you complete the Chapter Application Process and your Chapter is approved, you and your Chapter adult Advisor will use your usernames and passwords in Leader Login. Leader Login allows you to download Lessons, upload Chapter pictures, apply for scholarships, interact with other high school Leaders and adult Advisors, access tips and special information, and much more!
Where do I mail my Girl Talk Chapter pictures so they can be featured on your Web site?
We prefer that you post them on Facebook, upload them to Leader Login, or email us your pictures because it makes our job much easier. If you cannot email them, please mail your Chapter pictures to Girl Talk, 3490 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 1104, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Is there relationship spill over out of the program in mentoring/friendships that develop between high school Leaders and middle school participants?
Of course. This is a mentoring program for middle school girls by high school girls. We have testimonials throughout the Girl Talk Handbook and in the biographies of our featured leaders that testify to just this kind of thing. It is one of the great benefits of the program.
Boundary issues - any advice on what happens if inappropriate subjects are raised? My school is concerned about making sure those issues are addressed properly.
Great question! Please view our list of lesson topics. Each week is structured around a simple grassroots topic (gossip, community service, being unique, healthy eating, etc…). Girl Talk is designed to be proactive and build leadership skills, and a Chapter adult Advisor is always present. It is very rare that harsh or liable topics are mentioned because the weekly lessons are so positive in nature. However, if this does happen, the high schoo Leaders and adult Advisors sign contracts that spell out what to do. If a high school Leader is asked or told information that could lead to a girl harming herself or someone else, she knows to go directly to her Chapter adult Advisor for the appropriate help. She also knows that, while Girl Talk provides a forum for girls to discuss topics of relevance to their development as middle schoolers, Girl Talk lessons are not intended to discuss inappropriate topics, and these topics should be steered away from in favor of the positive lessons we seek to impart. These situations are very rare, and we have found Girl Talk to be an important and very positive communication tool for teenage girls.
Does Girl Talk have an official school and parent consent form?
Yes, we have both. Girl Talk doesn't require them, but they are available for school/Chapter use if needed. School Consent Form and Parent Consent Form.
What happens if too many girls sign up to participate - multiple, smaller meetings?
That is a great problem to have! We leave that up to you. Girl Talk works because it is so simple and allows schools to conform the program to the needs of their school. Some schools that have large Chapters have Girl Talk incorporated into their curriculum, others have two weekly meetings (one before school and another after school, and the middle school girls choose which works best for them), and other schools have one large meeting and manage to involve each girl during those meetings with large numbers of Leaders.
General Girl Talk Questions
What makes Girl Talk different from other organizations?
Unlike many mentoring relationships where an adult serves as the mentor, Girl Talk’s unique program empowers high school girls to be mentors to younger middle school girls. Peer-to-peer mentoring has proven effective because students can relate to each other. Please read The Girl Talk Difference for more information on how our program is unique.
Can you mail me more information or an info packet on Girl Talk?
No. We wish that we had the staff and funding to do that, but in reality we do not. We try very hard to make your donations go as far as possible and we rely on communicating information via our Web site to keep the entire process as cost efficient as possible. Because we are a cost-conscious, nonprofit organization operating with limited funds, we have no printed materials or "starter packets" to mail to you. All of the necessary and even supplemental resources you need can be found on this Web site.
I’m not sure if we have a Chapter in my area?
If you are unsure of whether or not your school already participates in Girl Talk, please see our Chapter Locator. You can also contact your school administrator or guidance counselor to find out. If there is not a Chapter, we encourage you to help start a Chapter. All the information you need is available on our Web site. The most effective Chapter for a given girl is one that exists in her own community with her own circle of peers; it is generally less advisable and more difficult to join a Chapter at another school. If you think Girl Talk is for you, use our resources to get a new Chapter started right where you are – it’s easier than you think!
My daughter wants to participate, but we don’t have a Chapter near us and I don’t think I can start my own. What can we do?
The best way to give your daughter the benefits of Girl Talk if there is not already a Chapter at her school is to spread the word about our program to her administrators, counselors, teachers, and high school girls in your area, and it is likely that one of them will see the benefit and help you to get it started in your community. Think about who you know at your school, youth group, church, in your neighborhood or circle of friends, or elsewhere in your community who might embrace this and want to give some time to a very fulfilling venture. You might know babysitters or neighbors who are high school girls that would love a leadership opportunity – or they could share it with other high school friends of theirs. Spread the word . . . starting a Girl Talk Chapter is much easier than you may think!
Has Girl Talk ever been incorporated into a schools’ curriculum?
Yes. For example, the Atlanta Girls’ School in Atlanta, GA did just that and is having great results. If you’d like to learn more, visit their Web site at www.atlantagirlsschool.org.
Support Girl Talk
How can I help?
How do I volunteer with Girl Talk?
Please visit the Support Girl Talk section of our Web site to learn more about ways you can give, volunteer, or get involved in other ways. Girl Talk is funded solely by generous gifts from individual contributors. Donations are 100% tax deductible. You can use your credit/debit card by donating online or mail a check made payable to Girl Talk to:
3490 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Fill out the Volunteer Form
and mail or email to Girl Talk.
I am an adult female and want to volunteer with Girl Talk; how can I get involved?
We encourage you to contact your local school to see if they have a Girl Talk Chapter or use our Chapter Locator
. If so, you can help with snacks, transportation, speaking to the Chapter on an issue you think is important, etc. . . . the ideas are endless. If you are in Atlanta you can also volunteer at our headquarters. We can always use administrative and research help to truly meet the demand of Girl Talk Girls everywhere. Please contact us
and let us know what is best for you, and we will connect you with the appropriate people.
Can my daughter come to camp if she is not in a Chapter?
Absolutely! Camp is for any and every middle school girl! Learn more on our Camps page.
Who is your PR contact?
If you are a member of the media, interested in partnering with Girl Talk, want to reach our founder, Haley Kilpatrick, or would like to know more from a PR perspective, please contact Jennifer Grizzle, PR Manager at email@example.com.
How can I get Girl Talk Founder, Haley Kilpatrick, to speak at my event?
Please visit Haley’s page or contact Jennifer Grizzle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaker Terms and Conditions:
- Speaking fees do not include airfare, meals, ground transportation, mileage reimbursement or room and board. All are in addition to the speaking fee.
Standard Speaking Engagement
- Standard speaking engagements are 30 minute to one hour presentations. Presentations will be tailored to your audience’s needs and interests. For further details about Haley’s schedule and capabilities, please contact Jennifer Grizzle at email@example.com.