American Heritage Girls founder provides parents with crucial guide to prepare girls for back to school

Garibay: ‘It’s vital for parents to be prepared for these important conversations and open the dialogue so girls can feel comfortable discussing these topics’

August 29, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio Back to school can be one of the busiest times of the year for most families. While it’s important to prepare children to head back to class with new clothes, books, and other school supplies, it’s even more important for parents and guardians to prepare their children’s hearts and minds to reenter the classroom.

Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), has been working with girls and their families for over three decades. A celebrated speaker, educator, and visionary, Garibay is well aware of the struggles girls can face when heading back to school.

“While exciting, heading back to school can be a trying time for many girls,” Garibay stated. “Many girls may feel intimidated or nervous about diving back into school after a long summer break. It’s vital for parents to be prepared for these important conversations and open the dialogue so girls can feel comfortable discussing these topics.”

Garibay encouraged parents to focus on these topics to set their girls up for a successful year:

  • Health — Set up a routine for homework, extra-curriculars, healthy meals, screen/device usage, and bedtime to ensure they have a great start and end to their day.
  • Heart — Prepare their hearts with daily prayer. Try sharing a morning devotional before breakfast or during the drive to school. Add a special note in their lunch bag for extra encouragement.
  • Culture — Ensure you are aware of some of the cultural pitfalls your child may encounter. As an example, they may experience the use of gender-based pronouns in school. Pray about these pitfall issues, and let your child know you always have an open door for discussion.
  • Curricula Discernment — Let your child know that modern culture often winds its way into classroom discussions. Arm them with the strength of the Scriptures so that they can use a Biblical Worldview lens with their lessons. Conflicts with the material are great openings to discover what curricula are used in the classroom. John 15:19, NIV, shares, “…you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
  • Fun — Let your child know that creating space for fun and new friends is an important part of the school year. Scheduling time in the great outdoors is also a wonderful way to enjoy nature, blow off some steam, and create joy.

Garibay advised, “Reflecting on these categories and spending time in prayer and discussion will give parents a head start on preparing their daughters to return to the classroom.”

Garibay recently spoke on the Focus on the Family nationwide radio program about the importance of raising godly girls and how parents can help equip the next generation of women. Host Jim Daly said, “Patti’s advancing a very noble cause and I’m so encouraged by her commitment to godly values and her desire to pour into the next generation of young women.”

AHG’s mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Itis dedicated to providing authentic, positive, and values-driven character and leadership development opportunities and outdoor adventure for girls across the nation.

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted this faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time and then break out into Units by Levels. This gives AHG girls the important social experience of interacting with friends and godly mentors of various ages; members also learn leadership skills within a group setting. AHG Troops are located in local communities across the nation. If none exists in a given area, families can bring the AHG Program to their own area. An American Heritage Girls Troop Development Coach is available to provide resources to potential Charter Organizations and other families to form a new Troop. To hear more about the purpose, mission, and vision of AHG from Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, click here.

Today, there are Troops in all 50 states and girls being served in 15 countries around the globe. Girls can join a Troop at any time; if a Troop is not available nearby, they can become a Trailblazer and enjoy the AHG program alongside their parent. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. Thousands of volunteer members across the country are helping girls grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine. 

The “Raising Godly Girls” radio feature and Raising Godly Girls blog shares guidance and biblically based advice on many key topics affecting girls today — from bullying and identity to anxiety and body image issues. It gives parents, educators, and faith community leaders a set of tools, resources, and Scripture-based advice to assist in raising girls after God’s own heart. The “Raising Godly Girls Minute” with Patti Garibay airs on 1000+ Christian radio stations across the country. 

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