Now that I have granddaughters, there have been so many times I've said, "I wish I'd had that when I was a girl" -- cool videos, iPods to sing along with "Frozen" songs, computers to look up answers to the questions I just couldn't ask my parents.
Really important questions, such as how to talk to boys when you're super-shy; how to deal with mean girls when you're a nerd and how to survive high school when you're clueless. I would have loved to know that stuff.
Thank goodness things are different today for my granddaughters and girls in general. There are so many opportunities available to enrich and empower them now, everything from numerous sports, to extracurricular activities, to wide-open career choices.
East Bay fifth- to eighth-grade girls have the opportunity on Feb. 8 to explore more than a dozen workshops during a one-day event that's filled with engaging, inspirational and educational activities. Called "She's All That," the workshops will be presented by the Soroptimists, a nonprofit organization of professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls. Here are some of the subjects for this year's event, tob e held in Danville:
Be Yourself -- How not to give into peer pressure; Your BFF -- How to be a friend and keep a friend; Cyber Safe and Sane -- How to stay safe online while social networking; Fun with Improv -- How to develop that comedian inside; Hip Hop -- How to dance 'til you drop; Mean Girls -- How to deal with bullies, gossips and other meanies; Straight Scoop on Boys -- How to understand those guys; and When I Grow Up, I Want To Be -- How to find nontraditional careers, such as fire inspector, mechanical engineer, Pixar technical director and artist.
The day begins with a keynote speech by Kristin Bender, an Oakland Tribune reporter who has covered the news for more than 20 years. She's a great role model who's covered everything from politics and national security to crime and courtrooms to the Prince (Charles) and the President (Obama).
And while the girls are learning new skills, their parents can attend their own workshops, such as Teen Talk, Cyber Safety and so on. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 8 at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville.
It costs $40 and includes lunch, a free tote bag, a raffle and fun. Unfortunately, I'm too old to enroll in the workshops on dealing with mean girls, learning to hip-hop and hearing the truth about boys, or I'd have been all over that. And while my two granddaughters are still too young for the event this year, I'm signing them up as soon as they enter fifth grade. Because I want them to be all that -- and more.
For more information, go to http://soroptimist-sr.org/index.php/signature-project.
Contact Penny Warner at www.pennywarner.com.