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Raising Resilient Girls

Oct 30, 2017 02:25PM ● By Alison Clary

Talk Solutions For Schools Kicks off Speaker Series at PHMS

By Alison Clary

Dan Roll and his wife, Julie, co-founded Talk Solutions For Schools, a consulting company that offers on and off-site training to students, parents, teachers, and administrators to facilitate a safe and positive school climate. Talk Solutions collaborates with schools like Pleasant Hill Middle School to provide programs that address conflict management in a safe and supportive environment and believes every young person should feel respected and connected at school so they can be successful in their academic, social, and emotional development. Roll explains he “uses restorative practices to help students deal with difficult situations using thoughtful problem solving, assertive communication, and conflict resolution skills.” This is done with an emphasis on empathy, kindness, and cultural understanding.

Roll’s goal is “to provide opportunities for young people to be in mentoring and leadership positions on campus so that older students are the ones communicating, modeling and teaching younger students what the academic and behavioral expectations are.” Programs include after-school peer-tutoring programs, a student voice video series on creating a positive school climate, and a student run program that recognizes behaviors that support the school’s motto: “Be Kind. Be Helpful. Work Hard.”

Roll believes it is important not to belittle the difficulties girls have in school as being merely “girl drama.” He says he has seen the “rise in the number and severity of conflicts that girls are dealing with in middle school and how they are made worse by electronic communication and social media. For every one conflict involving boys, there are ten amongst girls. I think the answer to this problem is to create situations where students have the opportunity to practice one on one, face to face conversations in situations where they get upset with something that someone else has said or done and can communicate how they are feeling and what they would like to have happen going forward in a way where there is a good chance the other person involved can hear them and be responsive.”

Resolving conflicts privately rather than on social networks can be a crucial factor in keeping students from feeling embattled or judged publicly by peers. He wants parents to know “how important it is to advise their kids to take the conversation offline when an interaction isn't going well on social media or text messaging. Having a one on one discussion (preferably in person) is almost always going to be the best way to turn it around.”

Talk Solutions For Schools kicks off their 2017-2018 speaker series with Simone Marean, co-founder and executive director of Girls Leadership ( Along with co-founder Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out, the famous book on relational aggression, Girls Leadership provides programs and parent education that empower young women to “exercise the power of their voice.” Marean will speak at PHMS on November 8 on “Raising Resilient Girls,” a popular parent education lecture that provides practical, actionable advice that can be used at home to support girls from pre-school through high school. This 60-minute presentation is at 7pm in the multi-use room at Pleasant Hill Middle School and will have a 30-minute question and answer period.

Roll also highly recommends checking out an online book club founded by Marean that provides free toolkits and book recommendations for girls in 2nd through 8th grade:

For more information on Talk Solutions For Schools and its speaker series, contact Dan Roll at [email protected]


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