Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Anni Knows Best

Want to check out a great website? Check out GirlsAllowed at -- the SXSW 2004 award winning web site as well as an official "Cool Site of the Day."

The website was created for girls ages 11-14 and provides daily "webisodes" regarding Anni's life -- including issues like bullying, healthy body image, dating, breaking up, and a host of other issues. The thing I really like about the site is that it does not talk down to kids -- it tries to be entertaining and informative without being preachy or condescending. As one girl put it: “I would just like to recommend a great site that gives u great advice. Go to it will help u with problems such as friends, boyfriends, and peer presure. No this is not one of those 'bubblegum' sites where its all about say hi to the guys then blah blah blah it is so real just wanted to let u know.”

Each episode has a "daily activity" to follow up on what happens in Anni's life -- as well as a guide for parents and educators that want to use GirlsAllowed as a learning and teaching tool.

And it is not just for girls -- we've heard from dads and boys, and even groups of women who get together and discuss the episodes in Anni's life.

Here's a few examples of what some people have to say about GirlsAllowed:

"A great site which gives advice to young girls in the form of an animated diary. Entertaining, educational and not a trace of condescension to be found, if only they had something like this for males in their late twenties."

"I am the school counselor at Maplass Corner Elementary School in Burgaw N.C. Last year I directed a after school group of 5th grade girls we called Girl Power. Each time we met we would go to the Girls Allowed web site, read about Anni and have a discussion. Your web site is wonderful! It really opened up a line of communication with the girls... they began to understand that other people are going through the same things that they are and they were able to talk together about what it's like to be a 5th grade girl. I am looking forward to having more after school Girl Power groups this year and using your web site! Thank you so much for your web site."

"It helps girls with everyday situations that they face, such as boyfriends, friend probs, family probs, and tons of other stuff. There's this animated character, Anni, who faces these problems and shows us how to solve them."

“It's tough being a kid today. There are opportunities, temptations and situations that may be new to your world but are an everyday part of an adolescent's life. Young women may even have more of a challenge, on several levels. Girls Allowed, at, would like to help young women get through this time in their lives. The site follows the life of main character Anni, who lives at home with her Mom, Dad and half sister. Anni is a typical teenager who experiences all the angst, confusion and hormonal juggling that takes place during those years. Lessons on how to establish build and maintain healthy relationships are the underlying theme in the Flash site. It also encourages women to honor themselves, to be treated with respect and to be valued for qualities that make them special.” (The Houston Chronicle)

So -- head to and let me know what you think!

(Note you will need Flashplayer to use the site, but that is an easy and FREE download.)

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