Circle of Sisters (COS)

Circle of Sisters is an after-school program for girls aged 9-12 in Sonoma County. The program focuses on teaching girls to make healthy life choices by developing life and social skills in a safe, age-appropriate environment.

Empowering Girls

Developmentally, girls experience many different life transitions during the middle childhood years and it is the goal of the Circle of Sisters’ program to help girls navigate these developmental stages successfully. Research shows that the more support or assets a girl has during these developmental stages, the more likely she is to develop resiliency, or the ability to overcome adverse situations. The Circle of Sisters curriculum reflects this research and includes strategies on how to best meet the girls’ developmental needs.

Circle of Sisters group smiling

Modules Include

  • Getting to Know Each Other
  • Looking Beyond the Surface
  • What’s Happening to Me?
  • What’s Happening Around Me?
  • Coming Full Circle

Enrichment Activities

Nature Day: Circle of Sisters, in partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks provides approximately 20 girls a day in nature. A day spent at a park hiking, exploring and learning about how animals and vegetation create a wonderful and fun environment. The day ends with the girls creating their own dream stick and talking about their hopes and dreams.

Circle of Sisters group standing in circle

Amazing Challenge Day: Circle of Sisters participants complete challenges located throughout Santa Rosa Junior College. The girls are divided into teams and learn to work together to solve challenges. These challenges range from writing notes for veterans, creating life-sized puzzles, deducing “what’s in that drink”, obstacle courses and other fun team-building exercises.

Power of Know: In partnership with Sonoma State University, Circle of Sisters produces the Power of Know conference for the young girls. SSU students create workshops for the girls on topics like body image, self-esteem, friendship and nutrition. The girls are able to interact with the SSU students and get a glimpse of life on the university campus.

California Afterschool Summer Challenge: In 2017, three 5th grade girls from La Tercera chose to advocate for causes they really cared about: funding for after-school programming and the importance of safe spaces for girls to express themselves. Rylee, Ashley and Keira went on a two-day trip to Sacramento in alignment with CalSAC (California Afterschool Consortium). The girls participated in a day-long training about how to talk with local legislators and senators. This training gave them the structure to form their own stories about the importance of after-school care. The next day, the girls made signs and marched to the state capitol, where they met with their two district representatives to advocate for their cause. A few weeks after returning home, we heard that the California State Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 was signed and included an additional $50 million in ongoing funding for After School Education. Thank you, Rylee, Ashley and Keira!

Circle of Sisters group holding signs

Community Partners

  • Sonoma State University
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Cardinal Newman High School
  • Windsor High School
  • Connections Women’s Group
  • What Truly Matters
  • Rohnert Park Rotary Club
  • Santa Rosa Parks and Recreation
  • Being Adept
  • Sonoma County Boys and Girls Club

Volunteer as a Circle Mentor/Intern

Your primary role is to help the facilitator in leading an after-school Circle of Sisters group. You will be supporting the on-site facilitator by leading activities, planning creative discussion topics, and engaging with girls around Circle of Sisters’ curriculum. This position can be used towards High School or College credit.

Contact Us

Circle of Sisters
JoAnn Sotres, Lead Facilitator
1154 Montgomery Drive, Suite 6
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 525-5311