A 13th anniversary might conjure up images of ladders and black cats more than luck, but "lucky" is how the young women who reside at Girls' Village feel. Often the last stop before a lock-up facility, Girls' Village provides learning in a family environment. Girls who are delinquent, seriously troubled or ungovernable often just need the stability provided by the treatment philosophy of Girls' Village.
Founded 13 years ago by Lila Bjorklund and other Salt Lake community members, the program now owns and operates three teaching family homes for girls - two in Kearns on land donated by Eugene and Dora England, and one home in Pleasant Grove. It also operates a teaching family home for corrections for boys in Price and provides the training for all of the structured foster homes in Utah.The homes are staffed by a trained married couple who are the "family teachers." Using a treatment system known as the "Teaching Family Model," each home supervises seven youths who earn points and learn skills to obtain privileges. The program recognizes the inherent dignity of each person and the person's positive potential.
The practices of the "Teaching Family Model" work well in any home setting, and many families learn to implement them in their own homes. Because of the intense supervision and busy schedules of the Girls' Village homes, tours are often not possible, but the yearly open house commemorating Founder's Day will be Sunday, Oct. 16 from 2-6 p.m. The Kearns homes are located at 5930 and 5934 S. 48th West. (Turn off the freeway at 5300 South, drive west to 4800 West and then turn south.)
Chairwoman of the open house is Marie Teitelbaum with vice chairwoman Colleen Gubler. President of the Utah Girls' Village Auxiliary Board, Dorothy Burton, and board members will be on hand to greet visitors. The Salt Lake Council of Women is helping provide refreshments. For further information, call Girls' Village, 262-9904. - Karen Swedin