SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Adolescent Girls Have Lots of Questions: Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Kimberly-Clark Launch SMART Girls Program and "Girl Talk" Initiative to Provide Answers

Partnership that has spanned 40 years will empower girls with healthy attitudes, positive self-concept and accurate information during critical tween and teen years

ATLANTA, July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the Information Age comes an onslaught of misinformation, and today's tween and teen girls have more questions than ever about hot topics like dating, sex, self-esteem and their bodies. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Kimberly-Clark Corporation launched today the "Girl Talk: What's Your Question?" initiative as part of a new and improved SMART Girls program that instills self-confidence, and addresses common questions and myths among girls.

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Offered to some 90,000 girls in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, SMART Girls fosters intimate "girl talk" sessions with members ages 8-17 discussing relationships, personal hygiene, body image and more. In support of this program, the "Girl Talk: What's Your Question?" social media initiative invites tween and teen girls to submit their questions about transitioning to womanhood. Girls who submit questions have a chance to win special prizes.

SMART Girls mentors within Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide will utilize these questions to foster dialogue among tween and teen girls during their in-person "girl talk" sessions. Teen girls will also be trained as peer mentors to share accurate information and prompt trustworthy dialogue with tween girls in the Club and in their surrounding community.

"Studies show three out of 10 tween girls had no idea what was happening when they started their period for the first time. Similarly, many adolescent girls have unanswered questions and succumb to common myths and taboos about everything from boys to their bodies during these critical years," said Linda Wiltse, National Vice President of Healthy Lifestyles, BGCA. "BGCA is pleased to partner with Kimberly-Clark to offer a life-enriching program like SMART Girls that helps our young ladies address their personal questions and empowers them to make healthy decisions for their lives."

As the new national sponsor of SMART Girls, Kimberly-Clark continues an almost 40-year legacy with BGCA which has included a focus on strengthening families, and now an emphasis on empowering tween and teen girls.

"We understand the importance of educating girls and young women with accurate and balanced information about how their bodies are growing and changing during this important chapter of their lives," said Jenny Lewis, vice president of the Kimberly-Clark Foundation. "We believe that today's girls want candid, real talk about health and wellness issues from trusted sources. Equipping them with the right information will help them to make sound choices both now and in the future."

Join BGCA and Kimberly-Clark on Facebook (http://bgca.org/facebook) and Twitter (http://bgca.org/twitter) for the "Girl Talk: What's Your Question?" initiative as tween and teen girls share their common questions. To learn more about SMART Girls, visit www.bgca.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Kimberly-Clark Corp. and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population trust K-C's brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the Company's 141-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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