How Orchard House helps students find the authentic girl inside

RICHMOND, Va.  -  On its 20th anniversary, Orchard House in Richmond isn't just celebrating past accomplishments. They're looking to the future and ways for each student to find the authentic girl inside themselves.

"That means taking time to have great conversations, life skills, social skills”,  science teacher Jennifer Brookman said.

Jennifer Brookman teaches science class

Lessons in math, English, science, and other courses help the middle school girls build skills and tools for wellness, mindfulness, problem solving, and self-awareness.

"Research continues to show that girls between the ages of nine and 14 are at a risk for losing confidence," Head of School Laura Haskins said. "Our curriculum balances our well-loved traditions that help the girls have a sense of belonging and a sense of community with responsive teaching methods."

Laura Haskins, Head of School

"We have a core program where the girls are encouraged to make connections within themselves and with others," Brookman said, “to be open and aware of others and respecting differences and diversity."

"We want them to leave Orchard House with a developed voice, so they know who they are," Haskins added. "They are not afraid to talk about what's important to them and to have the confidence to show up in the world however feels right to them."

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m.