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Circles are for Girls, Councils are for Boys, and Trademarked Trainings are for . . . . .

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 [ONGOING post establishes that the heart

of “The Circle Foundation” and its trademarked training is for behavioral modification

and  again point out that behind this is the generous hand of the OJJDP

and its GIRLS STUDY GROUP .  Also, incidentally, the model’s frames of reference are sexist (Circles for Girls, Councils for Boys AND Young Men).

And etc…

Apparently, It takes a Village of Nonprofits to Raise Train A Child An Adolescent… not to steal, bully, etc

It’s also helpful if the originating nonprofit has people with connections to the juvenile, probation, or LMFT decisionmakers (and OJJDP grants as of 2004):



The USA is (too) full of programs that start and are disseminated in exactly this manner.  Many of them have built-in biases which are not confronted because of the distribution network, and because of the connections with the founders of the program material.  While private resources (i.e., here, from a major progressive nonprofit social change foundation in San Francisco) are involved — so are almost ALWAYS, public (federal, state, county) funds; this is an economic matter and a degradation of representative government.

So many of our public issues relate precisely to the income tax and the caste system created by the for-profit/non-profit power differentials.  ALL social and societal relationships are affected by this, with the favor and advantage going to those whose social connections and/or background are willing to take advantage of wage-earners by themselves operating under nonprofits. I hope this post sheds some light on the situation through a single example.

I am not going to track the funding on this — but note the founders, who jumpstarted it, and the content.  It’s a pattern.   For example, while this may sound like a great idea (support youth, stop bullying, etc.) — there are almost NO solutions which don’t have some inherent bias.  This is not a true “circle” program as the indigenous groups it’s modeled after, or allegedly modeled after — because of the technological advantage of the replicated curricula, and the uniformity of purpose in the founders.  The same inherent bias is built into ALL the models executed in this manner.

Conversational style with examples & narrative, as ever; this is not designed for power-point digestion.  See if it make sense, please also retweet.  

Please read — aloud, preferably — this 3-page (including references) description of “GIRLS CIRCLE” called “Is Girls Circle an Evidence-based Program?,” written when this was still under the umbrella of The Tides Center; notice the behavioral-health language, and also the Title II funding.  Just pay attention, and ask, who — really — should be in charge of behavioral modification for our youth.  Notice also, how the model began as aimed at risky populations (delinquent, etc.) but was intended to expand to “low-risk” populations, i.e., everyone.   Why should Girls be put in Circles (and boys & young men in “Councils”) to modify their behavior, rather than the institutions who failed to protect them from abuse, or in general eroded their meaningful connections with caring adults (systemically) be put into circles by the public and see if we can get a “behavioral modification” on whatever it was failed to protect them (for the most part) from abusive environments?

Found on-line at http://www.girlscircle.com/docs/EB-Principles-GC.pdf

“Is Girls Circle an Evidence-based Program?”

Nationally recognized as a promising approach by the OJJDP,** the Girls Circle program was implemented in a three year Title II grant-funded program through the Sonoma County Probation Department and community based organizations in Sonoma County, CA. Named “Circles Across Sonoma,” the program was highly praised by facilitators, probation officers, girls and families. While evaluation is underwayi, the program has been renewedii by the Sonoma County Probation Department for the 2010-2011 year. To date, over 900 girls have completed the program with a strong completion success rate. Data thus far indicate significance in body image, self-efficacy/esteem, and communication to adults. Completed analysis is expected at year end 2010. Previous national studies on the model have seen significant increases in girls’ social support, perception of body image, self-efficacy, attachment to school and communication with adults. Importantly, significant decreases have been seen in girls’ self-harm and drinking behaviors.iii

It has two co-founders (see photos below).  One of them had prior (I think) connections as a consultant with the OJJDP, a major grants funder .  (Giovanna Taormina).  This description of Girls Circles(r) program course doesn’t mention that, making the OJJDP recommendation look more impartial than it is. Other than this reference, per LinkedIn (St Martin of Tours (?which one?), i.e., Catholic upbringing looks like, Santa Clara University (no major shown) and 1993-1995, USF in “organizational training and development.  Apparently about this time she got involved in running some classes for girls in the justice system…).

Ms. Taormina is the only non-doctoral participant (citing Executive Director of “Girls Circles Association” as her title, i.e., she heads this nonprofit) in “The Girls Study Group, Understanding and Responding to Girls’ Delinquency” which is an OJJDP-convened project which is contracted out to someone working at RTI International out of “Research Triangle Park” (“Turning knowledge into practice“) North Carolina.  The fields RTI International (see WHERE…)… (and the US Government) is into are described as:

RTI is home to experts across the social, engineering, and laboratory sciences—including health**, drug discovery and developmenteducation and training,** surveys and statisticsinternational developmenteconomic and social policyadvanced technologyenergy and the environment, and laboratory and chemistry services.

**while RTI have 4 “experts” under Educ & Training, there are about three or four dozen under “Health Research,” many of which overlap with crime prevention (i.e., behavioral modification, criminology, behavioral neuroscience, etc.)


OJJDP NTTAC logo and National Training and Technical Assistance text A Program of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention text

What we are talking about in OJJDP is a major office of the US Department of Justice authorized by Act of Congress in 1974, and reauthorized in 2002.  It has national scope, major resources, and directs those resources according to its goals.  It is NOT an office of our USA government to be ignorant of — but I was, until in the last year or so, as I began researching grants! For reference of the scope:

OJJDP Infrastructure and Funding

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974 and subsequent amendments (reauthorized in 2002) to administer Federal programs and to provide national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization.

OJJDP provides block grants and discretionary funding to States, territories, localities, and private organizations, including nonprofits. The block grant funding is disbursed to States and territories through Formula Grants and Prevention money.  A Juvenile Justice Specialist is selected for each State to administer the funding to units of local government and private organizations through subgrant awards.

OJJDP’s discretionary funding is awarded through a competitive grant application process. Each year, OJJDP publishes a proposed program plan seeking public comment about proposed discretionary funding opportunities for activities covered under parts D and E of the JJDP Act. The proposed plan is published in the Federal Register and posted online. Once the public comments are evaluated, the program plan is finalized and published in the Federal Register. Program announcements for discretionary funding opportunities are disseminated to potential applicants and posted on OJJDP’s Web site. The funding levels, eligibility requirements, and application deadlines are detailed in the announcements. In an effort to expedite and streamline the receipt, review, and processing of funding requests, OJJDP requires that applications for funding be submitted through the Internet using the Office of Justice Programs online Grants Management System.

—-The NTTAC is trying to produce a One-Stop Shop for Practitioners to know What works.  The Circle Foundation (which began with “Girls Circle Association” as a project of The Tides Center) is part of this.

Girls Study Group

About the Study:

The goal of the Girls Study Group project was to develop a research foundation to enable communities to make sound decisions about how best to prevent and reduce delinquency and violence by girls. The Girls Study Group was responsible for developing and providing scientifically sound and useful guidance on program development and implementation to policymakers, practitioners, and the researchers.

About the Group:

The Girls Study Group, an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners convened by OJJDP, came together to develop a comprehensive research foundation for understanding and responding to girls’ involvement in delinquency. The Study Group members brought with them complementary and multidisciplinary backgrounds and experiences that encompassed the range of knowledge needed to understand and explain female delinquency. The group included sociologists, psychologists, criminologists, and gender studies experts, as well as researchers and practitioners with legal and girls’ program development experience. The group was supported by RTI staff working under the leadership of Dr. Stephanie R. Hawkins, a research clinical psychologist.

This is where websites which at first glance look like their own companies, initiatives, or which (in short) look independent, simply often are not.
Therefore, to understand such things as GIRLS’ CIRCLES or THE COUNCIL FOR BOYS and YOUNG MEN or WOMENS CIRCLE (let alone foundations called THE CIRCLE FOUNDATION whose trainings are being run nationwide), an understanding of HOW the program directors came together, what is their professional background (and associations) and what is their INTENT — is important. Right now, it looks like the intent is crime prevention, and the marketing (besides the obvious, “program service revenue”) also provides a large database of people to practice behavioral modification on. I’ve colorcoded the quote by background color:
In short, the vast resources of the USDOJ are being pooled (throughOJJDP), to also pool the wisdom of the experts with the intent to advise communities on how to control their girl population, and prevent delinquency.  That this is headed up by a psychologist, contains no “citizen representatives” and doesn’t have a significant expert in violence against women (i.e., relationship of delinquency to prior child abuse, etc.) although such studies have already been run by the CDC –is significant.  This is about behavioral modification testing for already delinquent girls (are they young women? not til they turn 18?).

 The research behind Girls Circle is clinically sound and based on solid approaches endorsed by the behavioral health sciences field. Like its parent Motivational Interviewing and Strengths- Based approaches, Girls Circle does have the versatility to be applied to low risk populations such as schools, camp and after school programs, job training programs, mentoring, and it is now being demonstrated as a valuable program that makes sense in correctional and rehabilitative settings as well.

The strengths-based, motivational interviewing Girls Circle program: (1) enhances treatment readiness and client responsivity, and (2) develops and fosters a positive culture of self directed change. In the behavioral health sciences field, it has been demonstrated that program outcomes are substantially improved when the treatment readiness and client responsivity is enhanced. Clinically, this makes sense – if the client is not receptive to the program, or if the client has not resolved the ambivalence to change, it would be a struggle for that client to meet program goals.

The value of Girls Circle is as follows: this structured program addresses girls’ inherent needs and strengths to connect with others.

Further lookups show in a 2008 publication at “NCJRS.gov” that this Girls Study Group was convened in 2004, headed up by a Margaret A. Zahn (professor at NC State) (doesn’t say in what) and at this time also contained as the only NON-Doctor in the list, Ms. Taormina in her capacity as heading up Girls Circle Association (the Tides Connection wasn’t referenced, although at this time GCA was not independent of Tides, I’m pretty sure):

The Girls Study Group, Charting the Way to Delinquency Prevention for Girls

Girls Study Group Members  ” J. Robert Flores, Administrator”**

J. Robt Flores is Administrator presumably because at this time he headed up OJJDP since 2002 (Bush appointee) at this time, which is relevant — as there was a scandal regarding grants-steering (esp. to faith-based orgs) that, thanks to an investigative reporter at Youth Today, resulted in a House Oversight Committee Hearings (waxman) on cronyism!

I may have blogged, more info here:  

  • Dr. Margaret A. Zahn, Principal Investigator, Girls Study Group (2004–March 2008) Senior Research Scientist, RTI International; Professor, North Carolina State University

Again, this GIRLS STUDY GROUP was convened in 2004.  Dr. Zahn came to RTI from the USDOJ per July 2003 RTI announcement, please read the RTI bio.  Seems very well qualified, but no question she is a sociologist, not just criminologist.

RTI established a dedicated Crime, Justice Policy, and Behavior Program in 2000. The program currently has more than 25 staff with professional backgrounds in criminology, economics, psychology, public health, and sociology.

Research Triangle Park, NC — Dr. Margaret Zahn has joined RTI as the director of RTI International’s Crime, Justice Policy, and Behavior Program. Dr. Zahn is a nationally renowned criminologist whose research focuses on violence and homicide in the United States.

Dr. Zahn comes to RTI from the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was director of the Violence and Victimization Division. In this role, she co-led the Task Force on Social Science Studies of Terrorism and directed a $35 million portfolio on studies of violence.

Prior to her service with the Department of Justice, Dr. Zahn was the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a professor of sociology at N.C. State University for six years. She continues to serve as an N.C. State professor of sociology  and will facilitate partnerships between RTI and the social sciences at the university. …

  • Dr. Stephanie r. Hawkins, Principal Investigator, Girls Study Group (April 2008–Present) Research Clinical Psychologist, RTI International  {{NOTE: current director of Girls Study Group}}
  • Dr. robert Agnew, Professor, Department of Sociology, Emory University
  • Dr. elizabeth cauffman, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California–Irvine
  • Dr. Meda chesney-Lind, Professor, Women’s Studies Program, University of Hawaii–Manoa
  • Dr. Gayle Dakof, Associate Research Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami
  • Dr. Del elliott, Director, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado
  • Dr. barry Feld, Professor, School of Law, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Diana Fishbein, Director, Transdisciplinary Behavioral Science Program, RTI International
  • Dr. Peggy Giordano, Professor of Sociology, Center for Family and Demographic Research, Bowling Green State University
  • Dr. candace Kruttschnitt, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Jody Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri–St. Louis
  • Dr. Merry Morash, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Darrell Steffensmeier, Professor, Depart­ ment of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University
  • Ms. Giovanna Taormina, Executive Director, Girls Circle Association
  • Dr. Donna-Marie Winn, Senior Research Scientist, Center for Social Demography and Ethnography, Duke University


back to ‘THE GIRLS’ STUDY”

The question comes up — with all there Doctors and Professors, what is it about Ms. Taormina’s background (although it’s clear she’s run groups for juveniles (girls) in the justice system, it says, since the 1995) that makes her (out of the entire nation of potential applications) appropriate to be in this study group?   Was it her connection to Beth Hossfeld, LMFT who obviously has connections to many educational, school, and other nonprofits, and “388 connections” on her LinkedIN, being also from the Northern California (SFBay Area in general) community, esp. “Bay Area Community Resources” which provides all kind of treatments, and is getting funding for this from an HHS department

2011  942346815 Bay Area Community Resources CA 1980 03 27,885,322 7,468,924 990

?One look at a tax return (I looked at 2004) shows it is primarily (though not only) targeted at the school, afterschool, and justice systems — and in 2004 had nearly $8 million of program service revenue; in short, it has a huge scope of activity, not just limited to one county or one field.  BUT much of this activity is in the school systems ,and supported by government grants and contracts.

GCA (Taormina / Hossfeld) have been panelists at a BCCEWH in Canada (British Columbia Center for Excellence in Women’s Health).  I wish they’d been down here doing something to investigate and STOP marriage/fatherhood funding so we could put a stop to this abuse of children and women within the institution of marriage.  However this doesn’t seem to be their emphasis.

Trademarked trainings are for visionaries who believe the world should look a certain way, AND know where to find captive audiences// institutionalized youth, and collaborate in marketing with other nonprofits of similar inclination.

I object to nonprofit mass-marketing by people with connections to the juvenile justice, probation, and/or education industries which are supported by the public.  The public further supports the organization producing the desired indoctrinations when they are tax-exempt and individuals are not.   Just because an idea sticks and the originators have corporate/business/government savvy does not mean it’s a good idea.

I particularly object when the anti-bullying training circles are delivered in a sexist manner, which in this case, they have been — even though the originators are women.

I also particularly object when a test project was run on adolescent male inmates to help someone get her doctorate in psychology.  Psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis and all kinds of therapy often consist of a visionary and some followers, followed by a cult with a business plan.  Almost invariably this business plan intersects with federal funding or federally funded (public) institutions (schools, jails, juvenile detention facilities, etc.) which provides for wide application, and an aura of legitimacy.

And the distribution is nationwide, and naturally using the internet as a delivery system.

The internet IS an excellent delivery system, but when we have a culture dominated by people (minus the “unemployed”) working full-time jobs, and children in almost full-time schools (from pre-school through 12th) — their time is co-opted, and it’s much harder to stay on top of the recent systems of state evangelism being mainlined into the systems.  In this case, the nonprofit involved got its start under The Tides Foundation (or Center) (progressive, SF-based); others get their start or ongoing support through, say, the Heritage Foundation (conservative).  I realize this practice cannot be stopped, but want more individuals (who are entirely outclassed if they don’t incorporate and form a nonprofit, contract with government, franchise through welfare or jails, etc.) to be aware of the insult.  And yes, I am insulted…

To follow up (a little more) with the ONE CIRCLE FOUNDATION, the pattern holds, pretty well here also:

Apparently, It takes a Village of Nonprofits to Raise Train A Child An Adolescent… not to steal, bully, etc

It’s also helpful if the originating nonprofit has people with connections to the juvenile, probation, or LMFT decisionmakers:

One Circle Foundation MissionOne Circle Foundation promotes resiliency in children and youth, families, adults, and communities by offering circle program models that create, restore, and sustain healthy relationships. One Circle Foundation recognizes that healthy relationships are the core element to a healthy individual, family, society, and world.We envision a world with an available and accessible “circle for every girl and young woman, and a council for every boy and young man.”

We train, consult, and equip service providers to implement research-based circle program models and best practice evidence-based approaches to increase capacities and build healthy relationships

The “About Us” page is very informative, particularly when i took note of who the three (women) leaders were:

New Chapter as One Circle Foundation
On June 1st we began anew as One Circle Foundation. This name change from “Girls Circle Association” gives deference to all our beloved programs: Girls Circle, The Council for Boys and Young Men, and Women’s Circle, and to our mission: promoting resiliency and healthy development for children, adolescents, adults and communities.

This change also marks our departure from the Tides Center. As a small, but formidable non-profit, we have been able to thrive under the umbrella of the Tides Center. Their excellent staff and service offerings have supported us and other non-profit organizations for many years and we are eternally grateful. That we will now have begun to operate as One Circle Foundation, an independent 501c3 organization, is a testament to our successful partnership with the Tides.

Thank you for being part of our community during these exciting times! If you have any questions or comments about our name change, send them our way: info@OneCircleFoundation.org.

Note to Customers / Payable Departments: With this change, we are no longer a project of the Tides Center and are operating under a new FEIN: #45-1898809. If you haven’t already, please make note of our new contact information as well. A W-9 may be requested by emailing us. Address: 734 A Street, Suite 4, San Rafael, CA 94901. Phone: (415) 419-5119, Fax: (415) 448-5459

As this is so recent, I’m betting they will register pretty soon with the California Attorney General:

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
ONE CIRCLE FOUNDATION Charity Not Registered COTATI CA Charity Registration Charity
Actually looks like they have already (June, 2011 — after April 2011 registration as a corporation (or namechange) and apparently an address change to San Rafael (not Cotati) already happened NOTICE TO REGISTER: (links will require a fresh search, though:  Look up by EIN#, above, or title, etc. It says “Please respond within 30 days.”  It’s been 3 months so far (June/July/August/Sept)….
OCF IRS Status Letter IRS Determination Letter
1339294330143 First Notice to Register

Really, just go to the website and read the “About Us” page.

About Us
At One Circle Foundation, we promote resiliency and healthy development in children, adolescents, families, adults, and communities.

We train, consult, and equip service providers across all youth sectors in the United States and Canada, and internationally with state of the art, research based circle program models, best practice approaches, and manualized curricula for programs serving girls and women, and male responsive programs for boys and young men. Girls Circle®, The Council for Boys and Young Men®, Women’s Circle® integrate evidenced-based practices of motivational interviewing and strengths-based approaches with cross-cultural traditions and caring relationships.

As social entrepreneurs, we’ve utilized a sustainable business model, recently establishing our independent 501c3 nonprofit identity. Our services and materials have supported our mission since 1997. To endure tough economic times and to expand the reach of these circle models for more and more youth, we are embarking on new fundraising efforts that will strengthen the impact of this approach for generations to come.

Our Roots
As mothers with a passionate vision to foster healthy relationships and choices within their daughters and other girls in the mid-1990’s, founders Beth Hossfeld and Giovanna Taormina began facilitating Girls Circle groups. ***We were additionally motivated to develop programs due to the severe national epidemics of depression, eating disorders, body image problems, dating violence, teen alcohol and drug abuse, self-harming behaviors, relational aggression, bullying, gang affiliations and rates of abuse upon girls. 

Inspired by the very positive responses to the circles and the encouragement, leadership and assistance the girls shared with one another in the circles, we developed the first Girls Circle Facilitator Training in 1997 and proceeded to become a nonprofit Project of the Tides Center in 1998.

***as a mother about the mid-1990s, that was the least of my concerns:  I was in a battering relationship.  However, my children were not in the primary place kids tend to get bullied, which is public schools and large classrooms.  Because I was able to provide and network for them (extensively) they came out amazingly self-confident, articulate, and engaged readily with adults as with their own peer group.  Below, in this post, the word “Ophelia” comes up.  There is a popular book, “Raising Ophelia” which I had for a long time, and in reading it, noted with amazement how many of the social, bulling, peer pressures (etc.) described in there were specific to the cultural institution of  schools (group education, large classrooms, etc.) , which is where (indeed) most kids spend most of their childhood and youth.

Somehow it doesn’t occur to the experts that another educational model might produce less bullying, rather than keeping the model, and then trying to train the kids not to bully each other (although that’s often how they are handled by their leaders as well in those schools, up to and including molestation at times by trusted leaders)…

As I read the bios of the leadership here, I’m seriously doubting that how they came together as “moms in the mid-1990s” had more to do with their being Moms than their professional job descriptions.  I’m not pasting it up here, but that’s key to the nonprofit and why it’s behaving as it has:  I’ll just put photos up here for a reminder – go read !!

Giovanna Taormina,Executive Director

Beth Hossfeld, LMFT, Associate Director

<-Kitty Tyrol (LinkedIn) (lives in CT,

Kitty Tyrol, Director of Training….

Ms. Tyrol — experience in CT and Canada:

“As a Consultant and Trainer for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch and Department of Children and Families [DcF] Bureau of Juvenile Services; she trains Probation, Parole, and Detention staff, as well as community-based service providers in a wide array of evidence-based curricula and risk reduction approaches. Ms. Tyrol is a Certified Trainer of Reasoning & Rehabilitation 2r for the Cognitive Centre of Canada; Certified Solution Team ® Trainer;. . .   Community Solutions, Inc.(in Windsor, CT).


Let’s talk about this “COGNITIVE CENTRE OF CANADA” and the concept of treating antisocial behavior.  Most of these centers, or institutes, are going to have a university, or a government (or both connection:

The Cognitive Centre of Canada (CCC) was established at the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1980 as a centre for research and program development on effective methods for the prevention and treatment of antisocial behavior.   …

The Centre’s activities are directed by a group of Consultants with expertise and extensive experience in various fields including clinical psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, education, criminology, criminal and juvenile justice and professional training.

(the antisocial behavior even includes antisocial drivers.  Program Kit for training is $829.64 (Cdn) + delivery.</>
There are Consultants (several doctors) and Associates (Ms. Tyrol is one):

A look at the Consultants (and associates) will show the general drift, including treatment of sex offenders, drug users, and many clinical or doctorates in psychology; some from Canada, some from the US:

Does this nonprofit (foundation) actually pro vide direct help to young people?  (Silly question — of course not!):

Does One Circle Foundation work with youth directly or only with service providers?
One Circle Foundation is not a direct-service organization. We developed three models for youth and families – Girls CircleThe Council for Boys and Young Men, and Women’s Circle – and we train service providers and provide materials to service providers that allow them to facilitate these models in their communities.

Why the name “Council” instead of “Circle” for boys? (YEAH, as a female, I had that question too.  Here’s the answer.  The boys didn’t want to be associated with “circle.”  I “can’t imagine” why . . . . .

Why the name “Council” instead of “Circle” for boys? 
We surveyed groups of adolescent boys about different names for this model. They responded with a clear preference for the word “Council”, and we went with that preference.

Did anyone survey the girls about why they shouldn’t be Girls Councils also?  Listen to the rationale(/ization):

  • In both Girls Circle and in The Council we use the “Council Format” during an important Check In step each session, a practice traditionally utilized by indigenous groups to express themselves, listen to one another and relate in a social group.
  • In both models, the participants sit in circle together, and hold activities often in or around the circle.

In other words, “what difference does it make, girls?”  Only, it makes a difference to boys, so “Council” it is for them.  We get (at least I do) that this is an “indigenous practice,”  hardly global news….

Both words are sacred and central to the purpose of both models, and often used interchangeably.

That said, our copying of “indigenous models” doesn’t extend to interchangeable use of names, after all, this IS about gender-appropriate groups…

Having said that, we recognize and respect the view and concern that using “The Council” could connote decision-making, while “circle” does not, and thus we could be reinforcing the unhealthy masculinity belief that decision-making is a role for men and boys, not women and girls. Respectfully, we understand that view point and certainly intend to challenge any such detrimental beliefs.

WHEN?  Because this being such a widespread national model (trademarked and all), I’m just curious…

Our experience has shown that boys who participate in The Council broaden their definitions about gender roles for males and females and are supported or learn to step back from the need to take control over others, and instead to give respect to other voices different from their own.

what about girls broadening THEIR definition about gender roles, and learn that they have a group identity with the word “Council” in it, instead of “Circles”?

Perhaps because culturally and linguistically, the word “circle” is associated with females and council with males?  To give the girls a male’s designation (I do realize, yes, that “girl’s Circle” came before the boys’ model here, but someone made the initial decision, “Circles for Girls”).

CONSIDER: (just a few quick references):

“The circle of hearth and home” search result turns up a forgotten goddess associated with “Circle

Scholars often refer to the goddess Hestia as “the forgotten goddess”. Because of the her association with hospitality, the word Hestia can mostly be heard today used in the names of inns and restaurants, making some people wonder if “Hestia” is the name of a franchise.

Unlike the other Greek goddesses, Hestia does not have a “story” . . . there were few adventures to record about her. She simply “is”.

Greek Goddesses: Hestia

Few images of the goddess Hestia exist. A very “private person”, her symbols, the sacred flame and the circle, are usually used to represent Hestia in works of art.

Hestia’s brief stories, retold here, are too scanty to instruct us. It is her traits, not her actions, that most define her. These virtues define the goddess Hestia: mild, gentle, forgiving, peaceful, serene, dignified, calm, secure, stable, welcoming, and, above all else, well-centered.

Or, say “Sewing Circle” imagery:

sewing circle

A group of people, especially women, who meet regularly for the purpose of sewing, often for charitable causes.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Speaking about “Girls’ Circle” they then acknowledge, it sounds like a therapy group.  Does a group called “Council” sound like a therapy group??

Is Girls Circle a therapy group? It sounds like one.

yes it does  I also notice that on the page contrasting Girls’ Circles with the Boys and Young Men Council, there are SEVERAL more paragraphs of text addressed than to the female side, that a dozen serious stats are quoted from a “National Adolescent Health Center, starting with, they are more likely to have (as opposed to “be diagnosed with” — a possibility that doesn’t seem to have occurred.  There are some ADHD debates, but you wouldn’t know from this resource) . . . . and then this information suggesting that there it be presented as a leadership opportunity, or cash incentives, etc.:
Nothing of this nature shows on the other side, which again, is a “GIRLS’ side, not ‘GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN’s” group.
No stats are quoted for them (and nothing is mentioned about women’s stats regarding being victims of femicide, violence, stalking, etc.).  This is truly starting to annoy me, particularly now that I’ve begun to realize how widespread these trainings are:  GIRLS are not YOUNG WOMEN in the title, and they are not encouraged to pursue leadership roles in the title, either.  I though these were change-agents to stop bullying, etc?  How about a healthy attitude towards leadership development in “girls” ???
What about addressing (in these materials, whether or not they do in the groups) about how girls DO form gangs, and that the peer groups can be a terrible form of torture for young women, i.e., by including or excluding?  Does that come up??
  • Present the group as a leadership opportunity. Utilize peer resource students or anti-bullying teams to make and send personal invitations to other students.
  • Have older boys, such as juniors and seniors, provide co-facilitation in teams with trained adult facilitators in groups for younger boys.
    Acknowledge with the boys that because they haven’t experienced The Council before, they may think it sounds weird or cheesie, but tell them its rooted in ancient traditions. Let them know that as boys are transitioning through adolescence, across cultures and throughout the ages, they have come together in council to discuss concerns and develop strategies,celebrate their masculinity, and harness their strengths.
  • Another important factor is boys’ knowledge of the facilitators. Building relationships with the boys in one-to–one or very small group conversations can make the difference in their decision to join up.

Incentives help:

  • Incorporate incentives such as a technology project or field trip of interest.
  • Provide community service credits or hours.
  • Offer food at every meeting.
  • Extend the invitation to students as an honor and special recognition of their peer relationship abilities or their respectful behaviors.
  • Try making a deal with them. For example: Meet in The Council for 5 weeks, earn a trip to the ball game. If you like it, we meet for another 5 weeks.

Alternatively, integrate The Council into an existing class or program, such as a health and sciences class, sports team, school play, chess club, environmental action team, or detention period.

For highly disconnected youth, find a way to pay them cash for their time. Make their time meaningful to them, and worth academic credits or community service. They need a strong reason to bother. Look for ways to provide transportation for boys who need it.

The Boys’ side is, yes, a Rites of Passage group.  The girls has no such parallel (described that is).  Why bother — after all, they’re “GIRLS,” right?

Is The Council a Rites of Passage Program?
Yes. Adolescents across all cultures have a powerful need to develop an identity, have a purpose, and establish a respected role in their social communities. *** Coming of age taxes all systems- biological, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual. The Council’s structure anchors boys within steady adult and youth relationships, provides social-emotional skill-building, and engages them in processes that help make meaning from chaotic and stressful life experiences. The program activities challenge boys to take healthy risks in the peer group, and to develop understanding about self and others. These activities help promote multi-dimensional growth inside and amongst boys who are journeying into manhood. When an eighth grade boy was recently asked to describe any change he may have noticed since participating in The Council, he wrote, “I’ve become a better person.”

Yes — but while it says “Adolescents” it actually is only on the boys’ side.  I gather this is not done for young women in the groups, then?   Now, to be honest, I am getting a bit irritated, since I FIRST noticed the difference in terms over at the “WIN” nonprofit attached to the Kent County, MD “Local Management Board.”
Girls Circle Association Moves to San Rafael
Marin Schools and Education, posted by Beth Hossfeld, LMFT, a resident of the San Rafael neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm
Girls Circle Association, developers of the nationally recognized models Girls Circle ® and The Council for Boys and Young Men ®, has moved from Cotati in Sonoma County to San Rafael. The new office is located at 734 A Street, Suite 4, in San Rafael, inside the Center for Domestic Peace building.For nearly fifteen years, Girls Circle Association has provided gender-responsive training, technical assistance, consultation, learning communities and manualized materials to service providers nationally and in Canada in education, mental health, child services, juvenile justice, and community-based programs.Girls Circle Association’s mission is to promote resiliency and foster healthy development of youth 9 – 18 years, families, and adults by offering research-based circle program models and curricula that create, restore, and sustain healthy relationships. Founders Beth Hossfeld, LMFT, and Giovanna Taormina began offering the program to girls in their own communities in the early 1990’s and subsequently developed a training program that has been widely received in the United States and Canada. “Girls Circle originated here in Marin County in 1994,” said Hossfeld. “Bringing our central office into San Rafael is an exciting homecoming for us.”Scholarships for an upcoming Girls Circle Facilitator Training on March 29 – 30 in Cotati, CA are available to S.F. Bay Area service providers, through the generosity of the Heffernan Foundation.To contact Girls Circle Association, call: (415) 419-5119 or visit http://www.girlscircle.com; http://www.boyscouncil.com; or circles-for-women.org.

USPTO.gov, i.e., a trademark search show that first the logo GIRLS CIRCLE (as seen on the One Circle  Foundation) was registered to two of One Circle’s Directors, then abandoned 2010 when the organization becamse independent of “the Tides” (see my last post on this topic) and then the trademark was registered to the nonprofit “The One Circle Foundation” which you may recall I noticed was incorporated in California ca. 4/2011:

Mark Image

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 85382809 4131091 GIRLS CIRCLE TSDR LIVE
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Educational publications, namely, training manuals in the field of positive youth development, gender responsive programs, parenting and family development programs and adult development programs; Printed materials, namely, curricula in the field of positive youth development, gender responsive programs, parenting and family development programs and adult development programs. FIRST USE: 20050611. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20050611(ABANDONED) IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Arranging professional workshop and training courses; Developing training systems and learning methodologies for others; Educational services, namely, conducting trainings, conferences and consultations in the field of positive youth development, gender responsive programs, parenting and family development programs and adult development programs and distribution of training material in connection therewith. FIRST USE: 20050611. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20050611  (JUNE 11, 2005) 
Serial Number 77737389
Filing Date May 14, 2009
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Girls Circle Assocaition Giovanna Taormina and Beth Hossfeld non-profit corporation UNITED STATES 458 Christensen Lane Cotati CALIFORNIA 94931
The new one is similar description, but reflects the address change of the principal and slight change in description of goods and services, i.e., “Emotional and Psychological…”
Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Printed materials, namely, curricula in the field of emotional and psychological growth and positive youth development, emotional and social development, parenting and family development and career development, relationship development and life management; Publications, namely, training manuals in the fields of emotional and psychological growth and positive youth development, emotional and social development, parenting and family development and career development, relationship development and life management. FIRST USE: 20050611. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20050611
Registration Date April 24, 2012
Owner (REGISTRANT) Girls Circle Association/Tides AKA One Circle Foundation charitable, non-profit corporation CALIFORNIA 734 A Street Suite 4 San Rafael CALIFORNIA 94901
Corresponding trademarks for young men at USPTO.gov:Mark Image
Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead

Mark Image

2 85449996 4163999 WOMENS CIRCLE TSDR LIVE

(filed after ONECIRCLE FOUNDATION split off from the Tides… or anyhow Oct. 2011):

Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Educational kits sold as a unit in the field of gender responsive programs consisting primarily of printed materials and also including DVDs; Packaged kits comprising printed instructional, educational, and teaching materials for educational activities in the field of gender responsive programs.; Printed training materials in the field of gender responsive programs.; Publications, namely, brochures, booklets, and teaching materials in the field of gender responsive programs. FIRST USE: 20110102. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20110215

This gets interesting, as Ms. Taormina had a prior connection to the OJJDP and — well, see bio:

Girls Study Group Members

Ms. Giovanna Taormina Executive Director, Girls Circle AssociationGiovanna Taormina provides national training, materials, consultation, and technical assistance related to female-responsive services to non-profit agencies, government, state supported programs, institutions, and systems that work with adolescent girls. She is a national consultant to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, has extensive experience in the development and implementation of program services for girls, and is recognized for her work in both the public and private sectors. She has co-developed a comprehensive, integrated, gender-responsive model to address the risk factors and needs of adolescent girls in a format that is conducive to building on girls’ strengths and developing resiliency. The model has been used in all aspects of juvenile delinquency settings to include probation, detention, residential treatment centers, drug and alcohol diversion programs, group homes, and corrections facilities across the nation. She has a B.A. in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and has 12 years combined experience in Organizational Development & Training, management, and sales. Her experience with facilitating girls circles in her community dates back to 1995 and includes leading circles for girls in the juvenile justice system.

Devereux - Inspiring Hope. Empowing Lives.

The Boys Council in Tampa Florida shows several nonprofits are involved in sponsoring it, if you read carefully, and a focus on “Youth-Serving Organizations.”

Tampa Training Teaches Adults How to
Facilitate Cutting-­Edge Support
Groups for Boys & Young Men

Program Finding Show Increases in Boys’ and Yong Men’s School Engagement

The Council for Boys and Young Men, an acclaimed program that promotes healthy male adolescentThe Council for Boys and Young Men development, is now registering participants for its two-­day Facilitator Training. Co-­hosted by Devereux Kids and OPBI, Inc., the training is being held May 24th & 25th, from 8am to 4:30pm at the University Area Community Development Corporation, 14013 North 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33613.

Attendees will learn how to implement the Council model, a new program gaining interest with youth-serving organizations across the country.  The Council promotes boys’ and young men’s safe, strong and healthy passage through pre-teen and adolescent years.  Academic credit and continuing education hours are available to most service providers.

Registrations can be made online at BoysCouncil.com or by calling (707) 794-9477.

The Council for Boys and Young Men is the male adjunct to the widely-acclaimed Girls Circle program founded by Giovanna Taormina and Beth Hossfeld, MFT, in California.  A structured group program for boys 9-18, i

About the Organization: 

The Council for Boys and Young Men is a division of The Girls Circle Association (GCA).  Created by Beth Hossfeld and Giovanna Taormina, the Council’s sister program – the research based Girls Circle model – is rated a “Promising Approach” by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). In 2006, Hossfeld and Taormina teamed up with Matt Bowers to develop The Council model based on masculinity research and evidenced-based principles. For more information, visit BoysCouncil.com or GirlsCircle.com.

About Devereux Kids

Devereux Kids is a primary prevention and diversion program of the Devereux Foundation in Florida. They were established in 1999 to involve parents and community residents in training, relationship building and skill development to increase the safety and well being of children, youth and families at the neighborhood level.Their mission is to engage community residents, strengthen families and protect children.


About OPBI, Inc.
OPBI is a Tampa Bay non-profit organization that has been around since 2002. At the Ophelia Project and Boys Initiative of Tampa Bay, they are committed to creating a best practices model for communities who want to be on the forefront of meeting the specific needs of girls and boys, in an integrated and innovative fashion.They believe in positive and successful youth development.

THAT LINK IS BROKEN.  WHO IS “Ophelia Project and Boys Initiative” (OPBI)?  Are they still a nonprofit? Do they file?  I don’t know but HELIOS EDUCATION FOUNDATION (based in Arizona) gave them $100,000 in 2008 for this:

Helios Education Foundation (motto:  ‘engaging minds, enriching lives.’)  [Helios refers to the Sun, right?]

© Helios Education Foundation, All rights reserved 2415 E. Camelback Road, Suite 500, Phoenix, AZ 85016
100 N. Tampa Street, Suite 1625, Tampa, Florida 33602
Site Map  |  Privacy Policy & Terms of Use

ALtHOUGH in another place, it reads “Transforming the System/Changing the Culture.”  Yeah, sure.

It is the product of a buyout of one organization by another, producing a $500 millionPROFIT which had to go somewhere (not taxable).  Federal student loans were in the mix.   From its “FAQ”


How was Helios Education Foundation started?
Helios Education Foundation was created in 2004 through the conversion, reorganization and ultimate sale of Southwest Student Services Corporation (Southwest), and its affiliates Arizona Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (AELMAC) and Florida Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (FELMAC). Southwest was a full-service provider of student loan products and services to students, families and schools in Arizona, Florida and nationally. At the time of the reorganization, Southwest was the eighth largest holder of federally insured student loans in the country. And upon its sale to SLM Corporation, the $500 million in net proceeds was used to create an endowment for Helios Education Foundation to support its work in creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education.

Transitioning with Confidence and Character: A Sixth-Grade School Saturation Model of Gender-Specific Services
This investment has been approved by the board and is considered fully executed only upon signing of a contract by both Helios and the funded partner. The foundation’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th.
Fiscal Year Funded: 2008
Amount Funded: $100,000.00
Impact Area: Transition Years
Description: The Ophelia Project and Boys Initiative provides the programs that produce high-quality and effective opportunities for critical social and emotional development during middle school, when youth are particularly challenged.
Partner Website: Ophelia Project and Boys Initiative of Tampa Bay

Named after a certain book

The Ophelia Project serves youth and adults who are affected by relational and other non-physical forms of aggression by providing them with a unique combination of tools, strategies and solutions. To achieve long-term systemic change, we help build capabilities to measurably reduce aggression and promote a positive, productive environment for all.We are dedicated to creating safe social climates.

The Ophelia Project®
718 Nevada Drive • Erie, PA 16505 • Phone: (814) 456-5437 • Toll Free: (888) 256-KIDS (5437) • Fax: (814) 455-2090

PA & FLORIDA for OPHELIA (990 search anyhow):


Ophelia Project PA 2011 $1,063,293 990 21 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2010 $1,200,247 990 21 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2009 $1,216,745 990EZ 11 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2008 $1,571,303 990 20 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2007 $433,844 990 21 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2006 $383,882 990 18 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2005 $322,547 990 17 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2004 $253,148 990 18 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2003 $227,199 990 15 23-2926840
Ophelia Project PA 2002 $185,135 990 17 23-2926840
Ophelia Project Boys Initiative FL 2011 $537,271 990 25 20-8776228
Ophelia Project Boys Initiative FL 2010 $528,128 990 27 20-8776228
Ophelia Project Boys Initiative FL 2009 $188,232 990EZ 14 20-8776228
Ophelia Project Boys Initiative FL 2008 $437,723 990 20 20-8776228
Ophelia Project Boys Initiative FL 2007 $313,679 990 22 20-8776228
Ophelia Project of Warren Co PA 2008 $6,961 990EZ 8 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren Co PA 2008 $6,961 990ER 2 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren County PA 2009 $10,835 990EZ 13 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren County PA 2010 $10,917 990EZ 10 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren County PA 2007 $12,748 990EZ 13 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren County PA 2006 $4,172 990EZ 12 25-1871232
Ophelia Project of Warren County Ophelia Project PA 2005 $4,281 990EZ 12 25-1871232
Warren County Ophelia Project PA 2004 $6,757 990EZ 12 25-1871232
Warren County Ophelia Project PA  2003 $529 990EZ 11 25-1871232
Warren County Ophelia Project PA 2002 $1,768 990EZ 12 25-1871232

When in doubt about a nonprofit (or, on a hunch) one can always head back to the HHS grants database and key in an EIN#.  I just did the FLORIDA-based nonprofit, “The Ophelia Project,” EIN# 232926840

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
The Ophelia Project  ERIE PA 16505 ERIE $ 49,600
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2005 CCH324858  SCHOOL HEALTH EARMARKS 1 0 CDC 08-05-2005 $ 49,600 

 (no DUNS#), investigator “Leah Lasco, it’s under CDC/NCCDPHP (??) Program office.




Modest nonprofit income (only $69K) for Erie, PA Ophelia

The Trademark was filed Jan 26, 1998:


Goods and Services — what else:

Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Educational services, namely, conducting seminars, conferences and workshops in the field of female adolescent behavior. FIRST USE: 19970501. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970501
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75422726
Filing Date January 26, 1998
Attorney of Record WAYNE L LOVERCHECK

Project’s “Anne Bloxdorf.” Google that, and find out theres another multimillion complex, and this commentary

Not everyone is a fan of the county’s new $14 million public-safety complex. (by Kevin Flowers) Erie County Council found that out Tuesday night, as representatives from municipalities in eastern and western Erie County spoke out …spoke out against consolidating all of Erie County’s emergency dispatch services at the new facility.

County officials hope the new complex, near the intersection of Pagan and Flower roads, will eventually put under one roof emergency dispatch services now divided among dispatch centers spread across the county….he new facility will also house Erie County’s 911 center, its emergency management operations and its Materials Team, which handles incidents involving dangerous chemicals and the like.Erie County will be the last county in Pennsylvania to move into a consolidated dispatch center, Weindorf has said.”  Comments from (topix.com):

For The People

Conneaut Lake, PA

Why is it that the press in Erie are only interested in what Joe Weindorf has to say? This guy was a COE Dective and left before his pension kicked in to become a DJ then left before his 20 yrs were in to become the COE Public Safety Director then left to become EC Public Safety Director. Granted, the man can talk circles in politics. But to be the mastermind behind this great castle on the hill….come on. Then to have CC hire Ann Bloxdorf as the Deputy Director with NO public safety experience shows you were sleeping dogs lie in this town…….Get your wallet out folks! by the time this thing is said and done the taxpayers of Erie County are looking at a pretty heavy tax increase to cover the operating costs up there. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when in two years from now the CC cofers need to choke up almost 2 million.
For The People

Conneaut Lake, PA

Why is it that the press in Erie are only interested in what Joe Weindorf has to say? This guy was a COE Dective and left before his pension kicked in to become a DJ then left before his 20 yrs were in to become the COE Public Safety Director then left to become EC Public Safety Director. Granted, the man can talk circles in politics. But to be the mastermind behind this great castle on the hill….come on. Then to have CC hire Ann Bloxdorf as the Deputy Director with NO public safety experience shows you were sleeping dogs lie in this town…….Get your wallet out folks! by the time this thing is said and done the taxpayers of Erie County are looking at a pretty heavy tax increase to cover the operating costs up there. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when in two years from now the CC cofers need to choke up almost 2 million.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

September 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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  1. Speaking of OJJDP and Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) — here’s a powerpoint showing a few of the basic questions the “GIRLS STUDY GROUP” is asking. . . . . . .

    Click to access GirlsStudyGroupOverview.pdf

    I still don’t see why it’s “Boys and Young Men” (councils) but “Girls Circles” if tehre’s not a major age difference. Aren’t at 18 “Girls” basically young women?

    Just chatting here, but I’m real concerned about the country here. How can we be so ignorant of what’s going on around us for such large groups of population in all kinds of treatments?

    Yesterday, I was more interested in the copyright trademarking aspects of the Circle Foundation (and annoyed by the boy/girl discrepancy, in a nationwide model I only discovered because I looked up a disappearing “faith-based” nonprofit from Kent County, MD< which led to another (apparently religious in origins) nonprofit, "WIN" (Women In Need) which then led to the Girls' Circles and the discovery that on the East Coast, a nonprofit from the West Coast (not too far from me) was marketing this stuff.

    Today, however (and it's been a long day reading and studying), I was fascinated by the OJJDP connection (and its significance) and it began to sink into me just HOW deeply our justice system (courts) is not a JUSTICE system any more. They don't see themselves as dispensing justice, but as a CHANGE MODEL. Altogether too much, psychologists rule, from top to bottom.

    Also the combination of OJJDP (which is to say PUBLIC) funding and such a LARGE outfit as RTI International (a trade name of Research Triangle Institute, primarily out of NC) which (well, see above) — ishelping, for example, collaborate in Miami (I didn't post this) on a "MIAMI CHILD WELLBEING COURT ™ with an activist judge (the Hon. Cindy S. Leder) and such material as "From the Lab to the Bench," i.e., Neuroscience and the Law — and THEY have a training model also – – – – This is getting a little ridiculous.

    Can we divide the entire country up into people who support research institutes in cognitive neuroscience as applied in the courtroom by ordering services (and support it by, say, working a NORMAL job, with income taxes deducted, and all that) ??? and those who will be studied, en masse.

    I have three drafts (other sections of study) from this today. It's a heavy topic. What I realized is JUST how many (we don't realize how many) of our youth (not to mention adults) are indeed institutionalized one way or another (jail, juvenile justice, mental health, etc.) and what kind of resources are used to manage and study them.

    And what kind of real estate.

    Let's Get Honest

    September 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

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