Girls to Women

To support girls as they design their futures for successful womanhood.
Jul 10, 2014

Never A Dull Moment

Math tutoring
Math tutoring

“Never A Dull Moment” seems to be the best description of things here at ‘g2W’ recently. No sooner had the dust settled on Spring Semester 2014 than 35 girls ages 6-14 galloped in to partake of Summer Session 2014, our 7th Consecutive. They're finding a program which is informed by new levels of parental input, and which ranges from poetry writing to gardening to basketball to regional nature & science field trips. And a new emphasis on literacy enhancement through love-of-reading activities

During the past semester and now into Summer Session we’re continuing to place special emphasis on targeted services to middle-school girls. This age-group, on the cusp in so many ways, is vulnerable yet receptive to the kind of mentored programming that can keep their feet on a healthy path through the turbulent adolescent years. 

But all the girls whom we serve deserve a full measure of age-appropriate activities and mentoring from caring older youth and adults. Individual attention is a hallmark of our approach to youth development.

The Latter Half of Spring Semester 2014 featured:

  • Two experienced math tutors who brought new levels of focus and expertise for girls at all levels, from simple arithmetic to middle-school algebra and geometry.
  • Continuance of technology-based projects for our large proportion of middle-school girls was greatly enhanced through our partnerships with More Active Girls In Computing, The Technovation Challenge, and Girls Engaged In Making Media/Fresh Takes.
  • Younger girls were not neglected in our IT activities, but were mentored by older girls attending nearby Castilleja School in the use of ‘Scratch,’ a programming language that allows elementary-level users to create multimedia online and digital art, literature, and audio pieces. That was of course on top of our regular computer usage activities, ranging from keyboard typing/navigation lessons offered through ‘Mavis Beacon’ software to online academic support through ‘Khan Academy.’
  • Our neighbor and community partner East Side College Preparatory School re-engaged with us after a semester's hiatus by once again providing high-achieving young women from our community who served as general academic support tutors/mentors.
  • Polling and discussions we’d had earlier with parents on issues of interest to them resulted in workshops, one just in April, on topics ranging from nutrition to anger management to internet safety.
  • We welcomed our new Program Director in the form of Jasmine Waiters, a graduate of our notable local Notre Dame De Namur University, and a young woman who already has a long youth development mentorship track-record.

As if that weren’t enough, we’ve been grooming new Board Members, and happily were able to make a large matching challenge grant of $30,000 from regional funding powerhouse the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. We’re so grateful that our community stepped forward to match, dollar-for-dollar, the $30,000 put up by an anonymous donor operating through SVCF’s ‘Silicon Valley Gives’ fund campaign. Not only dollars but publicity and hence greater community recognition comes with the matching award, which we received in May.

 With fresh wind in our sails, a new Program Director, and new levels parental input and involvement, we feel ready to deliver a stellar Summer Session 2014 and be ahead of the curve for roll out a successful School Year 2014-2015 program.

 Thanks to all of our in-kind, volunteer and financial supporters – we couldn’t do it without you!

Sharing in a supportive environment
Sharing in a supportive environment
Using the tools at hand to teach arithmetic
Using the tools at hand to teach arithmetic
Reading together for fun strengthens literacy
Reading together for fun strengthens literacy
Team learning can be not only effective but fun.
Team learning can be not only effective but fun.

Links:

Apr 2, 2014

An update on our 2013-2014 after-school program

The shuffling of small footsteps on the pavement...the hum and rattle of the shuttle in front...children's infectious laughter ...the staff of Girls to Women's after-school program are alert for these familiar signs. As our young participants trickle in to the program, staff are ready with another eventful session...

 As is customary, first on the schedule is homework! Girls continue to support one another to do their very best as they complete homework assignments. At numerous parent-teacher conferences, which our staff attend at the request of the parents, teachers explain that they have seen significant improvements not only in girls' completion of homework assignments but also in the effort invested in completing the assignments.

Next on the agenda are activities! We continue to highlight the arts, health & nutrition, leadership, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. Depending on volunteers and partnerships, activities can vary. One of the most popular activities at the moment is through a partnership with a local high school's Programming Club.  

Girls in our after-school program are learning the answer to the question What is programming? They are doing so through hands-on workshops on programming lead by a group of dedicated high-school girls. Using age-appropriate and again hands-on methods, our girls will learn how to program a maze. They will do so using Scratch, a programming language for youth ages 8-16 that makes it easy to create stories, games and simulations. 

There is nothing better than girls learning from other girls and women. We will be sure to update you on all that the girls accomplish! Thank you to the GlobalGiving community for the support!

Links:

Dec 20, 2013

Update: 2013-2014 Academic Year

Completing a reading comprehension assignment.
Completing a reading comprehension assignment.

Happy Holidays! As we take the time to reflect on all of our accomplishments this 2013-2014 school year, we want to extend our sincerest thank you to the GlobalGiving community for all of the support over the years.

We are happy to share an update on our 2013-2014 school year. This school year thus far we have served 28 girls - 75% are Latina, 11% are Asian-Indian, 11% are African American and 3% Pacific-Islander.

Our after-school program participants continue to prioritize homework. With the support of our dedicated staff and community volunteers, including local high-achieving high-school female students, the girls work through their homework assignments and projects before moving on to other activities. Staff, volunteers and the girls, have created an environment of learning where everyone works together in making sure everyone succeeds.

Once homework is complete, girls engage in educational and skill-building activities. To name a couple examples, on Monday afternoons, music teachers Catherine and Kari lead the music workshop. Girls are introduced to new songs, they learn basic guitar notes and they lead each other by introducing songs they perform. Recently girls performed Christmas carols for their parents and families at our Holiday Celebration, including one of their favorite songs Mary Did You Know?

On Tuesday afternoons, girls participate in Fresh Fest, a class lead by our local partner Collective Roots, that incorporates cooking in conjunction with a nutrition lesson. It’s great to see girls prepare and try food like humus for the first time and say, “Wow, I actually like this!”

As girls continue to push themselves to earn the school grades they work so hard to achieve, to try new activities and to support each other in their journeys, we are grateful to be able to witness first-hand the growth of each of the girls we serve. 

Guitar playing during the music workshop.
Guitar playing during the music workshop.

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