Dear GlobalGiving Community,
In late July, we wrapped up yet another successful summer program! Fun-filled as always, the 6-week, all-day summer program served 34 girls in grades K - 8th. 64% are Latina, 12% Pacific-Islander, 18% African-American and 6% Asian-Indian. The summer theme, A Place I Love, was explored in a variety of expressive forms. Each girl delved into the place or places she loves, why she loves those places, and what those places signify. Please continue reading to learn about the summer details.
Art with Judy Gittelsohn: Judy Gittelsohn is an artist from the Bay Area with over 30 years of experience, whose work is presented in places like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Gallery and Art Dimensions. Judy led art activities with the girls to explore our summer theme of A Place I Love. The girls proudly displayed their paintings at the end of summer celebration, and presented the places they love to their families and loved ones.*Throughout the summer, A Place I Love was explored using music, poetry, dance, group discussions, journal writes and creative writing.
Cooking: A popular activity among the girls, the girls participated in cooking workshops once a week. The workshops emphasized healthy eating habits and nutrition. Using produce such as tomatoes and zucchini that they planted and grew themselves, the girls were able to connect their gardening and cooking workshops, while visibly connecting nature and nutrition.
Gardening: Gardening workshops took place twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, for an hour. Led by four women, three of which are Master Gardeners from the San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, these workshops covered topics such as beneficial insects, how plants grow, tracking plant growth, etc. One of the girls’ favorite gardening workshops was the workshop on ladybugs, especially since they were able to physically release the ladybugs into the garden beds (see photo).
Photography: The middle and older girls learned about the basics of photography in the introduction to photography workshops. Girls learned about photography careers, framing, rule of thirds, leading lines, etc. The girls took part in a photography scavenger hunt in which they used digital cameras to take pictures using the photos tips they learned. They then shared the photos with the group and saw how each person takes photos differently based on their perspective.
* See the attached word document for more details on field trips, the NIA girls and the End of Summer Celebration!
During the 2011-2012 academic year, through our after-school program we served a group of 24 girls in grades K - 8th. 63% are Latina, 25% Pacific-Islander, 4% African-American and 8% Asian-Indian. Please continue reading to learn about girls’ recent achievements and about our dedicated volunteers & interns.
Please remember that for a basic rundown of this program (the basic objectives and the organization of Academic Support & Mentoring) you can always read one of our earlier Progress Reports, for example from January of 2010.
THANK YOU for your support!
Participants’ Recent Achievements
Congratulations to our participants for their outstanding triumphs, academically and beyond!
Maria, a Girls to Women (g2W) participant for nearly two years, recently presented on Princess Diana as part of a school assignment. As soon as she received the assignment, Maria’s goal was for her presentation to be immaculate. In the weeks leading up to the presentation, she completed the necessary research, practiced, and asked for feedback from program staff. All of her dedication and hard work paid off. The day after her presentation, she walked into program dressed as Princess Diana and handed staff a graded rubric with a red-ink 100% written at the top.
Esmeralda & Taevia, are two of our “oldest” participants. They have not only been with Girls to Women since the beginning, but they are also a part of the “older girls” group, girls in grades 6th-8th. g2W staff has witnessed their transition into pre-adolescence and applaud them for their inner growth. Both are dedicated to their schoolwork. Every afternoon, they come in to program and go straight into completing their homework. They have been doing extraordinarily well on their class assignments and tests, and the A’s on their report cards show that their hard work has paid off. Esmeralda and Taevia, have developed into young leaders at Girls to Women. On top of their own academic work, they assist younger girls with homework, read to them, and even lead enrichment activities.
Volunteers and Interns
Volunteers and interns play a significant role in the support and development of the girls we serve. They provide crucial academic support while cultivating close and influential relationships with the girls. Currently we have seven adult volunteers and eight high-school interns working with the girls. Volunteer backgrounds range from a retired engineer and a college student, to a Math Professor at a local college. All high-school interns are goal-oriented students well on their way to attend four-year universities. Aside from providing focused academic support (two volunteers come in once a week to provide math tutoring to girls who need the extra help), volunteers and interns also lead activities in the arts, gardening, cooking and much more. Our current volunteers and interns donate their time ranging in one hour a week to 8 hours a week.
This year we celebrate five years of continuous service! As we reflect on the years since our inception, we thank you for the support you’ve provided to our community girls, and are excited for what the future has in store for our programs and the girls we serve. As always, we are happy to share updates on our after-school program. Please continue reading to learn about girls’ recent academic achievements and fun traveling to nearby educational destinations.
Girls Share Academic Achievements
One of our favorite parts of the after-school program is when girls share their many scholastic accomplishments with each other, parents and staff. We love it when a girl walks in with a grin on her face, goes straight to a staff member and shares the news. There are also the more subtle girls, who will walk up to you, hand you their progress reports and continue on their way to sit down, as you look over the report. This is just how Esmeralda, 7th grade student, shared her latest academic achievement: an A++ in Social Studies and an A in Language Arts. As staff then congratulated Esmeralda, the smile we love so much appeared on her face. Our girls concentrate on thriving academically, and when they attain the grades they work towards, they can’t wait to share the news.
Keitlan, 7th grade student, just last week walked in to the office stating that she received 100% in a fractions test for math class! The week before the test she spent the afternoons with program staff reviewing fractions and getting the practice she needed. Aside from acing her fractions test, Keitlan also received a Core Value Award for Courage. Keitlan has the courage to ask for help when she needs it and to always step outside of her comfort zone.
These stories show why academic support continues to be one of our highest priorities in our after-school program. Interns from nearby college-preparatory schools, volunteers from universities in the surrounding cities, and program staff, continue to work closely with the girls providing academic support and creating a positive culture of learning.
Middle-School Girls Attend NASA’s Science on Saturday Lecture
On Saturday, January 28th a group of middle-school aged Girls To Women participants attended one of NASA’s Science on Saturday lectures. The lecture focused on Lunar Learning and answered questions such as, “What is it about the craters that help us learn about the moon? How do we use that information today? Why do we want to study the lunar atmosphere?” (www.nasa.gov). The girls, along with other middle-school students from the area, learned the answers to these questions through a lecture and a demonstration.
Girls To Women participants were so enthusiastic about the lecture that they were among the first to raise their hands to answer questions or to volunteer for demonstrations. Aside from the lecture and demonstration, the girls had the opportunity to look around the NASA Ames Exploration Center, and even took home Astronaut Ice Cream Sandwiches among other souvenirs! We hope to continue offering trips like these, using our neighboring resources to further introduce and acquaint girls with new academic and professional possibilities.