SUMMER IS FUN-TIME -- AND LEARNING-TIME!
We're busy organizing our 7th consecutive Summer Session 2013, and getting ready to welcome dozens of full-time participants and their families for the late June thru early-August 6-week Session. Yes, we'll emphasize fitness, the arts, games, the outdoors, field-trips, and fun -- but academics-related learning continues.
Experience tells us that the hour after lunch is when even the most active girls want to lay low for awhile and do more contemplative activities. Accordingly, Summer Session girls will have 'Reading-time' during this period, and can choose between take-turns group reading sessions or individual reading. Our older 'Nia Project' girls have developed their own approach to group readings-and-discussion. We offer prizes, support, and positive feedback to encourage our young readers. Field trips to the public library are frequent during Summer Session, for example. Reading-time is typically followed by group indoor quantitative reasoning games like 'Minute to Win-It,' and 'Wheel of Fortune.' Stay tuned for notice of our End-Of-Summer Celebration!
School Year 2012-2013 ended strongly, and we are especially proud of the progress which several formerly under-performing girls made with English Literacy. Just one success story this year is “Jasmine (names are changed or withheld as part of our safety policy).” Her Mexican immigrant grandmother was raising her but, with only an elementary-school education, knew that she couldn’t help Jasmine’s flagging English literacy – 2 years below grade-level (close collaboration with parents is key to our approach to academic support). We convened family, classroom teachers and our tutors early in the School Year to develop a plan for Jasmine who, nine months later, is now ‘proficient’ at her grade level. Wow. Congratulations to you and to your grandmother, Jasmine!
While we're at it, thanks again to GlobalGiving and to all of our donors. We believe that we've provided a good return on your investment in terms of positive development for low-income girls over School Year 2012-2013, and we just can't do it without you!
The girls are going strong this 2012-2013 School Year - they are focused and determined! Whether they’re in 1st or 8th grade (we serve girls in grades K-8th), each girl takes her homework seriously. With the support from one another, tutors from local college-prep high-schools, volunteers and staff, they make sure their schoolwork is completed to the best of their abilities.
Girls keep busy every day, even after completing homework. Once homework is complete, girls participate in various skill-building activities lead by our fantastic and devoted volunteers and staff. Activities currently include: nutritious cooking workshops, singing, Crochet, yoga, gardening and computer technology workshops!
With recent awards from Unity Palo Alto’s Sharing Abundance Committee and Facebook’s local community fund, we will be completing our Computer Lab Enhancement Project in 2013. We will be updating our four computer workstations to include the latest software-- such as the Microsoft Office suite-- and will be providing structured lessons on the software to our pre-teens girls. Information Technology skills are becoming basic modern-day skills to hold and as such we find it important for girls to gain the skills. Hand-in-hand with this, we will be enhancing our Digital Photography workshop by teaching girls how to utilize Photoshop to create their photo projects. More details to come in the next report!
Thank you for your support!
After wrapping-up our sixth successful all-day, six-week summer session (see A Place I Love: Summer 2012 report) this past July, we excitedly welcomed the girls back for our 2012-2013 after-school program. This school year is proving to be a busy and fun one for our girls!
Girls recently began utilizing Khan Academy, a free online tool that provides high-quality educational tutorials and exercises. Khan Academy allows us to track the girls’ progress to see the levels at which they are mastering mathematics skills. Girls have been very responsive and look forward to the exercises - it has proven to be a great way to supplement girls’ education while also working on their computer-literacy skills.
The girls have also been spending time outdoors, engaging in physical activities and planting a fall garden. From planting carrots & cabbage and creating a worm compost bin, to watching three friendly chickens move around the garden bed cultivating the soil, and using veggies from the garden to make delicious recipes, the girls have made the garden their own. Carla, a third-grade Girls to Women participant, recently said, “I like following the chickens around and seeing how they find bugs and potatoes in the ground.”
In short, we’re going strong as the 2012-2013 School Year picks up momentum. Girls' dedication continues as they complete homework, prepare for tests & exams, and apply to college-prep high schools. Your contribution supports a new emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (‘STEM’) learning; structured health and fitness activities and a continuing focus on self-exploration through the arts among other activities.
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.
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East Palo Alto,
East Palo Alto,