Feb 10, 2020

A Winter On The Lookout

Getting deeply involved in art
Getting deeply involved in art

Happy New Year to all readers -- volunteers, parents, and donors. We hope this finds you well. Here at g2W, we've scaled back a bit from the warm season while investing in attempts to locate major organizational capacity-building set-pieces.

Our more indoor-oriented activities -- mindfulness classes, See Us For Who We Are digital photography & storytelling, support for transition-age young women, and parenting support and nutrition workshops -- continued with a few interruptions for The Holidays.

We're holding steady with close to 40 girls and their families participating during the late fall and winter months. Come the late spring weather, we'll double that or more with expected participation in the Latinx Family Hikes, 'Season 2.' If the program's inaugural 2019 popularity was any indication, the Peninsula Open Space Trust, g2W, and Latinx Outdoors will collaborate to help get hundreds of individuals out acting naturally in our nearby parklands and public open spaces.

Those of you who've read our bulletins since mid-2018 know that, upon loss of our Beech Street facility lease in East Palo Alto, we shifted to a decentralized program delivery approach sited in other community-serving venues in our service area. But we've always been on the lookout for a new fixed-site facility where we can optimize our programming for low-income girls and young women.

We're still looking; any leads welcome! Both institutions and families alike in our area continue to deal with stratospheric housing costs and low availability. While we search for a more permanent g2W home, we're also looking at potential sites for our 12th Annual Summer Session, which will be here before we know it!

Meanwhile, we're organizing our 8th Annual Margaret Wright Fun & Fitness 5K Walk/Run event. This community-building get-together has withstood venue changes, thunderstorms, and other challenges to become a source of community health & fitness awareness, fun, new friendships, and revenue for g2W programming. Our thanks to all of the advertisers, donors, volunteers, and community groups who have helped make the Fun & Fitness 5K is the local tradition which it has become!

In a time and place where the call from low-income families for structured out-of-school programming for their girls continues, we remain committed to our served community. Individual donor revenue now our largest single revenue (formerly under that from institutional grants). Special thanks then to all of you GlobalGiving donors who have made our work possible as we do our best to be nimble, adaptable . . . and soon, we hope, with a place of our own, winter and summer!

In training for the 5K Fun & Fitness Run
In training for the 5K Fun & Fitness Run
See Us For Who We Are photojournalist at work!
See Us For Who We Are photojournalist at work!

Links:

Oct 31, 2019

Summer Sunset School Year Sunrise

Suf's Up! at YMCA Swim Center
Suf's Up! at YMCA Swim Center

Greetings to all of our donors, volunteers and other supporters.

At the end of July we wrapped-up our 11th consecutive Summer Session program. With 'g2W' still in the market for a permanent new program-capable facility, we sited Summer Session 2019 at the local Seventh Day Adventist Church on Beech Street, not far from our former home (where we still retain our administrative office and modest activity space.

This year's program ran 5 weeks, Monday thru Friday, between June 24, 2019 and July 26. Twenty-nine girls ages 7-14 from Latinx, African-American, Asian, and Pacific Islander cultural groups participated.

But before our summer program began, all the activity leaders had a one week training the week prior which took place in our Girls to Women office. During that week we finalized and ran through the entire 5-weeks' curriculum elements

Two of our activity leaders were college graduates who demonstrated excellent abilities with program delivery and group dynamics management throughout the summer. Our third leader was a recent high school graduate gaining experience before she headed out to begin her post-secondary education at UC Davis. We valued being able to share and exchange knowledge with this trio of great young leaders!

Each program day began with 'Circle Time' where all staff and participants convened to discuss each day's plan. After circle time was the morning's scheduled activity. After a lunch emphasizing good nutrition and presentations from the cultural traditions of our participating girls, there were unstructured, elective activities, emphasizing quieter such as arts, reading, or math games intended to minimize 'summer slump' learning loss between school years.

In particular, journaling and other topical writing during the summer, we find, keeps girls moving forward with English skills.That's important for any student, but even more so with our nearly 50% immigrant-background and English-Learner girls.

Recurring Summer Session 2019 activities included:

  • Nutrition and culinary arts learning & practice on Mondays;
  • Digital video and photography on Monday and Wednesday afternoons;
  • Swimming Tuesday and Thursday mornings;
  • Arts and dance activities on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons;
  • Hiking in regional open-space and natural areas like Skyline Open Space, Rancho San Antonio, and other parklands every Wednesday morning;
  • Stage acting and crafts on Fridays.

The older girls 11-14 extended the digital photography activity into photo-essay explorations of what in the local community supports, or detracts from, community environmental health -- a significant Mid-Peninsula issue. This awareness and self-expression building exercise was led by local journalist Kate Bradshaw, who published a related article in our local Almanac (see attached article). A showing of selected photos on this topic was subsequently held by our supportive friends at Menlo Park's Cafe Zoe .

Parental involvement at all levels, from hiking field trips chaperoning to nutritional support, added to the safety and smooth functioning of Summer Session 2019, thanks again, Parents!  

 Since the summer ended we have rolled into our School Year programming. While our popular new Family Hikes series is on-hold for the rainy season (and here's hoping that we get some very soon to abate recent extreme fire danger!), we're otherwise continuing with mindfulness practice; life-skills support for transition-age young adults; digital photography; our new Congolese dance series; and an ongoing monthly parenting support and skills-building meetings.

For example several of our girls attended the Facebook Family Hackathon event as well as a Streetcode Academy session . . . we engage our girls in these activities to address the lingering 'digital divide' which results when lower-income communities don't have adequate access to information technology exposure and learning.

In late September our Founder/Director Pat Foster received a Local Hero award from the Mid-Peninsula Media Center (see attached YouTube clip). Many of our families attended and dispensed enthusiastic support for her at the award event. Congrats to you for this well-deserved recognition Patricia!  

More recently, we had a Day of the Dead ceremony for our primarily Latinx cohort of girls and their families at St. Francis of Assisi Church here in East Palo Alto. We received numerous 'Thank Yous' and, well, we could not be more proud. The gathering drew in a number of new-to-us families, who expressed gratitude and no small suprise that a girl-centered program like this exists in town. It makes us happy to realize that, little by little, we are making a difference in these girls' lives, and in those of their parents and families generally.

And it is the support of you donors, volunteers, and other supporters who make that possible. THANKS AS ALWAYs and Happy Harvest Season to you all!

Parents help chaperone a hiking field trip
Parents help chaperone a hiking field trip
Girls' cultural traditions include healthy cuisine
Girls' cultural traditions include healthy cuisine

Links:


Attachments:
Jul 25, 2019

STEADY AS SHE GOES - Spring 2019

Gearing Up For A Family Hike
Gearing Up For A Family Hike

We seem to be hitting our stride with our new decentralized program delivery model, which has been in operation for about 14 months now. Local East Palo Alto youth-serving organizations are natural partners for our services for girls and young women, and Oxford Day Academy, Phoenix Academy, and College Track have hosted g2W activities for over a year now.

Thirty girls this spring completed the 9-week digital photography workshop series taught by Oakland artist and arts educator Van Nguyen Stone -- 20 at Oxford and 10 more at Phoenix. As-always, the theme was explorations of gender stereotypes, identity, and self-expression through personally-crafted images. Girls from low-income and immigrant backgrounds benefit from encouragement to look at presumed gender roles, explore how they affect lives, and to make their own decisions.

Our longtime ally and education professional Lakiba Pittman continued her Mindfulness training series with middle- and high-school girls at College Track. Nine young women completing the 12-weekly sessions. Our evaluations tell us that participants feela  greater sense perspective, attention-span, and non-reactive responses to challenging situations, with less chronic anxiety and helplessness in the face of negative emotions and conflicts.

We're proud to mention that our illustrious Founder/Director Pat Foster has been recognized with a Local Hero award from the Mid-Peninsula Media Center. Coupled with her Jefferson Award from last year, we're delighted to see Ms. Foster being recognized for many decades of service to local disadvantaged youth and their families again lately.

While we are still looking for a more permanent (affordable) program facility for g2W, we did find a local church hall to site this year's 6-week Summer Session. We hope that's a sign that a suitable long-term space will present itself as our search and word in the community about it continue.

Our monthly Family Hikes series has started quite popularly, with over 50 local families with girls ages 6-18 having participated in 3 hikes -- to Rancho San Antonio Preserve & Deer Hollow Farm, Pichetti Ranch Preserve, and Skyline Ridge in the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space parks system. The hikes' role in supporting stronger family ties, good physical health, and more positive attitudes make the effort well worthwhile. Our partners Latinx Outdoors and the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District are equally pleased with the strong start to this new collaborative program.

In the meantime, rest assured that our lean, mean (well, not really) but efficient new operation stretches every dollar. The dollars which you donors invest in our work is, as it always has been, key to our ability to serve. Thanks now -- and every time!

The girls didn't chicken out at Deer Hollow Farm
The girls didn't chicken out at Deer Hollow Farm
Many girls have had limited contact with nature
Many girls have had limited contact with nature

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.