Planting Empowerment since 2016.
The Dirt Girls program turns five years old this fall!
What initially began as a way to maintain a school garden quickly grew into a unique program for empowering youth through outdoor science education. Since 2016, 58 girls have engaged in garden-based learning and leadership, many of them for multiple sessions or years. Together, we've spent nearly 600 hours tending a school garden.
Four of the original girls stayed in the program for nearly every session from the time they started in 2nd grade until they were promoted from 5th grade in 2020. Now in seventh grade, their moms report they are doing well academically, though the last year has been tremendously difficult socially and emotionally. At least one of the original participants is taking a gardening class as an elective in middle school. Unfortunately, this opportunity doesn't exist at all schools.
Even fewer girls have access to science learning outside of school. More than a quarter of parents surveyed in 2021 report that their daughters do not have "sufficient opportunity to learn science" elsewhere.
Prior to the pandemic, the Dirt Girls program was positioned to grow to two new sites. However, school closures put a pause on that plan. During spring of 2021, Dirt Girls Grow Indoors reached 12 girls, filling a critical gap in social connection and emotional resilience through a houseplant-based virtual program.
As the end of 2021 approaches, we are exploring partnerships that will enable a strong Dirt Girl comeback! Stay tuned for one last project update and end of year giving campaign. We're only $605 away from meeting our $10,000 goal!
We couldn't do this work without your generous support!
Rooted in Gratitude,
Growing Resilience in 2021