| Apr 19, 2017
New young women enter Girl Scouts Beyond Bars
By T. Cassatt | Grant Manager
GSBB girls on a recent visit to their moms
How bittersweet to report to you that the Girl Scout Beyond Bars (GSBB) Program was asked to interview many new moms for the GSBB Program. Interviewing the moms is a step in the process -- when mothers are referred by the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) to Girl Scouts of Central Maryland for admission into the GSBB program. It means that there are more newly incarcerated women with young children who have entered the correctional system. It also means that there are more girls and young women who were abruptly and unexpectedly separated from their mothers, and from their homes and families.
The group of girls who have become the newest members of the GSBB program are younger - in Girl Scout language they are Daisy's and Brownies. They are at a very vulnerable and formative age, where family trauma of this magnitude can have longlasting impact without the introduction of a great support system to surround them.
You are the reason that GSCM can continue to offer this great support system to these new girls. You are the reason that the girls who are remaining in GSBB - many for the entire duration of their mother's sentences - are sustained in this important program, and are able to welcome these newcomers into an environment of understanding and common ground.
As GSBB enters its 25th year, the program is undertaking a renewal process itself. Stunned by recent data released by the Economic Policy Institute, GSCM is addressing the need among female elementary school students who have a parent who is or has been incarcerated (one in four African American children per this report), by expanding the capacity of the staff to provide culturally competent, important programming to more girls impacted by parental incarceration. Educators have not paid enough attention to what this report calls the criminal justice crisis, which affects children's learning, causes these children to be more likely to drop out of school, and even suffer adverse health consequences.
GSCM is committed to providing these girls with opportunities and experiences that positively impact their journey into adulthood. We do this through ensuring that all girls regardless of their background, ethnicity or circumstance have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills that will help them be successful now and for the long term.
Cookies at MCIW - GSBB girls become entrepreneurs