“Girls can be different,” says ten year old Suhaani. At Girls Inc., we know just how true that is. Every girl and her situation is unique, and not every girl has access to the same opportunities. This summer, we’ve offered a variety of summer camp experiences to support girls wherever they are.
In Walker County, where Internet access is scarce, our Girls Inc. Walker County team has been passing out pre-packaged summer learning kits.
For girls with Internet access, we’ve been able to offer a virtual Strong Smart and Bold Learning Academy in collaboration with the Pelham Public Library! About twenty girls participated in a variety of classes including Self-Esteem (I Love Me!), Can We Talk? (Communicating with Parents) and Stress Management, which included a journal to write out difficult feelings.
One of the girls who has participated eagerly in the virtual camp is Suhaani. She’s a bright fifth-grader who wants to be a geologist when she grows up, although she says she’s not sure yet.
Suhaani is not afraid to be her strong, smart, and bold self. When asked if she identifies most with Strong, Smart, or Bold, Suhaani says, “I believe I am Smart. I get ‘idea sparks.’ All of a sudden, I have an idea and I do it right away. The last idea spark I had was making puppets and having a puppet show.” She says the coolest thing about being a girl is that “we’re strong and it doesn’t matter what people think about us.”
Suhaani has loved Girls Inc.’s virtual camp, saying, “I like the way they are taught. Instead of just teaching, they show us activities.” Parents have been able to benefit as well. Along with the girls, parents have received information on navigating social media, improving communication, and encouraging their daughters’ self-esteem.
Julean Kirkpatrick, Community Impact Program Manager, says, “I’d like to personally thank the Pelham Public Library for allowing us the opportunity to serve girls in this capacity. It has been great getting to know the girls who have participated in our virtual programming.”