I hope this finds you, your families, and friends safe and well during this unprecedented time. Governor Baker announced by executive order the closing of non-emergency childcare programs has been extended until June 29th so I would like to update you on how we are continuing to serve our girls and their families.
One of the things I am most proud of at Girls Inc. is that in all of our decision-making discussions, the girls are the center of every conversation. Like all of us, the girls’ entire structure and routines changed drastically within days and, in some cases, hours. The Girls Inc. team knew the girls needed us more than ever.
The first thing the team did was to reach out to each family and assess their basic needs. Based on the information, we printed and delivered school packets, assembled and provided packages of age-appropriate books, loaned computers to those graduating this year, and began work around food insecurity and basic necessities. We continue to talk with girls and families to help them through these difficult and uncertain days.
Our immediate concern was for the girls’ socio-emotional state and their safety. Our Girls Inc. team worked to engage the girls in a way that was best for them. We learned social media was preferred, so we set up private age-related pages where we could begin communications. Adjusting to this new normal, we now have multi-level communications strategies with each age group: calls, texts, emails, and even written notes. We heard concerns from our parents and guardians, so this week started to provide Zoom meetups for them to share resources and support.
We knew we needed to continue our programming to provide the girls with the Girls Inc. experience they had come to rely on, a different, virtual space where they knew they were expected each day, and where they could see their Girls Inc. friends and program team. Setting an online schedule for the girls would give them structure, routine, and personal, responsive support. Our newly formatted curricula now covers STEM, healthy decision-making, literacy, leadership, and more as well as tutoring and socio-emotional support. We have even brought back our volunteers to help continue our vital mentoring programs.
It makes my heart sing when I think that in just four weeks, the team has changed the way we deliver program to meet the needs of the girls.
They are smart in their ingenuity, they are strong in their resilience to work in stressful and challenging times, and they are bold in their new and creative ways of working with the girls and their families.
You, our supporters, are the reason we can be there for the girls and their families during this health crisis. We know now that the girls are going to need us throughout the pandemic and after. With your continued support, I know that our girls be stronger, smarter, and bolder. Stay safe, be well, stay in touch.
PS. We are working on the way to celebrate our senior girls best virtually—more to come. In the meantime, see some of the ways we are supporting the girls: Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.