Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Our innovative programs help girls in Richmond County, Indiana, confront subtle societal messages about value and potential, and prepare girls to independent, and fulfilling lives. The local need is pervasive, as cultural messages and strain challenge girls daily. We consistently respond with programs that provide healthier messages about girls’ intelligence, value, and strengths while teaching girls vital life skills and values that promote honesty, self-esteem, integrity and respect for self and others. We provide safe places for youth to learn to protect themselves and to foster a more positive community. We instill self-respect and leadership in girls and young women, support healthy development, and strengthen our community.
Allies in Action provides girls with effective strategies to identify relationally aggressive their causes, and take personal responsibility for how these behaviors can be extinguished. Funding from the SKF Foundation was used to support the Allies in Action Program, touching the lives of girls onsite as well as in Richmond Community Schools at the intermediate level. This program teaches girls how to embrace a strong sense of agency and personal accountability and succeed socially, emotionally and academically in their lives. Allies In Action helps girls discover their internal resources so when faced with adversity, they possess the tools within themselves to persevere.
“[Our school's] 6th grade girls just completed the Allies in Action Program with Girls Inc. Their teacher and I can see the impact of the program in how they are now treating one another and others. Their sensitivity to word choice and the possible impact of their words and actions has improved. There was at least one incident of a 6th grade girl helping to redirect a younger schoolmate. The girls loved working with the program leader. She welcomed their comments and was very respectful of their ideas and opinions. If you haven’t already signed your girls up, I recommend that you consider this opportunity!”
– Principal of a Richmond Community Elementary School
The most robust assessment of our Allies In Action was performed in 2011-12 on our school-based outreach program, which demonstrated program effectiveness in a number of areas. All statistically significant differences from pre- to post-surveys were in the expected direction (i.e. participants demonstrating greater respect and positive behavior change). Listed in order of the greatest mean change, girls reported they:
• Spend less time in class worrying about “drama” or troubles with friends
• Get drawn into “drama” or troubles with friends less
• Feel their friends exclude them from social activities (games, parties, etc.) less
• Say critical things about girls’ looks or behaviors less
• Get in fights with friends less
• Hear others say critical things about girls’ looks or behaviors less
• Miss school because of “drama” or troubles with friends
“[Allies In Action] helps me deal with my anger.”
– Angelique, whose parents were going through a separation
SKF Foundation Board Thoughts:
Entering the building for a site visit was a very defining moment for me. I immediately recognized the possibilities and felt a sense of safety yet an environment that challenged girls to reach beyond themselves and their circumstances. Even though their space is small, the possibilities for impact are great. Finding ways to be a resource to the staff and girls has been a very personal journey for me this year.
– Monica Koechlein, President of the Board
Want to see the other child and youth organizations that we support? See our giving page.