The Grrrls Project

Tucson, AZ | Submitted by Marie Fordney

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The Grrrls Project is based on the fundamental principle that girls have a right to be themselves. Our goal is to reduce teen pregnancy in our community. By providing this 8-week afterschool program to girls at middle schools in Tucson, we have begun to create a community of young women who are empowered with knowledge and skills to build a healthy future for themselves and their families.
Girls who participate in these empowering afterschool workshops get skills and knowledge to plan for a better future through either:
Go Grrrls – Reproductive health, Healthy relationships, Decision making, Self esteem and Positive body image
TECHGyrls: Women in science; Fun Physics and Chemistry; Graphic Design and Safe internet usage.
Participants also connect with other girls their age and a professional facilitator whose goal is to empower them with skills for life! The girls who participate receive gift cards, snacks each day of the program, and two lucky girls will win an iPod Shuffle through the attendance raffle on the last day of the workshops. The hosting school receives a stipend for their assistance in establishing the program at their site.

The Grrrls Project is a program of Child & Family Resources, Inc., a statewide non-profit organization. We work in homes and communities to support families to succeed; to coach child care teachers so children excel in school; and partner with teens to prevent suicide, drug use, school dropout and teen pregnancy. The program is an example of three building blocks of world-class education:
– Commitment to Innovation: TECHGYRLS participants engage in activities to stimulate a deeper interest in technology using critical thinking, time management, teamwork, problem solving, and presentation skills. Career development is another component as the program tries to spark interest in science and technology at a young age.
– Strategic Investment: the program offers various workshops that empower girls with the life skills and tools to create a successful future.
– Communities Working Together: The Grrrls Project works closely with our funder, the U.S. Family and Youth Services Bureau, our external evaluator, LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc., our evaluation Technical Assistance Provider, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and several Tucson middle schools, most notably all the middle schools in the Sunnyside Unified School District (Apollo, Challenger, Chaparral, Lauffer and Sierra) and several members of the Southern Arizona Charter Schools Association (including Satori, Tucson Country Day School, Sonoran Science Academy). We also work with community partners to recruit participants and connect them to additional programming, as well as provide valuable staff training. These informal partners include Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Emerge!, YWCA of Tucson, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, Pima County Public Libraries, Arizona’s Children Association, La Frontera, Pantano Behavioral Health, Compass Behavioral Health, Child Protective Services, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault, Pima County Attorney’s Office, Devereaux Arizona, Intermountain Centers for Human Development, United Way of Southern Arizona, Ironwood Tree Experience, Southwest Institute for Research on Women, and Tucson Police Department.

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