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Girls, Inc. launches new virtual program aimed at emotional, physical health during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold is the mission of non-profit Girls, Inc. located on the near north side of Indianapolis.

An organization dedicated to helping girls succeed in all areas of life, Girls, Inc. partnered with more than 60 schools to hold in-person programs. The pandemic changed that model back in March, but the organization says they were able to quickly pivot their programs to a virtual setting.

In the last six months, Girls, Inc. says they learned from that initial jump that girls at home need activities and benefit from synchronous learning. So, the nonprofit worked to produce a new virtual program using their proven methods.

“We took what we have been doing in our schools and programs for the last 50 years and shifted that to an online platform which did take back end work,” said Elyssa Campodonico-Barr, Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis CEO.

This new virtual program launches Monday and is open to girls ages 6 through 14. Each month will bring new content with September being “Redefining Beauty & She Votes,” breaking down gender barriers.

Every girl will receive an activity box full of handouts, materials and Girls, Inc. swag, which both the organization and 17-year-old Girls, Inc. member Ja’Nyah Shelton say can help families during this time.

“I have to help my brother now with his assignments because he’s also virtual. And thank God I’m virtual cause if I wasn’t then he wouldn’t get the help he needed. So I’m needed a lot more now in the house since everyone is home,” said Shelton.

Campodonico-Barr says girls are facing a lot of anxiety right now because of the pandemic.

“I think there is a lot of anxiety. A lot of anxiety and sometimes we don’t give girls the space to talk about what they’re feeling,” said Campodonico-Barr.

As for Shelton, she wants to remind other girls and parents to take advantage of the opportunity.

“The professionalism, the leadership, the interaction I get from people not at my school. It has helped me so much. That doesn’t stop because of what’s going on,” added Shelton.

Each monthlong program costs $20 and will have two hour-long sessions a week. Scholarships and technology assistance is available.

September’s program kicks off Monday and registration for October’s program begins the week of Sept 21.

For more information, click here.