Programs designed for girls

Our programs enable girls to learn, develop resiliency, get involved with their communities, build friendships, and strengthen their capabilities as critical thinkers.

Working with the Girls Inc. national office, we offer research-based programs with outstanding track records. Girls Inc. of Holyoke makes these programs available year round for any girl interested.

Currently, our programs are focused on four critical areas of development for girls:

  • Literacy and Academic Success. Building reading proficiency is part of everything we do, starting with our Elementary School Program. Literacy - the development of knowledge and fluency in finance, media, and other areas - is built into specific programs. But whether it's reading skills or other areas of literacy, the goal is academic success.
  • STEM. Science, technology, engineering and math are key areas of learning (and career development) that we enable girls to explore through Eureka!, Operation SMART (Science, Math and Relevant Technologies) BuildIT, and other programs.
  • Leadership and Critical Thinking. For girls to be confident, they need to develop critical thinking and leadership skills early in life, so our work with girls involves public speaking, making presentations, critical assessment of media messages, and other 21st Century leadership skills.
  • Health, Wellness, and Sexuality. We educate and empower girls to learn about their health, and we use holistic programs to help girls connect their mind and body.

For girls age 5-12

We offer a comprehensive program designed for girls 5-12.

We emphasize building a strong community of confident girls and focus on academic strength. During the school year, the Elementary School Program runs every day after school until 6 pm. In the summer and during school vacation weeks, the program runs daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. It includes:

  • Literacy First. This critical program uses technology to increase reading and writing proficiency and prepare girls for future academic success. Tablet computers are part of a curriculum that teaches reading as an integral part of a girls life. 
  • Economic Literacy: Linking play, imagination and economic literacy is part of our Dollars, Sense and Me program.
  • Operation SMART: Science, Math and Relevant Technology allows girls to engage in STEM programs that are fun, engaging and informative. Raising monarch butterflies, controlled soda can explosions, and formulating polymers are some of the experiences in these programs.
  • Academic Tutoring. Girls who want academic coaching can work directly with qualified volunteers, many of whom are students at Amherst College.
  • Health and Life Skills. This includes instruction on self care, wellness, healthy eating, personal organization, time management, and avoiding risky behaviors.
  • Sporting Chance: Activities such as swimming, basketball, and softball enable girls to build self-worth, self-reliance, teamwork, and experience the joy of sports.
For more information, please contact us.

For girls age 12-18

Designed for girls 12-18, our Middle and High School Program provides girls with educational leadership opportunities in a team environment. There are four main components:

  1. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
  2. Literacy and Academic Success
  3. Leadership and Critical Thinking
  4. Health and Wellness

Programs run Monday – Friday after school until 6pm.

During the summer we offer day-long programs, with Eureka! being the main event.
Girls can choose from these options:

Eureka!

Eureka!At Girls Inc. we know that girls have big dreams, are interested in the world of science,technology, engineering and math (STEM), and want to have amazing summers.

With Eureka! you will join other girls who share similar hopes and dreams-girls who are curious, who see themselves in college, who want to be leaders. Together, you'll develop leadership skills and
support each other in setting goals for success.

Eureka! gives girls a chance to participate in hands-on, minds-on activities from setting personal goals to learning about urban architecture and the importance of making friends. Eureka! girls have built computer games, designed robots and created stop action videos. Join us if you want to make gummy worms from scratch, track songbirds in their habitat, or study the stars. This summer Eureka! Scholars will go on incredible field trips, spend time on a college campus, eat in award winning dining halls, write blogs, work out in a state-of-the art gym, dissect bees, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

The Eureka! Enrollment Process

April-June: New-scholar application and interview. Each year, 30 new rising 8th-grade girls are recruited to begin their 5 year Eureka! journey.

July: Eureka! Summer. For four weeks, Monday through Thursday is spent on UMass Amherst's campus, working in a hands on, college level STEM workshops. Also highlighted: fitness activities and personal development. Fridays are for field trips or "teach backs," in which girls can present what they've learned to their families and special guests.

September-May: Eureka! School Year. Scholars meet for field trips one Saturday each month to maintain their connection with the program and peers, and take part in workshops.

For registration information please contact:
Brandy Wilson, Director of Middle & High School Programs
bwilson@girlsincholyoke.org  (413) 533-0796 x 109

Economic Literacy

Futures and Options

Smart money management and fiscal literacy are taught, including how to follow the stock market. Girls learn about the global economic system and the fundamentals of personal economics, including budgeting, saving, investing, philanthropy, and preparing for a satisfying financial future.

The Voya Investment Challenge

voy_r_fin_rgb_grd_pos_400In partnership with Voya, Inc (formerly ING, Inc), Girls Inc. of Holyoke offers the Voya - Girls Inc.Investment Challenge, which gives girls hands-on investing experience – and real financial gains in the form of college scholarships.

With support from Voya volunteers and Girls Inc. staff, girls learn to manage diversified portfolios and follow the stock market. They perform research, engage in analysis, and evaluate investment opportunities in sectors such as technology, healthcare, and retail.

The Voya - Girls Inc. Investment Challenge – launched in 2009, and now one of our most successful programs – has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative as “one of 13 programs changing the lives of girls and women around the world.”

Made with Code

Made with CodeTechnology shapes our world, but less than 1% of high school girls major in computer science.

In partnership with Google and other supporters, Girls Inc. of Holyoke offers Made with Code, inspiring girls to learn computer code, the fundamental building block of computer language. Over 150 girls participated in our first Made with Code workshops. In Phase II we are training 50 girls to serve as Coding Ambassadors. These Coding Ambassadors will teach over 200 more girls how to code.

Made with Code is an adventure into the heart of technological literacy that is exposing girls to training in one of the fastest-growing job sectors.

The Girls Inc. Teen Leadership Academy

The Girls Inc. Teen Leadership Academy brings high school girls together with local women for an inspiring 13-week program.

Girls and their volunteer “coaches” tackle leadership and life skills while building relationships that demonstrate the value of mentorship, networking and peer support among communities of women.

Groups meet weekly for around three months to work on college and career preparation topics, from resume creation to budgeting and building credit. Sessions are facilitated by coaches using the Girls Inc. research-based curriculum.

Girls Inc. runs two Teen Leadership Academy groups each school year, and is always seeking to partner with volunteer coaches, community-minded companies, and high schools to build our next program.

Teen Leadership Academy includes:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Pathways to college
  • Visiting college campuses
  • Outdoor adventure
  • Money management
  • Networking and personal brand
  • Digital citizenship
  • Building a resume and effective interviewing
  • Exploring scholarship opportunities
  • Professional dress
  • Public speaking
  • Graduation and final celebration

Health and Wellness

In many ways health and wellness programming is at the center of everything that we do. We know that for girls to achieve their goals and reach for their dreams they need to be educated about their bodies and savvy about their health.

Our health and wellness programs give girls the tools to decipher media messages and find their way in a culture that tells them how to look, how to eat, and who to date.

From healthy relationships to anatomy and physiology, girls can talk about difficult topics, ask questions and get straightforward answers.

Other programs for girls age 12-18.

These features of our work with girls age 12-18 are an everyday part of how our programs are conducted.

  • Diversity Awareness. We get girls to look at the world through different perspectives, resulting in a broader worldview and greater intercultural sensitivity.
  • Media Literacy. Our staff facilitates a critical look at how media-driven content shapes a girl's self-perception, and how to see past the illusions to the truth.
  • Field Trips and College Visits. Girls Inc. of Holyoke is just a few miles from many leading universities and we maintain close ties with several, allowing girls to feel at home in a college setting.
  • Academic Tutoring. We connect girls with tutoring sessions with tutors and create an appreciation for the important role that formal academics play in the life of a teenager.
  • Violence Prevention. We teach girls how to identify triggers of violence, how to avoid violent situations, and how to respond in the face of violent actions.

For more information about these programs, please contact us.

Our mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold by providing them the opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential.