The Girls Incorporated movement started during the Industrial Revolution as a response to the needs of a new working class: young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of newly available job opportunities in textile mills and factories. The oldest Girls Incorporated affiliate, formed in 1864 in Waterbury, Connecticut, provided programs not only for young working women but also for younger daughters who had no place to go. Each center created a homelike atmosphere at a time when wages were low and there was little money to spend on recreation. Programming in the early days focused on recreation and on preparing girls for their future roles as wives and homemakers. There were courses in cooking, sewing, knitting and manners while some centers offered dramatics and swimming.
Today, Girls Inc. has programs that focus on science, math and technology, health, economic and financial literacy, sports skills, leadership and advocacy for girls ages 5 to 18 years old throughout the United States and Canada.
Girls Incorporated of Jacksonville (formerly Girls Clubs of America) began as a project of the Pilot Club of Jacksonville. It was incorporated in 1970 and became affiliated with the Girls Clubs of America in 1971. Our first club was located in the Brentwood Housing Development, where we continually maintained a presence until 2004, when the Hope VI Project interrupted our work. In 1990, Girls Clubs of America changed their name to Girls Incorporated on national and local levels.
During the school year Girls Inc. holds a literacy based after-school program entitled GirlSMART. The GirlSMART Literacy program is currently in six Duval County schools and we anticipate growth over the next few years. GirlSMART works with kindergarten through third grade girls specifically.
Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies, and are entitled to thrive in communities that invest in their total physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Girls need access to information, resources, and skills to be effective partners in promoting their own healthy development. To help ensure that girls have the support that they need to take charge of their own health, Girls Inc. has launched Girls Inc. Mind+Body℠, which focuses on four pillars that, according to research, play a major role in fortifying girls’ ability to develop and sustain strong minds and strong bodies. They are: nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and body image.
Today, Girls Incorporated of Jacksonville serves more than 1,700 girls everyday in literacy after-school programs, outreach and summer camps. Our after-school programs provide a supporting, safe environment, offer homework assistance, and enrichment activities like dance, computer, art, story telling, theater, and bullying prevention.
We produce and distribute an annual report each year. To receive a copy of our annual report, contact Tammy Morgan at (904) 731-9933 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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