Let me set the stage for you: It’s early March and Spring Break is right around the corner. My family has plans to visit Disney World and our daughter has been looking forward to the trip for weeks. The week before we were scheduled to leave for our vacation, we began to see that the COVID-19 pandemic was more serious than we thought. As the virus spread throughout the nation and schools began to close, our hearts sank. We quickly realized that our Spring Break was not going to involve princesses, roller coasters, or Mickey Mouse ears.
Initially, I felt a wave of disappointment. My heart broke for my daughter. Imagine looking forward to Disney World and instead going into quarantine without seeing any friends for months. Our daughter has always been a happy kid but, as time went on, she became more and more despondent. We worked hard to give her fun activities to occupy her time during the day. We planned nature walks, scavenger hunts, and even an indoor field day. It was a lot of work, but so rewarding.
But then, I had to return to work. It quickly became obvious that constant educational activities just weren’t sustainable for our family. The panic began to set in. What are we supposed to do with our daughter’s time? How will she get her school work done? How can we keep her learning even when both parents are working full time? These questions plagued me.
Enter Girls Inc. virtual summer programs: the answer to all the questions that kept me up at night. Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas is an organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold through programming, advocacy, and college readiness. They offer two-week summer courses that meet virtually for 50 minutes a day. This is the perfect amount of time for young girls. These live, interactive courses focus on topics like healthy living, media literacy, and diversity.
At first, I was worried that virtual programs wouldn’t hold my daughter’s attention. However, the Girls Inc. courses immediately became her favorite part of the day! Thanks to Girls Inc., she now has a daily routine, which is crucial to healthy child development. The course content, program facilitators, and classmates encourage her social and emotional development, something that’s near-impossible to find during quarantine. The topics are interesting and relevant, keeping my daughter engaged and participating. It’s been a huge relief to work uninterrupted in my office, knowing that she’s occupied doing healthy and enriching activities.
The impact of these courses on my daughter’s attitude and emotional wellbeing is astounding. Every day, she’s excited to tell us what she learned in her Girls Inc. courses. She asks to watch documentaries instead of cartoons. Her self-confidence and ambition are growing. Her pre-quarantine happiness is back.
One of my favorite things about Girls Inc. is the way they empower and support girls. I’m very aware of the challenges of being a woman. When I was a kid in science and math classes, I was often the only girl in the class. Girls Inc. gives my daughter the tools she needs to face the world with determination and courage. These courses equip girls to achieve their goals, whether they want to be a NASA engineer or an artist. The way Girls Inc. encourages my daughter to be strong, smart, and bold makes my mom-heart sing.
To learn more or register your girl for Girls Inc. virtual summer programs, click here. Use the discount code BOLD25 to receive $25 off!