Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.
For thousands of school-aged girls today, Girls Inc. of Sarasota is giving them the tools they need to become successful future leaders of tomorrow. Through a variety of hands-on activities and real-world experiences, girls in grades K-8 can now fulfill their biggest dreams and inspirations.
Girls Incorporated is the only after school program in Sarasota County offering the Dream Harbor Community, a micro-society curriculum designed to teach students how to build a business and elect government leaders. The girls apply for “jobs” each year, choosing to work as a business owner, local leaders, peacekeeper or news reporter. Young entrepreneurs produce goods and services for others, while elected officials establish laws and peacekeepers help maintain order in the community. All of the “citizens” earn wages, invest in products, deposit and borrow money from the “micro” banks, and pay taxes, tuition and rent. Teachers help learn basic economic and financial management, government laws, and how to live, work and play together. The success of this innovative program has encouraged other Girls Inc. chapters around Florida to implement similar curriculums.
Girls Inc. Sarasota offers multi-use classrooms, a full-service kitchen, literacy center, computer lab, an art room, as well as sports facilities, including a gym, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and playground. More than 150 girls from 20-plus county public schools attend each weekday afternoon, many on scholarships. After receiving a nutritious home cooked hot meal in the cafeteria, each girl is assigned a different daily enrichment program, including the Dream Harbor Community project. In addition to the grade school level programs, several partnerships with local high schools allow Girls Inc. educators to work with students on their college application process, while partnerships on the collegiate level with the State College of Florida and the University of South Florida allow young girls to receive additional STEM and coding education. Future initiatives hope to grow enrollment to 250 students as well as offer gymnastics and ballet classes and update the computer lab.
Originally founded as the Girls Club of Sarasota County in 1973, community and civic leaders wanted to create a safe place for all girls across the county, particularly in those in high-risk and underserved areas. The motivational year-round after school and summer enrichment programs, supported entirely through individual donors, grants and fundraising, offers opportunities in STEM classes, technology, finance, media literacy, self-defense and sports. Educators help girls deal with mounting peer pressure situations and learn how to confront subtle societal messages about a girl’s value and potential and grow into strong, smart and independent women. The non-profit’s legacy includes many local alums who have become successful attorneys, entrepreneurs and business owners. Dozens of high school and college graduates return to mentor and coach the next generation, and show young girls that the personal pathway to success starts with hard work, dedication and a little girl power.
“We empower girls to become
the future leaders of tomorrow.”
Angie Stringer, Executive Director, Girls Inc. Sarasota
of SARASOTA COUNTY
201 South Tuttle Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34237
7700 61st Street North
Pinellas Park, FL 33781