Girls Inc. of Carpinteria will provide daily YouTube videos as long as social distancing orders are keeping schools shut down and kids at home.
Executive Director Jamie Collins said Girls Inc. has committed to paying full-time and part-time staff through April so they can develop and film the video content.
Ms. Collins said the Carpinteria chapter serves 1,100 children every year from kindergarten through 12th grade.
“When this kind of all happened, we brainstormed as a leadership team how we can continue to serve the girls’ needs. We are trying to hit all the different social media platforms and with Girls Inc., our biggest push is literacy, some programming and college readiness,” Ms. Collins said.
She added that Girls Inc. is doing live book readings, teen hangouts and other talks through the group’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/girlsinc.carp.
“For our College Bound program, we bring in virtual learning like TED Talks or lectures like that a couple times a week. YouTube was really a platform for our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programming and those do-it-yourself activities that you can do at home to really reach our girls and our families both in Carpinteria in Santa Paula,” Ms. Collins said.
She explained that the videos range from around 10 minutes to less than a minute long. Instructors focus them on easy STEM activities that families can do at home.
“For example, one that they released last Friday was a bowling activity using water bottles or different sized containers and then making a ball out of tinfoil and bowling with their family. The one they did before that was a chromatic art project where they drew on coffee filters, put the coffee filters in water and then saw how the colors would bleed out. We’re trying to do very simple activities that cross (every) socioeconomic status that each kid can do at home,” Ms. Collins said.
Girls Inc.’s mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Ms. Collins said Girls Inc. provides after school, summer break and in-school programming.
The Carpinteria campus focuses on literacy, STEM programming, and college readiness. Girls Inc. also provides healthy sexuality programming for boys in the middle school and high school and a child abuse prevention program for Carpinteria elementary schools.
“We’re really focusing on the teen population. We heard pretty quickly from a lot of our teen members that the stress at home while trying to learn remotely was a lot for them to handle. A lot of them are also watching brother and sister and they are trying to do midterms on laptops,” Ms. Collins said.
In response, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria meets with teen groups twice a week over Zoom video calls. They also provide instructional yoga and stress management videos.
“Sometimes, they’ll listen to a podcast together about the coronavirus where they got the facts and truly understood the importance of social distancing and washing your hands and all of that. We’re still trying to give them the experience that they would have on our campus just now remotely,” Ms. Collins said.
“A lot of the teen girls shared that they’re missing their friends. They’re missing that connection. For some of them, being at school is a safety net and a release from whatever they’re going through in their home life…we’re having to teach them and help them cope through that,” Ms. Collins said.
For more information, visit https://girlsinc-carp.org. New YouTube videos will be posted weekdays at 4 p.m.