Year-Long GAP! Middle School Program for Girls – $4,870
The Community Foundation is a firm believer in the collaborative model, one that respects individuality and enhances life for all. Girls Actively Participating is an after-school program that promotes self-discovery and community building in teenage girls.
During middle school years, many teenagers experience tumultuous times, contributing to negative attitudes toward themselves, peers, school and their communities. Girls at this age, in particular, struggle with self-esteem issues, especially in the age of social media and cyber-bullying, as they work to fit in and feel accepted. In this age of school shootings and social media attacks, it is critical that we work to uphold teenagers’ self-respect and self-image, offering them positive ways to deal with their conflicting emotions, while counteracting the threat of negative behaviors or lashing out.
The mission of Teton Valley Education Foundation aims to enhance opportunities for excellence in education through programs and partnerships. Currently, no programs are in place at Teton Middle School that focus on girls, but GAP! has a proven track record in Jackson for 20 years, and Teton Valley parents have requested program implementation in our school district.
This grant will jump start the program at Teton Middle School, focusing on 6th-8th grade girls. The funds will train a new staff person in Teton Valley, and run for three trimesters throughout the 2018-2019 school year, with space for 18 girls. A sliding scale of $5-$20 will be utilized, depending on parents’ ability to pay, and will fund healthy provisions for the students.
Weekly meetings will focus on exercises that promote personal integrity, self-awareness, and personal agency, in hopes of showing the girls they can make a difference. The goal is to create a safe and positive environment for girls to navigate the difficult obstacles they face in today’s schools and larger societies, while instilling in them a deeper sense of self-confidence and ability.
This partnership between GAP! in Jackson, the Teton Valley Middle School and the Teton Valley Education Foundation epitomizes the collective impact model that the Community Foundation embodies. We hope it will guide and support girls in the middle grades for years to come.