After two years of offering two afterschool program models, Girls Inc announced this week that it will provide extended Drop In Model for its afterschool programming. The Girls Inc Drop In Program runs from Monday to Friday, 2:00PM to 6:00PM at Winthrop House, 125 Providence Street on Vernon Hill. Girls from Kindergarten to Grade 8 can enjoy swimming, crafts, homework help, SMART Girls and Fit Girls programming, computers, dance and more. The daily cost is $10 per day, with scholarship support available. There is a $1.00 per day transportation fee when Girls Inc provides transportation.
The Drop In model provides the most flexibility and access for the largest number of girls. “We made the changes because we were turning parents and girls away who could not afford the program fees and transportation costs associated with our Licensed School Age Program,” said Dean Theodore, Program Director. We will offer a five day, extended hour Drop In program and FOCUS ON THE GIRLS. We realized that we could not offer both programs with excellence – and EXELLENCE is the most important thing for us to do!”
Cathi Coridan, Girls Inc’s Executive Director explains, “We need to focus on ONE afterschool program model in order to serve the most girls and families on a daily basis at an affordable cost. The Drop In Model has historically brought hundreds of girls through our doors; historically, our Drop In Model was open for free for all girls who were members at $35 per year.”
The program was very popular, but Girls Inc could not afford to sustain the program without additional funding. Their afterschool programs receive grant funding from the United Way, Greater Worcester Community Foundation and other foundations, but grants provide just under 20% of the revenue needed to support them.
Last year and at the beginning of this year the Discovery Licensed School Age program, which ran Monday through Friday from 2PM to 6PM, was too expensive for many, and transportation was a growing obstacle. The Drop In program was the smaller program, limited to Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2PM to 5PM.
“Parents are clearly saying that they love the Girls Inc signature programs, the quality of our care, and the chance for the girls to be with other girls and grow, but that neither one of our programs was truly meeting their needs,” concluded Ms. Coridan. Asked about the $10 per day cost, Ms Coridan stated that “some families are struggling with that as we have offered so many programs for free for many years. We are offering financial support to help families make it work. Most parents are very happy that for a nominal price, their girls can be here when it works for them, whether it is for one day or five days a week. They know that they are getting opportunities that support their healthy development and enhance their educational growth – in an environment that is both safe and FUN! That is absolutely what our girls deserve!”
Girls Inc will continue to have FUN SATURDAY DROP IN from 9:30AM to 2:00PM for $5. Plans are also underway for specialized programs for school holidays and vacations.