$50,000 grant from The Steelcase Foundation seeks to grow equity, opportunity in Girl Scouts troops
The funds will support participation, covering expenses like uniforms, badges and programs as well as new troop development.
Joining a Girl Scout troop in Kent County may now be more accessible. A $50,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation to Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore (GSMISTS) will support efforts to develop new troops in Kent County areas that have historically been underserved.
The grant comes as 16 percent of Kent County Children under 18 are living in poverty, and 35% of Kent County residents are in poverty or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). The funds will support participation, covering expenses like uniforms, badges and programs. Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore CEO, Vivian Termaat, explained it would also break down a large barrier in getting troops off the ground.
“The traditional model calls for the parent to be a troop leader and we've discovered that can be a barrier," Termaat said. "Rather than saying well you know it’s not an opportunity in that community we are sending staff in who are trained specifically on how to launch troops and how to mindfully recruit parents and saying 'we’ve got this and we’re here for you.'"
Termaat added that there's a positive academic correlation with students who participate in scouting. According to GSMISTS, girls who scout are twice as likely to earn at least a bachelors degree and earn 23% more overtime.
"We know participation in Girl Scouts has a positive impact on all girls and appreciate GSMISTS’s efforts to remove barriers and provide additional support to bring its programming to all interested girls. We hope the learnings from this project can be shared broadly across Girl Scouts and similar organizations to ensure all children have access to experiences where they can grow, thrive and belong,” shared Daniel Williams, President of the Steelcase Foundation