State of the Game 2010
You hear a lot of bad stories in the news these days, and it can be tempting to feel disheartened about the state of our country. But Girls in the Game recently received some good news from our partners at Loyola University that we are proud to share with you.
Our programs work.
Girls in the Game is committed to ongoing program evaluation to ensure the quality and effectiveness of our programs. For five years we've received data that shows our programs are having a significant impact on the girls we serve. This past year, Loyola University researchers expanded their evaluation of our After School program and once again confirmed that girls are healthier in our programs and at home.Surveys from girls, accelerometers and feedback from parents confirmed what we already knew. Girls involved with Girls in the Game programs are more likely to grow up healthy, confident and strong. But don't take our word for it.
Evaluation results showed:
Not only do the new findings tell us that our programs work, they continue to reinforce the need for programs like ours. Sadly, not only did the girls in the control group not improve in areas of nutrition, physical activity and body image over the course of the year, but they showed a decline in those areas. Girls who weren't involved with Girls in the Game ate less healthy foods at the end of the school year than they did at the beginning. They exercised less and answered fewer nutrition questions correctly. Their parents also reported that they demonstrated less self-control than they did at the beginning of the year.
We know that girls need programs like Girls in the Game and we know that we'll never be able to directly reach all the girls who need us. That's why we're focusing on expanding our reach in 2010 through our new Spring Training initiative. We've packaged our elementary program curriculum and we'll teach other youth service providers to run the program at their own sites. We'll also continue to evaluate all our programs to ensure their effectiveness.
Girls in the Game turns 15 this year. We've come a long way from the small, start-up non-profit with some sports equipment and big dreams. But what hasn't changed is our commitment to helping girls grow up happy, healthy and strong. And that never will.