By LAUREN MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Coastal Georgia will host its first Girls of Summer program this July, offering middle school girls from Glynn and McIntosh counties a chance to spend their summer learning on a college campus.
The program will replicate the framework of the annual Boys of Summer program and will target rising sixth- and seventh-grade girls who may have academic needs, as recommended by their school counselors, or those who may benefit from academically-enriching campus experiences.
The free academic program is being supported by the college's minority outreach program, and funds have been provided by an anonymous donor.
"We are thrilled to be able to host this program through the generous support of our community partners who understand the importance of the initiative in our community," said Jason Umfress, the vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at CCGA.
Floyd Phoenix, the director of the minority outreach program at CCGA, said the addition of the Girls of Summer program is a point of pride both for CCGA and the Glynn and McIntosh County school systems.
"The college and the local area school system administrators and teachers are elated to have an opportunity to support the upcoming Girls of Summer program," he said.
Girls of Summer will begin on July 3 and be held Mondays through Fridays until July 28. The students will be on campus from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will spend their time in the Howard Coffin Building. For four weeks, the girls will participate in the summer enrichment program, which focuses on supplemental instruction in math, language arts and reading.
Lessons will also focus on self-esteem, cultural awareness and positive social relationships.
The girls will go on fields trips, take part in workshops and receive swimming lessons.
"Through this innovative initiative and generous donation, a group of young women will have the opportunity to learn about the college, engage with faculty and explore first-hand the career choices and academic pathways available to them," said CCGA President Greg Aloia.
The Boys of Summer program began in 1992 as a joint effort between the Fourteen Black Men of Glynn and the college.
"The Boys of Summer program has been a foundational program in our community for years and has changed the trajectory of many students' educational futures," Umfress said. "It is amazing to be able to provide the same type of support for the girls in our community as well."
Boy of Summer will begin June 5. Graduation has been set for 7p.m. on June 30 for the boys, and at 7 p.m. on July 28 for the girls. Both ceremonies will be held in the Southeast Georgia Conference Center.