This editorial was written in The Brunswick News on July 12.
Marcyline Bailey perhaps said it best last week when describing the need for the first-ever Girls of Summer program at College of Coastal Georgia.
"Some of the girls, when I met them, I asked for their names and they were very quiet. They just whispered their names," she told The News. "And I said to them, by the time you graduate from this program, I want you to be able to say your name loud and proud."
The middle school-aged girls in the four-week program will no doubt finish the educational summer camp with the confidence to take on not only the new school year, but the changing lives they will face as they continue to develop into adulthood. Confidence building is a key component to the program, which is modeled after the long-running Boys of Summer program put on every year by the Fourteen Black Men of Glynn.
The boys' version of the camp has been successful in shaping young minority men who otherwise might be prone to fall through the cracks of public education. It stands to reason, then, that a similar program for young minority women can have the same impact.
In the world of social media and cyberbullying, part of the curriculum during the girls' version of the program includes a portion geared to help them learn proper manners and maintain positive self-esteem. These characteristics are integral to becoming a well-rounded adult and are sometimes hard to find these days. It is good to know the teachers at the Girls of Summer camp are ensuring the next generation will be properly prepared for their futures.
Part of that preparation also includes summer academic courses in math, language arts and reading for the rising sixth and seventh graders from Glynn and McIntosh counties.
Combine all of this on campus at College of Coastal Georgia, where the girls can get a first-hand look at college life, and the Girls of Summer program is a wonderful addition to an already great program.
We commend the Fourteen Black Men of Glynn and the college for hosting the camp and for thinking outside the box about how they are preparing children for their futures as adults.