Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) has received a $25,000 grant from Allstate Insurance Company to support the council’s GirlSpace Healthy Living program, which supported nearly 500 girls primarily in Chicago’s Englewood community.

“Through GirlSpace Healthy Living, girls gain knowledge and skills that are the basis for healthier lives, along with the social and emotional skills that will help them be successful adults,” said Ede Crittle, Director of Community Outreach for GSGCNWI. “Additionally, girls are empowered to live healthier lives, positively impact their families and influence their communities.”

GirlSpace Healthy Living is one of three 12-week components that comprise GirlSpace, an after-school program for at-risk girls that operates year-round and partners with approximately 40 Chicago schools and Chicago Park District sites on the city’s underserved South and West sides. The program reaches about 3,000 girls annually and seeks to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life through a variety of curricular areas, including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), financial literacy and healthy living.

The program has helped girls such as Madison, a second-grader at Beasley Elementary School who has struggled with childhood obesity.

“Madison now comes to the program with updates on what she is doing in her community to be active, such as helping an elderly neighbor take a walk, and she’s also discovered a fondness for kiwi and pineapples,” said LaKesha Purdue, a GirlSpace supervisor. “We recently had a jump rope contest and Madison did very well. She’s committed to doing more physical activity every day.”

Allstate, which is known for its outreach efforts, also partnered with Girl Scouts last year for an environmentally-focused pilot program, GirlSpace OUTSIDE, EcoGirls!

“Our society’s future depends on today’s youth,” said David Woolwine, Director, Corporate Citizenship.  “At Allstate, we believe good starts young. That’s why we are committed to empowering young people with the skills and confidence to step up as leaders in their communities and achieve success in their lives.”

The GirlSpace Healthy Living program is also offered in Chicago communities such as Auburn-Gresham, Bridgeport, Chatham, East Garfield, South Shore and West Woodlawn. More than 113,000 girls have been served through GirlSpace since it began in the mid-1980s.

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