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“Girls in the Game” here to empower girls

Have you heard the latest from the girls in Denton High? For the past two years, they’ve had the opportunity to participate in a non-profit sports organization that focuses on “the whole girl” called Girls in the Game. The program exposes girls to more than 40 different sports and focuses on health and leadership.

Although fairly new to Denton, Girls in the Game is an organization that was founded in 1995 in Chicago in response to a need for girls’ sports programming in schools. Katie Cummings, the Expansion Market Manager said, “It actually started as a sporting chance foundation because a lot of the schools only had sports for boys, but then the founders realized that we could be more intentional about rounding out the program and serving the emotional needs of girls in addition to the physical.”

Since then, they’ve leveled the playing field in Chicago, Bloomington, Baltimore and now here, empowering 45,000 girls and counting. On their website, the mission statement reads: “At Girls in the Game, every girl finds her voice, discovers her strength and leads with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs.”

Their curriculum covers ages 7-18, but alumna have opportunities to continue their time, too. “We often have alumna members come back past graduation to volunteer, too, and even become staff after earning their degrees,” Cummings said.

The girls who participate in this programming have a lot to say about it, too. The entire website is peppered with quotes, “Girls in the Game helped me discover who I am, and now I want to do all I can to help other girls do the same.”

And if that doesn’t speak to you, maybe a few of the statistics about their proven success will. After participating in the Teen Squad, 92 percent of girls demonstrated higher levels of grit, 96 percent reported enjoying being active and playing sports, and 95 percent increased their self-worth.

Denton High School has hosted a Teen Squad since 2016, which boasted 17 members last year, more than double of the year before that. Teens can earn scholarship money by attending a year’s worth of health, sports, and leadership workshops that include mentoring younger girls and speaking with community working professionals. With instantaneous success at Denton High School, Girls in the Game is working on expanding the programming to become available citywide. They’ve already started the expansion train by partnering with the Rattlers Rugby team and hosting a one-week summer camp at UNT this past summer.

But it’s not just Denton they’re looking to serve in its entirety. When I asked Katie about long term expansion goals, she said, “We’re currently growing as opportunity permits. DFW wide is definitely the goal, but funding is the big barrier to expansion,” so please consider donating here. Every penny you donate will be used to help support the girls in your community. Volunteer options are available, too, because Saturday Series and Leader-to-Leader professionals are all volunteers. If you can commit to Saturday activities or share experience about your field, you can inspire girls on their journey to becoming well-rounded women. Girls in the Game is also seeking Auxiliary Board members to help organize big picture agendas for those interested in being a part of something bigger than themselves.

The next fundraising event, Game On, will be held in Dallas on Oct 11. The night includes cider, appetizers, unlimited arcade gameplay and a raffle. Join the conversation on social media with #AskWhyNot, and don’t forget to empower the girls of our community with your support.

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