October 2019 kicks off our celebratory 50th year of inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold throughout greater Indianapolis, and we are thrilled to share the exciting news with you, and the entire community!
As we reflect on where we’ve been, we would first like to enthusiastically thank our past and present community of supporters, and dear friends of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis (Girls Inc. Indy) who have partnered with us, building a strong foundation of unique strong, smart, and bold programming for girls throughout the last 50 years. The Girls Inc. Indy journey illustrates the ongoing ambitious plans to evolve in the way we serve girls.
Established in 1969, Girls Inc. Indy (then known as the Girls Club of Indianapolis) was started after three Indianapolis mothers identified the need for a safe, healthy environment where their daughters could learn, grow, and develop. They remodeled an old schoolhouse and library in Fountain Square and founded the organization before merging with the Model Cities Girls Club in 1975 to form the Girls Club of Marion County.
Over time, the Girls Club of Marion County grew, both in the number of engaged girls, and in the amount of activities and access they wanted to provide. In April 1982, the organization began construction of a new facility making more space for things like a gymnastics and athletic area, group rooms, and an observation room. The location then moved to 1315 Shelby Street. By that same time, a second club located in the Mapleton-Fall Creek area, also struggled with space constraints, and therefore also changed locations. With bigger, more open spaces, the Girls Clubs of Marion County hoped to serve an additional 600-800 girls at each location that year.
In early 1990, the national Girls Clubs of America organizations voted on a name change, which resulted in Girls Club of Marion County becoming Girls Incorporated of Indianapolis, and later, in 2008, Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis.
The service-delivery method also made a pioneering shift from a club-based operation to an outreach model, where all programming was delivered in 45-minutes to one-hour increments during school time at partnering schools. The new outreach model was unlike any other Girls Inc. affiliate across the country and was based on the strategy to reach a higher quantity of girls.
Today, as we celebrate our past, and toast to the future, we are proud to announce that we have enhanced our program model to include higher-dosages of the Girls Inc. research-based curricula that we know works. Our plans to continue to scale our reach, services, and empowerment of girls will continue into our next 50 years, and we are excited to invite you to continue the journey with us. Cheers to another 50 years of inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold!