INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is upgrading its strategic partnership with Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis to bolster the lives of young females in the district’s expanded portfolio of middle schools for the 2024-25 school year.

Girls Inc. provides programming to equip female students with the skills to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Girls build confidence and embrace positive decision-making to take charge of their health and well-being and achieve academic, personal, and career goals.

Under a pilot program for 2023-24, Girls Inc. Indy provides programming at Arlington, Northwest, and Longfellow middle schools. About 50 girls are participating in the program with aspirations of growing numbers to 90 by the end of the school year.

“The programming is designed to cultivate the next generation of strong, smart, and bold young women,” said Stacey Bottley, the district’s middle school executive director of schools. “By providing a unique blend of mentorship, research-based curriculum, and a pro-girl environment, we empower girls to navigate barriers, fostering resilience, intellect, and the confidence to shape their futures boldly.”

This collaboration will expand to all the district’s seven middle schools in 2024-25 as IPS adopts the stand-alone middle school system under Rebuilding Stronger. Girls Inc. will introduce EmpowerHub®, a comprehensive program designed to support the success of sixth-grade students as they navigate the critical transition to middle school.

The EmpowerHub® program focuses on fostering healthy lifestyles, academic achievement, life skills development, and STEM exposure. As the preferred girl programming in all IPS Rebuilding Stronger Middle Schools, Girls Inc. Indy will deliver its impactful EmpowerHub® model directly to H. L. Harshman Middle School, Arlington Middle School, William Penn School 49 (transitioning to a middle school for the 24-25 SY), Broad Ripple Middle School, H. W. Longfellow Middle School, Northwest Middle School, and Thomas Carr Howe Middle School.

“At a crucial time in these young girls’ lives, Girls Inc. Indy is committed to breaking down barriers by embedding our EmpowerHub® program directly into the school day,” said Michelle D. Freeman, LMFT, vice president of programs at Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. “This strategic partnership not only addresses transportation challenges but also ensures consistent and highly trained professional program facilitators engage with participants at least one day a week.”

President & CEO, Lindsay Gramlich adds, “Our new partnership with IPS is a game changer for Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. Girls Inc. Indy will serve as the preferred socio-emotional girl programming in all Indianapolis Public School (IPS) as they build traditional middle school through the Rebuilding Stronger Initiative. Girls Inc. Indy has the expertise, outcomes, and materials needed to support IPS and the families of IPS middle schools’ students through this crucial time in childhood development.”

Girls Inc. Indy’s commitment to racial and economic equity aligns with its focus on communities of color and those historically disadvantaged. She said that by addressing public health, safety, and education disparities, the organization aims to bring greater racial and economic justice to Indianapolis.