‘Strong, smart and bold’: Madison afterschool program seeks to empower girls | Local Education







Girls Inc.

From left, second-grader Leilani Buchanan, fifth-grader Skylah Buchanan and 2-year-old Kendall Roberts play with stacking cups at a Girls Inc. and Madison School and Community Recreation pop-up event at Schenk Elementary School. The events are meant to expose children to Girls Inc. and get them excited about the upcoming school year.




With schools closed last year, Leslie Smith turned to a virtual format for the afterschool program she runs, a local chapter of Girls Inc., a national organization aimed at inspiring girls to be “strong, smart and bold.”

The Zoom meetings were an adjustment for everyone. But the online programs, at least, kept the program visible. Recently, Smith said, she ran into a girl who recognized her from the online presentations and asked if she was the “Girls Inc. lady.”

Now, the program is back, with in-person sessions

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