Girls Inc. focuses on closing Covid learning gap

The nonprofit is in the process of getting scores so it can develop a new program for students.

Posted: Oct 20, 2021 5:46 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2021 11:45 AM

Girls Inc. is hoping to close the Covid-19 learning gap for young ladies in Huntsville.

"Yes, it's a challenge, but we've been tackling challenges for 50 years," Program Operations Director Regina Burden said.

She said they're still in the process of getting school assessment test results along with recent grades so they can develop a new program. That program will be based on that research and what girls say they need help with in the classroom.

One of the things they've noticed girls need help with is literacy and reading comprehension.

"With Zoom, yes, you can read and communicate and go back and forth, but are they comprehending what they're seeing?" Burden asked. It's also a matter of "making sure they remember everything that they're learning," she said.

Last year's assessment test shows 45% of students in Alabama and Huntsville City Schools are proficient in reading. That's around the same score they got during the previous assessment, for the 2018–2019 school year.

However, Burden said it's about relearning skills in order to master them. She hopes the new program will do just that, in a way that allows students to master a skill without realizing it.

"We try to make programming fun, so they don't realize that that's what they're doing," Burden said.

Girls Inc. recently created a book club for girls in sixth through eighth grades to push girls to talk about what they're reading and push them to read above their grade level. The nonprofit is also working on science, technology, engineering and math subjects and even social skills.

If you would like to volunteer or have your child get involved in Girls Inc., you can call 256-859-0011 or email rburden@girlsinc-huntsville.com.

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