Gender Specific Services

Posted by HCDE Staff on 11/15/2020

Each gender faces challenges from many directions as they grow up. It’s easy for girls and boys to feel alone as they try to find identity in a society that has strict gender norms. Ashanti Branch and Lynn Johnson have recognized the need for a safe space for students and have created gender-specific services for afterschool.

Branch grew up in the inner city of Oakland and decided to start a teaching career to give back to his community. In his math class, he noticed that many boys weren’t performing to the best of their ability. To help these boys, he founded an afterschool program called Ever Forward in 2004. It encourages young men to take off the mask they wear so that they can express their emotions in a healthy way. Hawley and Reichert have “discovered that boys want good relationships with their teachers,” (2014) but are afraid that doing so will ruin their social status in school and compromise their masculinity.

Meanwhile, Lynn Johnson first recognized girls’ need for a safe space by running a summer camp in Oakland, California. She discovered that girls need support from female peers and mentors to become successful leaders. In fact, the KPMG Women’s Leadership study revealed that, “ … 67% percent of women reported that they’d learned the most important lessons about leadership from other women,” (Doughtie & Veihmeyer 2015). In 2008, “GoGirls!” was born. It runs in afterschool programs and girls create girl-powered media that increases their self-confidence.

CASE for Kids afterschool programs integrate these SEL practices to reach each gender of students so that they feel comfortable with their peers and secure in their abilities. A variety of activities are offered that not only teach literacy and numeracy skills, but also cater to different interests.