Girl Coalition

By: Madelyn Moore

The idea of the Girl Coalition began two years ago when the Girl Scouts of America asked the question, “How can we serve the girls in our community in better ways?”

Since then, Eli Lilly provided 15 million dollars over a few years. Jennifer Martin, a Salem High School counselor and GSA contact, explained more. 

“Girls in grades K through 12 will be split into small groups,” Martin said. “There are no dues, cookie sales, badges, etc. It is driven by the adult leader and the girls as far as what activities they pursue.”

Twenty counties were selected across the state based on the poverty density. Clark and Washington were the two counties in Southern Indiana chosen to participate. 

The counselors between the elementary and middle schools said, “We hope it will give our girls a sense of purpose and community with other girls at their school and in their grade.”

The school board approved Salem School participating in this new program during its meeting last month.

Martin said meetings at each school will be determined by groups but could possibly be twice a month during lunch. 

“GSA has a curriculum that the groups can follow,” said Martin. “Salem Community Schools plans to give members an interest inventory to see what interests the members want to pursue.” 

The school counselors added that at the beginning they will give the girls ideas such as coping skills, time management tips, learning new cooking skills and embroidery.

SCS will be a part of the program for three years. Martin said Lilly often funds projects again at the end of a group cycle if it is well received and helps the targeted groups. 

“If the meetings are well received and we have active participation, we will try to continue them even if funding dries up,” Martin said. “We can look for additional funding from outside services as well.” 

The flier recently given to SCS girls states that the Girl Coalition values include: empathy, innovate, advocate, impact, and equity. 

“They will have this time to build relationships and strengthen their person,” Martin said.

For more information, contact the school counselors at your child’s school. You can also learn more at

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