Education for girls has been in the news with all of the coverage about Malala Yousafzai who was shot because she spoke out for girls who were not allowed to go to school in her country. Girls certainly benefit from educational opportunities, and should have the same opportunities as boys. Educators understand that girls can benefit from teaching techniques that might be slightly different from the way boys are taught. Boys are often targeted to receive special math and science education. Sarasota offers Girls Academy for girls in the community who would like to attend a school that is just for girls. Educational theory supports the idea that girls perform better in classrooms where teaching is geared toward them.
The Girls Academy, located at 1011 21st Street E in the Bradenton area of Sarasota, is a free charter school that is just for girls. The 2013-2104 school year will offer K-4, with grade 5 being added for the next school year. The curriculum is coordinated Florida’s state standards for each grade, and meets the new Common Core State Standards. The Girls Academy participates in the National School Lunch program, and lunch is available for free or reduced cost. A uniform package is provided for the cost of $100.
The unique math curriculum is of special interest. Math In Focus is the US edition of a successful math curriculum that has been offered in schools in Singapore for fifteen years. This math curriculum provides girls with real-life math application skills. Problem solving and model thinking, and the why and how of math are part of this math curriculum.
The special programs that are offered at the Girls Academy are also of special interest. The Equine Assist learning program uses horses to teach girls with disabilities. Girls with disabilities learn to care for others through the caring for the horses. The Service Learning Program at the academy provides girls with the opportunity to work together as a team and explore community problems. They work together to prepare a report on solutions to community problems. The Character Education program teaches values such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship. Yoga, gardening, and music are also part of the curriculum.
Enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year is now in progress. Interested parents who would like for their daughters to attend a school for girls are encouraged to call 941-243-3954 to arrange for a tour of the school.