GR8 Girls is a program of GR8 Sports, Great Kids, which is managed by the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation. GR8 Girls was founded to give K-8 girls at Grand Rapids Public Schools access to positive after-school sports experiences. Most school districts don’t provide elementary athletic programs at all, and require that students “pay to play” at any level. For GRPS, where over 86% of the children receive free lunches, this is simply not a realistic option. By leveraging both district and private dollars, GRPS can offer an accessible and sustainable K-8 athletics program to all students.
Thanks to GR8 Girls, girls from kindergarten to eighth grade can participate in after-school athletics at GRPS. Just in the last year more than 2,000 girls participated in the program. We were able to provide equipment and uniforms as well as coaching and transportation needs. We hope to continue to grow that number and help our girls be great!
WHY GR8 GIRLS?
We know from research that girls and women who play sports are less likely to become obese or develop heart disease. They have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem, and lower levels of depression. They have lower rates of teen pregnancy and drug use. They get better grades and are more likely to graduate. They learn about teamwork, goal-setting, and other skills that can help them in the workplace. As the Women’s Sports Foundation notes on its website, “It is no accident that 80 percent of female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former ‘tomboys’ – having played sports.”