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This month, the AFG After-school Program held its annual year end finale. Held at AFG, the event was for the family and friends of the girls in the program. The evening included dance performances, handmade ice cream from the elementary group, awards for the parents, and a celebration of the girls’ achievements throughout the year.
AFG’s After-school Program aims to keep girls engaged in school by supporting their academic success through a variety of workshops. The program provides homework help, educational workshops, and leadership development. It also offers chances for girls to express their creativity through activities they may not otherwise have the chance to participate in, such as dance classes, arts & crafts projects and more.
Learning to Grow
For four months, the middle school group studied Mexican Folklórico dance with America Del Real, of The Raiz Up hip-hop and cultural collective. To prepare for their finale performance, the young women dressed in traditional clothing and got their hair and makeup done by two volunteers. They performed two dances, “Las Chiapanecas” and “El Aguila Blanca”. After each dance, the girls were met with a standing ovation and praises from the crowd.
The high school group performed an original dance routine they choreographed with Sarah Guilmette, Artistic Director of Full Circle Dance Company. Although the interpretive dance was new to Sarah, the group worked together to create a beautiful and moving performance.
The elementary group used their science and business skills to help give back to the community. The group set up a station where they sold homemade ice cream sundaes. The money raised will be used to complete a Hashtag Lunchbag project, where the girls will make bagged lunches with inspirational messages and pass them out to those experiencing homelessness in the community. The girls hand shook each batch of ice cream, filled them to the brim with toppings, and served each sundae with a huge smile!
During the awards presentation, two parents were given special awards to honor them for their volunteerism and assistance with programming. The two mothers were presented with flowers and were thanked by staff and girls in the programs through a big round of applause. Finally, the girls and young women received their own awards, to recognize them for their hard work and growth throughout the year. Each girl received their certificate with pride. Whether it was improving their grades, making a new friend, or learning something new; they all had something to be proud of this year.