Members of GirlSpace create bird nests as part of an environmentally-focused pilot program funded by Allstate. / Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Members of GirlSpace create bird nests as part of an environmentally-focused pilot program funded by Allstate. / Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana


More than 250 Chicago girls in kindergarten through eighth grade had a summer immersed in STEM, financial literacy, and healthy living in a Girl Scouts pilot program.

Allstate Insurance Company gave Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) an $18,500 grant to support the council’s environmentally-focused program, GirlSpace OUTSIDE, EcoGirls!

The program was offered July through August at eight summer sites including Arthur R. Ashe Elementary School, Beasley Elementary School, Corkery Elementary School, James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club Chicago, Brainerd Public Library, LEARN 7th Campus, Piotrowski Park, and Tuley Park.

GirlSpace OUTSIDE, Ecogirls! reached more than 250 girls around the city of Chicago. Girls like 11-year-old Macey Colston who “enjoyed planting the grass seeds and watching the grass grow” and 8-year-old Camilla Zurrita who “liked being outdoors,” had the opportunity to spend time learning outside of the confines of traditional summer programming.

“In this particular program, our goal is to empower girls to be environmentally conscious and encourage them to take action in their own communities by participating in specially-designed activities, field trips, and explorations that will be woven into the existing curricular areas,” said Alisa Lockhart, assistant vice president of community outreach for GSGCNWI.

The pilot program is under a Girl Scouts outreach program called GirlSpace, which serves girls in under-resourced communities and seeks to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life through a variety of curricular areas, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), financial literacy and healthy living. Nearly 113,000 girls have been served through GirlSpace since it began in the mid-1980s.

“Because of this particular program, girls will be able to actively learn more about the environment through hands-on experience,” Lockhart said. “Hopefully what we’re sharing with the girls, they’ll share with their friends, parents and community. It’ll have a trickle-down effect.”

Allstate, a company known for its outreach efforts, says it was proud to to be a part of the organization’s work.

“As a company committed to making a difference in the communities we serve, Allstate is pleased to award this grant to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana,” said Victoria Dinges, senior vice president, corporate relations and public social responsibility at Allstate Insurance Company. “We’re proud of the work they’re doing to ‘bring out the good’ by educating girls about the environment so they can make the world a better place.”

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