Girls in GSGI’s outreach programs discovered and explored the world of plants because of funding from the Polk County Board of Supervisors through the Polk County Community Betterment Grant. Educators from the Des Moines Botanical Garden brought the plant petting zoo to girls in Girl Scout Clubs across the Des Moines metro. Girls touched, smelled, and learned all about plants. They even got to take a plant of their own home with them!
Field trips and experiences are important for girls because they can touch, feel, and listen to what they are learning about. This helps them build on classroom instruction, gain a better understanding of topics, and exposes them to worlds outside their own. Field trips and experiences are particularly important for underserved students, as they provide students with unique opportunities that level the playing field. Funding from the Polk County Government helps girls experience things outside the classroom their families may not be able to afford.
At Polk County, the Board of Supervisors provide grant opportunities to non-profit organizations serving the community. The funds are made possible due to partnership with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino. To date, more $2.1 Billion has been awarded to organizations through this unique partnership. Supervisors were pleased to present a Community Betterment Grant in the amount of $9,300.00 to GSGI. Polk County Board Chair Tom Hockensmith says of the grant, “We recognize the important role Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa has in the development of the youth in our community. We are especially grateful that our grant dollars will be used to help fund the outreach program to enable underserved families the opportunity to experience STEM, outdoor, entrepreneurship, and life skills at no cost.”
The collaboration made possible through this grant funding has led to further collaboration between GSGI and the Des Moines Botanical Center in developing additional outreach programs. Funding from this grant has also funded outreach experiences at the Science Center of Iowa and will fund Girl Scout camp for girls in our outreach program this summer!