Haverhill’s Girls Inc. is rebranding as Youth Empower House starting this summer. (Courtesy photograph)
Girls only no more! Haverhill’s William Street staple Girls Inc. is set to rebrand—and open enrollment to boys—this summer as Youth Empower House.
Through the expansion, Youth Empower House aims to keep Merrimack Valley children busy over the summer with gender-specific and group activities themed around anti-bullying, sportsmanship and pregnancy prevention.
Executive Director Robin Whitson tells WHAV the rebranding process happened organically and at the request of families served by Girls Inc. in the city’s Acre neighborhood.
“Families have requested this from us,” Whitson says. “It was very difficult for them to have their kids going to different locations and we thought we could make it easier on the family dynamics in the evening and make (Girls Inc.) a more well-rounded organization.”
The 105-year-old local nonprofit will still largely cater to girls—with a twist, says Whitson.
“(Girls) are going to have to interact with boys at some point in their lives,” she explains. “It’s extremely important for (girls) to become reliable, responsible citizens, but to be able to get along with one another also.”
The organization expects to eventually expand programming to toddlers and teens, and undergo construction that doubles their current 6,000-square-foot programming space.
In the meantime, Whitson tells WHAV Youth Empower House is enrolling boys and girls ages 5 to 13 for the summer session. Starting after Haverhill Public Schools let out for the year, Youth Empower House’s programming takes children off-site four days each week for learning-focused field trips to the aquarium, basketball games, or the Museum of Science. One beach day per week is also scheduled.
Summer literacy is also top of mind at Youth Empower House, with students asked to select a book to read during the session and work with their peers to stage a play based on the story at the close of camp.
Youth Empower House’s summer session is limited to 75 participants and financial aid scholarships are available to cover the weekly enrollment fee. Transportation, two meals and snacks are provided throughout the day.
Families can look for enrollment flyers from their children’s school or call 978-372-0771 for more information.