of Greater Santa Barbara


Learning and Enrichment Center Collaborative Provides Academic Support to Most Vulnerable


All girls deserve to succeed and learn in a safe environment to help ensure their academic progress isn’t disrupted.

To meet the critical need for remote learning support for parents and girls during the pandemic, Girls Inc. has transformed its Goleta Valley and Teen Center into a learning and enrichment center that provides full-day programming in a safe, pro-girl environment.

At the Girls Inc. learning and enrichment center, girls and teens bring their remote learning devices and school materials each morning and log on to their online classes while their parents are working. In contrast to the three-hours per day traditional after-school program Girls Inc. provided before the pandemic, youth now spend full days at the center.

While service capacity is reduced during the pandemic, Girls Inc. is able to make available additional spaces to the city’s most vulnerable populations, thanks to a grant from the United Way of Santa Barbara County. As one of several community members of the Learning and Enrichment Centers Collaborative, Girls Inc. can provide an additional 25 spaces at its Goleta Center and 14 spaces for girls at its Santa Barbara campus to support remote learning for girls in grades TK-6 with critical needs including homelessness, financial hardship, and parents who are essential workers.

“We are happy to be a part of this nonprofit collective to serve girls who are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, who may be housing insecure or have limited support for academics at home,” said Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara Director of Programs Kristina Webster. “All girls deserve to succeed and learn in a safe environment to help ensure their academic progress isn’t disrupted.”

All girls are assigned to learning teams with dedicated facilitators for the duration of the program. In these smaller learning groups, trained Girls Inc. staff  guide students through their remote learning, making sure they log on to their classes and helping them focus and complete their work throughout their virtual school day.

Facilitators also emphasize physical movement and creative “brain breaks” for youth throughout the day. Strong (healthy), Smart (educated), and Bold (independent) programming supplements remote learning as the various school schedules allow.

Girls Inc. is working with the United Way and the local school districts to identify girls who will benefit the greatest from participating in the Learning and Enrichment center at Girls Inc.

Girls benefit from learning in a physically safe space, socializing regularly within their learning team, and receiving positive, consistent support in a pro-girl environment to help them succeed academically.

A special thanks to the United Way for making this additional service opportunity possible. For questions about the program please call our Goleta Valley and Teen Center, (805) 967-0319.