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Successful Rosie’s Girls Afterschool Programming

by Ellen

By: Ada Case and Sarah Raimondi, VWW Youth Program Coordinators

This spring, Vermont Works for Women (VWW) partnered with four Vermont schools to run Rosie’s Girls Afterschool. Three of the four programs were with returning partners – Winooski Middle School, Flood Brook Elementary School in Londonderry & People’s Academy Middle Level in Morrisville. We also piloted a new partnership with Colchester Middle School’s end of year studies program, CMS Days.   

Rosie’s Girls Afterschool adapts our popular summer camp – providing middle school girls* with hands-on STEM and trades career exploration – into an afterschool program. In addition to technical learning, students learn from our social and emotional curriculum known as “Power Skills” to help them navigate school, friendships, and societal issues. 


Rosie’s Girls Afterschool returned to Winooski for the second time this 2023-2024 school year with the help of Camryn Benner, a senior at Rice High School. Four of the five participants from the fall 2023 session returned to collaborate on another group project. The final product consisted of four large wooden lawn dice for their school. This core group of students is already looking forward to participating in another Rosie’s Girls Afterschool session next year! 

Student uses handsaw     Students paint the dice they made




People’s Academy & Flood Brook 

Similar to what students in Swanton created earlier this school year, People’s Academy and Flood Brook Rosie’s dove right into two individual projects (keepsake boxes and hanging organizers). Some of the students at People’s Academy used their imagination and carpentry skills to turn the materials for their keepsake boxes into other items, including a birdhouse, a toad house, and a fairy house! It is wonderful to see youth turn their creative ideas into finished products. 

Student uses hammer to make birdhouse     Rosie's Girls student uses a drill





When Colchester Middle School (CMS) reached out to invite VWW to be a part of their year-end studies programs we were ecstatic! Instead of our usual afterschool model of one or two short sessions a week, participants at CMS spent three consecutive school days exploring power tools, building keepsake boxes and coming together to create two benches for their school.  

New Power Skills 

Along with new project development, our Youth Team has also introduced new Power Skills into our curriculum. Power Skills are the social-emotional learning component of the Rosie’s Girls. The first new Power Skill we created is “Owning my Digital Identity,” which has youth explore how they show up in online spaces and encourages them to discuss both the positive and negative impacts those spaces can have on our friendships and self-image. The second Power Skill is “Building Trust”, a board game that implements Dr. Brené Brown’s acronym BRAVING. Participants advance through the game by reading scenarios and deciding if the actions described help to build or lose trust. We look forward to including these Power Skills into more programs!  

Results are in! 

Here are some quotes from RG Afterschool participants. 

“I learned I could trust myself more” 

“I learned how to use tools and I was good at it” 

“I learned how to use a jigsaw, and I learned that I don’t give up on things easily, when I put my mind to it” 

If you are interested in bringing Rosie’s Girls Afterschool to your school, reach out to our Youth Team at 

*Rosie’s Girls welcomes into our program anyone who identifies as a girl regardless of assignment at birth. Our programs also welcome youth who are non-binary or gender expansive who are comfortable in a girl-centered space.  

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