In 2013, the Bay Area Women’s Initiative (BAWSI) joined the Sunnyvale School District supporting our Title 1 schools, serving girls only in 2nd through 5th grade. The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI, pronounced “bossy”) is a nonprofit organization that mobilizes the women’s sports community to engage, inspire and empower the children who need it most. BAWSI was founded by Olympic and World Cup soccer stars Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy, and Marlene Bjornsurd, former general manager of the San Jose Cyber Rays women’s professional soccer team.
The BAWSI Girls program is at Bishop Elementary this year supporting girls in grades 3, 4, and 5.
The BAWSI staff and volunteers meet with the girl’s x1 a week for 8 –week sessions in the fall and spring. Bishop had great participation in the fall with 65 girls on the roster. The teachers were involved and there was very high energy. In addition, volunteers from Stanford’s Lacrosse team and from Saint Francis High School’s water polo team worked with the girls.
When asked why BAWSI Girls is important, one girl said… “Because you get to meet all these other girls that are confident. It shows that we can do anything boys can do. I want other little girls to have a better future.”
When asked if BAWSI Girls makes them want to be a better student, girls responded with:
- “Yes it does, because the coaches tell us what is the right thing to do and I want to be good. Now I know what it is to be a real leader and what integrity is.”
- “YES! It makes me think, “What does BAWSI need from me?” With the coaches’ help, it made me focus more on school.”
- “Yes, because I usually talk a lot in the classroom but once I joined BAWSI I started working on that. It helps me focus more.”
- “A little. It could make me better in class because it was hard to pay attention. Red station and mindful breathing taught me how to calm down.”
This article was written by Pam Murdock, Sunnyvale School District Health and Wellness Programs Liaison.