Oakland School Initiative To Set Up Program For Black Girls

African-American girl reading a book

The Oakland Unified School District announced plans to create a program to help African-American girls succeed in school, NewsOne reports.

Modeled on its pioneering program for at-risk Black boys, the African-American Girls and Young Women Achievement Program will provide the female students with a place where they can flourish through support and encouragement.

Ultimately, we want to create an extraordinary learning environment that helps girls of color meet the goals of graduating and being college-ready or community-ready,” Chris Chatmon, the district’s deputy chief for equity, told The San Francisco Chronicle.

The school district’s highly regarded Manhood Development Program, which launched in 2010, captured a national spotlight for turning lives around.

As part of the Office of African-American Male Achievement, the manhood curriculum seeks to curb disciplinary problems without resorting to suspensions as a primary tool. Instead, it uplifts the young men and gives them a sense of pride and direction in life. It has also helped to improve graduation and literacy rates among the at-risk group.

The district hired Nzingha Dugas to head its girls’ program. She’s the former director of the African-American Studies Development Office at the University of California Berkeley.