BAWSI Girls is a weekly, free after-school sports program for girls in under-resourced communities that harnesses the power of sport as a tool for leadership development.

This program focuses on 2nd through 5th grade girls at schools where approximately 70% or more of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Voices from the Playground

The BAWSI Girls Program


to resiliency and opportunity…

BAWSI Girls Framework

BAWSI Girls Curriculum


fun, physical activity to move the body; and mindfulness to quiet the brain and combat the toxic stress of poverty.

• Introduce multiple sports and fun games that create physical literacy
• Weekly goal setting & pedometer tracking for physical activity
• Basic mindfulness techniques used each week
• Build the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life
• Ensure a positive, fun first experience with physical activity and sports


to a caring adult who provides unconditional encouragement, models positive choices and an alternative path for life.

• Children connect with the same two BAWSI staff members each week. One staff member leads the site while the other staff member connects at the “Red Station” where we facilitate mindfulness techniques and self-reflection
• A supportive correspondence is created between BAWSI coach & participant with the use of journals traded back & forth on a weekly basis
• Our ratio of role model coaches to BAWSI Girls is no more than 1:11 allowing for attention and connection.


belief that her/his own actions, beliefs, and ideas matter. Positive recognition for expressing, sharing, and leading.

• BAWSI Girls are asked to think and share their own ideas about how to work together, be a good teammate and input to other “words of the week” topics.
• 5th Grade BAWSI Girls can select to serve as “junior coaches” and participate in leadership sessions. 


boundaries and routines that help set high expectations for her/his own behavior, accomplishments & achievements.

• “Words of the week” provide clear expectations for what it means to be a BAWSI Girl.
• Low coach to participant ratios allow for pull-outs and coaching around positive team behavior

Skills for Life

teamwork, collaboration, communication and more pro-social behaviors that enable success.

• Each week every game, team assignment, and exercise is intentionally selected to give our BAWSI Girls direct experience with positive life skills

Sense of Belonging

feeling like a valued member of a positive group or community.

• Starting with a membership card and ending with a closing cheer and BAWSI song, each BAWSI session is about building an inclusive, engaging team environment and camaraderie that lasts well beyond our time together on the playgrounds.

BAWSI Girls Site Model


Local Schools

Free to students and school, after school program.
Offered at schools where ~70% or more of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged.



2nd-5th grade girls
50-65 girls per session

Athlete Leaders

2 BAWSI-paid part-time staffers manage and lead site

Volunteer Athletes

4-20 female athlete volunteers from local universities, junior colleges & high schools

Support Staff

School administrators help with recruitment, registration & retention

Current BAWSI Girls Sites

Percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged per site.

  • A.J. Dorsa Elementary 89.1% 89.1%
  • Donald J. Meyer Elementary 86.9% 86.9%
  • Rosemary Elementary 82.4% 82.4%
  • Bishop Elementary 63.3% 63.3%
  • San Antonio Elementary 89.0% 89.0%
  • Blackford Elementary 53.2% 53.2%
  • Scott Lane Elementary 76.0% 76.0%
  • Hoover Elementary 90.6% 90.6%
  • Stipe (Samuel) Elementary 57.6% 57.6%
  • Sylvia Cassell Elementary 86.1% 86.1%
  • Hubbard Media Arts Academy 74.6% 74.6%

Percentages are based on 2022-2023 School Accountability Report Cards (SARC) and may be higher than reported.

Bay Area map with BAWSI GIrls sites