“I’m just not a math person.” I heard this phrase over and over, but it fundamentally isn’t true – every girl is good at math. During the years when I taught and tutored math, I noticed that the girls would use the word “can’t” when boys would use “don’t.” The subtle difference between “I can’t get this problem. I can’t do fractions.” and “I don’t get this problem” inspired me to create SHINE for Girls, and the success and growth of the girls who have been through our program have inspired me since.
At SHINE, we believe in the boundless potential of any girl and strive to provide them with the tools to succeed in an environment dedicated to women helping women. Thank you for sharing in that belief with us. Through your support, what began as an experiment with 10 girls in Cambridge, MA has now grown into a national movement impacting hundreds of girls.
~ Kirin Sinha
"These girls are learning a vital lesson: don't let anyone box them into any stereotype...They're shattering the idea that girls and math don't add up."
"The dance portion of the program serves as a hook to draw girls who might not otherwise choose to attend a math program, but its utility doesn't stop there...learning dance builds confidence and grit, qualities that help girls persist with and succeed in math."
"During the program, we were able to watch the girls break out of their own ability to succeed in any endeavor. We heard teachers and parents alike tell us about how girls that would never speak up in class began participating, and how their grades improved."
"The absence of boys was basically unremarkable, and the stereotype that girls don't like math was completely absent from the room."
"Because movement allows a student an alternative approach to the information, it can help put students in the receptive state required for learning. This breaching of mental barrie especially significant for young women, who are more likely to self-limit their abilities because of the social stigma associated with mathematics and STEM fields."
"Through mentorship, tutoring, and dance practice, their group wants ensure that every girl has access to academic support, as well as healthy and creative endeavors."
"A key goal is to make the program available to student from all backgrounds -- giving girls from low income families another stepping stone to potentially high paying STEM career."
"Dance was a natural pairing with mathematics for girls since, aside from providing physical activity, it requires dedication, attention to detail, and confidence to succeed. These same tools enable the girls to excel in mathematics."
"Just giving your brain another way to understand information sometimes deepens your understanding...Learning choreography and grasping complex math concepts can also instill a level of confidence often lacking in girls of this age."