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Bay Path and Girls Inc. to debut Dear World

LONGMEADOW " Since 2007, Bay Path College and Girls Incorporated (Girls Inc.) of Holyoke have partnered to bring awareness to the day-to-day dilemmas faced by girls and young women of Holyoke and surrounding communities. This year, John Jarvis, Ph.D, professor of English and communications at Bay Path, and his Bay Path New Media Research Production Team have collaborated with Girls Inc. of Holyoke to create Dear World, a film honoring the voices and stories of Holyoke girls and young women. The film will premiere on April 16 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The event is free, but by invite only. Please contact Girls Inc. of Holyoke Director of Development and Public Relations Janna Chapdelaine at 532-6247 ext. 104 or jchapdelaine @girlsincholyoke.org if you would like to attend. Little girls and teenage girls in cities like Holyoke face difficult challenges year in and year out, Jarvis said. However, in today s economy, it is precisely these children who risk suffering the most. It is necessary to keep them involved in programs like Girls Inc., which provide a wide range of educational, physical fitness and health-related activities that prepare them to succeed in high school and beyond. Currently, Girls Inc. supports 1,900 girls and young women in Holyoke and surrounding communities. The Dear World film shares its name with Girls Inc. s national campaign, which increases awareness of issues confronting at-risk girls and young women in communities throughout the country. Girls Inc. of Holyoke and Bay Path College s Dear World production will feature Holyoke girls, ages five to 18, who have written letters sharing the joys and pains of being a girl in today s world. The film is funded by the Wal-Mart College Success Awards Program. The Wal-Mart College Success Awards program is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and is made possible by a generous grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The program provides grant funding to colleges deeply committed to the education of first-generation students. We are pleased that the Wal-Mart Foundation is committed to the success of first-generation college students and provides them with opportunities to enrich their college educations, while they, in turn, are using the support to enhance the educational success of young girls and young women in Holyoke, Jarvis said. The Bay Path College New Media Research Production Team is comprised of freshmen and sophomores, all of whom are first generation students. The Team includes Carli M. Flanagan of Whitman; Kay Holmes of Whitinsville; Kelly MacIntyre of Agawam; Molly O Brien-Moore of Springfield; Alexandra Putnam of Topsfield; and Kimberly Sciarretta of Windsor Locks, Conn.

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