A group of sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls are donning hardhats andwielding hammers and blowtorches to learn the basics of what it takes to keep the city running in Rosie’s Girls, an award winning summer program being offered by the City of Santa Monica.

Rosie’s Girls is a trades exploration day camp for 11-to-13-year-old girls designed to build self-esteem, physical confidence, interpersonal cooperation and leadership skills through learning and applying basic skills in carpentry, welding, and other trades, and through a range of physical challenges.

Participants practice their skills in shop-based activities and in “real world” public service work, enabling them to trim trees in local parks, rappel down the three-story Fire Department Training Tower and fill potholes in city streets, said Carla Fantozzi, principal community services supervisor.

In addition, girls have the opportunity to work on community service projects for local social service agencies. In the past the girls have constructed formal building signage for a youth center, chess boards and coat racks for a local senior center and chairs for a Santa Monica pre-school.

This summer the girls are working with professional artists to develop a non-violence poster campaign to be featured and displayed on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Buses. The program also includes a variety of other activities to encourage creative expression.

During the first session of Rosie’s Girls, held in Santa Monica July 6th through 24th, the girls produced chairs made of wood and copper. This functional art was debuted at Bergamot Station on July 24th at the Culmination Event and the chairs will be on display at Bergamot Station, Track G until Friday, August 14th.

Rosie’s Girls Santa Monica is open to girls entering sixth, seventh and eighth grades and is held at the city Maintenance Yards, 2500 Michigan Ave. The next Rosie’s Girls Santa Monica session runs August 3rd through 21st. Rosie’s Girls is also offered for one week in the spring.

Financial assistance is available to qualifying families. Payment plans are also available. For more information about Rosie’s Girls or to receive an application, (310) 458-8688.

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