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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Think of Girl Scouts and you picture girls in uniformS selling cookies and making crafts with their moms.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) in eastern Pennsylvania brings girls together with their incarcerated mothers twice monthly at either Philadelphia Riverside or Montgomery County Correctional Facilities. They also meet as a troop in their communities.

The program encourages girls to stay connected to their mothers through these meetings, and promotes new skills and resiliency to succeed in school and life.

A three year national study of girls participating in GSBB showed that problems associated with parent separation were reduced, and girls’ self-esteem was enhanced. When a parent is in prison, children feel disconnected and are more likely to get in trouble or struggle in school.

GSBB leaders develop strong relationships with the girls and encourage homework and positive behavior in school. Girl Scouts bridges the gap for these girls and provides leadership programs for all girls in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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