Summer is waning and tax-free week is over, with the purchases of new sneakers, uniforms, and jeans all wrapped up. That can only mean one thing — the kids are going back to school! (Imagine fireworks, rainbows. and shooting stars about now — not that I am celebrating too exuberantly.) Perhaps the negative feedback from last year’s amazingly inappropriate t-shirts for girls paid off a bit — I managed to avoid seeing a large number of highly offensive images and messages. But I’m not saying they aren’t still out there.
In any case, we’ve filled our AAUW “backpack” with some awesome opportunities for girls and young women funded through our amazing Community Action Grants, programs that will
- Serve low-income African immigrant survivors of domestic and gender-based violence with a combination of culturally and linguistically competent direct legal services, education, and advocacy
- Inspire girls ages 6–18 to reach their full potential, encourage and educate possible future aviation professionals, and instill confidence, self-esteem, and determination
- Provide high school Hispanic seniors and their mothers with help in college selection, the college application and financial aid processes, and transition issues
- Encourage teen girls to find their voice in this world by exploring their talents through a digital storytelling project designed with the goal of promoting art, technology, leadership, and community connectivity
- Expose school-age children to successful girls and women with disabilities and provide educational activities for developing skills to become advocates and allies for children with disabilities
- Create a core training curriculum to build local and regional capacity to end the commercial sexual exploitation of indigenous girls
- Increase girls’ self-confidence and literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with women enrolled in science undergraduate degree programs volunteering as mentor scientists
- Engage middle school girls in computing and technology through a Saturday interactive technology series and weeklong summer program
- Provide a comprehensive outdoor program for adolescent girls designed to inspire courage and leadership through summer expeditions, a leadership-focused summer camp, and rock-climbing programs
- Develop the authentic voice and self-expression of teenage girls in underserved communities by training them to become citizen journalists, harnessing the power of new digital media to inspire self-esteem, community activism, and social change
- Teach young, minority girls the fundamentals of savings and investment
- Create an interaction between high school girls and young college women in STEM to build state-of-the-art computers for use at an emergency shelter for homeless women and families
- Provide counseling and support services to women and teens that have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or childhood sexual abuse.
- Develop middle school media literacy curriculum aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of how gender stereotypes in the media influence girls’ and boys’ perceptions, attitudes, goals, and practices and how these perceptions and attitudes negatively affect girls’ entry into STEM fields
- Offer an environmental and cultural opportunities program for urban girls who do not have regular access to green spaces or to environmental education opportunities
What’s in your backpack this year? Are you reaching out to girls and young women in your community?
Find out more about AAUW’s Community Action Grants and our awesome opportunities for girls.