On January 26, girls from Oakland Mills, Hammond, and my school, Harper’s Choice Middle School, went to the Howard County Board of Education to give an update about School Girls Unite and Day of the Girl. We talked about how we helped the campaign to get the United Nations to establish an international day and the recent change in the annual date from September 22 to October 11.
I was very happy to be able to talk about my independent research project researching the legislative process to get a proclamation in Maryland for Day of the Girl. We also talked about each school’s effort in spreading awareness about Day of the Girl and thanked them for their support of SGU. After we were done and walking to leave the crowded room everyone was saying how good we were and complimenting us.
Here’s the update we gave:
We are here today to give an update of our School Girls Unite efforts and Day of the Girl. First, we would like to thank you for your continued support of School Girls Unite and for your endorsement of the first Day of the Girl in Howard County Public Schools on September 22, 2011.
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, establishing a day in recognition of girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. According to Wendy Lesko of the Youth Activism Project, SGU students in Howard County were instrumental in this effort by sending emails to US Ambassador, Susan Rice, asking her to vote for the resolution.
Our efforts now are to support School Girls Unite in long-term goals for Day of the Girl. One goal is having local proclamations in 3,143 counties and each of the 50 states, as well as a Presidential Proclamation that would mirror the recent UN resolution.
Oakland Mills Middle SGUers are developing materials to encourage students in other Maryland counties to seek local proclamations for the first International Day of the Girl Child on October 11. They are also leading a Middle School Book Club discussion in April onA Long Walk to Water, a novel about the challenges faced by a young girl from Sudan. We would welcome you to attend this discussion at Barnes and Noble.
Harper’s Choice SGUers are working on several projects. I am very excited to be working with the office of Delegate Liz Bobo to seek a state proclamation for the first International Day of the Girl. Another project is researching local and state issues relating to girls, such as underrepresentation in STEM fields.
Girls at Hammond Middle School are creating a video game show to raise awareness about the extreme challenges girls face globally including lack of education, child marriage, limited work opportunities and other gender-based injustices. One of the Hammond students has a very moving video account of why she got involved in School Girls Unite on the School Girls Unite website.
The number of Howard County students involved in School Girls Unite is growing! We’re hoping to have another Summit this spring for all students involved from the three schools as well as students interested from other schools.
Last, thank you for supporting independent research projects, like School Girls Unite. As we work with our middle school G/T Resource Teachers, we are applying research to solve a real-world problem.
We are learning how to collaborate with other students and adults. Most importantly, we’ve experienced the power of working together on important issues in our world and making a difference. Thank you.