Gender roles and role models

IMG_1549 In week two, the girls continued to amaze us. We decided to split the girls into two groups—1st grade through 3rd grade and 4th grade through 6th grade. We did not expect the age gap to be such a problem, but the older girls told us that they felt like the younger girls were holding them back. We are glad we had this experience to learn from for the future in working with girls of different age ranges! Having the girls in two separate classes proved to be a great idea. While we are still covering the same topics, we are now designing different curriculum that is more age appropriate for both groups.

On Tuesday of week two, we talked about gender roles. We had the girls draw a nurse and a doctor, a basketball player and a volleyball player, and a boy and girl. The good news is that the younger girls had very few gender stereotypes. Many of the older girls, on the other hand, did draw with clear gender stereotypes in mind. Afterwards, we talked about the genders and colors they chose to use with each picture. We had a great discussion about what it means to be a girl, what “boy things” and “girl things” are, and how we can break gender stereotypes.

Thursday we talked about role models and practiced public speaking. The girls had some really great answers about who they look up to and why. Kyra said her mom is her role model because she takes care of her and her brother, works full time, and goes to school. Nia looks up to her neighbor because she bikes her to Kids’ Club every day and cares for her like an older sister. Taylor’s role model is Miss Stephanie from the CRC because she thinks running the Kids’ Club would be a cool job to have. Isabel looks up to her parents because they take care of her and also have jobs they love.

Each girl had to stand up and talk about who her role model is and why. It was difficult for some and came more naturally for others. With the older girls, we talked about the importance of being able to voice your opinion confidently. We also talked about how some skills come more easily to some people. While they all may not have been comfortable, every girl stood up and did it! We were extremely proud that they have started on the road to gaining confidence in themselves and their ideas. IMG_1537

We talked about the project both days as well. The girls have come up with some really great ideas. Lilly is thinking about creating a documentary about dogs. Taylor is considering a few project ideas: making bracelets to sell, having a canned food drive, raising money for the Clintonville Resource Center. Nia wants to set a goal for herself in swimming. Others, like Shelby, aren’t sure what they want to do yet—and that is okay, too! We are blown away that so many of them have great ideas, but we do not expect them all to immediately know what project path would be best for them.

Overall, week two was an immense success. We adjusted our plans to better fit the needs of the girls, got the girls excited to be thinking about project ideas, and had a ton of fun getting to know them all better! We are looking forward to what week three has in store for us!

View more posts like this