Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.

Author Archives: A Mighty Girl Staff

  • In the face of the coronavirus crisis, the non-profit Row Venice, which describes itself as a group of "passionate women and expert vogatrici," said that "we were more than happy to volunteer our boats and crews to lend a hand."

    An all-female group of gondola rowers in Venice, Italy has been providing grocery deliveries for vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis! Row Venice, a group of "passionate women and expert vogatrici" — the Italian word for rowers — is dedicated to preserving the traditional Venetian style of rowing. After Italy announced a lockdown in March, the nonprofit organization decided to deliver groceries to elderly and immunocompromised people to help meet the huge increase in demand for such services. As the group wrote in a Facebook post, "We were more than happy to volunteer our boats and crews to lend a hand." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The courageous teenager rode 40 miles on horseback to muster local militia troops in response to a British attack on the town of Danbury during the U.S. Revolutionary War.

    On the night of April 26, 1777, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington climbed onto her horse and set off on a mission: a 40-mile ride to muster local militia troops in response to a British attack on the town of Danbury, Connecticut. Riding all night through rain — and traveling twice the distance that Paul Revere rode during his famous midnight ride — Sybil returned home at dawn having given nearly the entire regiment of 400 Colonial troops the order to assemble. Following the battle, General George Washington personally thanked Sybil for her service and bravery. Although every American school child knows the story of Paul Revere — largely thanks to the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — unfortunately few are taught about Sybil Ludington's courageous feat. Continue reading Continue reading

  • These Mighty Girls have designed a cheap ventilator out of car parts to help with the pandemic fight in a country with only 12 working ventilators in its main coronavirus hospitals.

    The Afghan girls’ robotics team has joined the fight against coronavirus by designing an inexpensive ventilator out of automobile parts! The team members from Herat created the prototype after the governor of the Afghan province sent out a public plea for ventilators. The region is expecting an explosion in coronavirus cases due to a huge surge in Afghan migrant workers returning to the country from neighboring Iran, one of the disease's global hotspots. The impoverished nation is ill-prepared for any significant outbreak; as of April 2, the country's two hospitals designated for coronavirus cases had only 12 working ventilators between them. In response to this desperate need, the Afghan Dreamers robotics team developed a ventilator prototype which costs under $300 to make from parts that can be easily sourced in the country. "The only thing that we all want to do is help our people and our community," says tech entrepreneur Roya Mahboob, who founded the Afghan Dreamers program. "I work with the girls, but mostly to coordinate. They are the real heroes." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Beverly Cleary redefined children's literature for a generation of young readers.

    For decades, children have delighted in the adventures of Ramona and her sister Beezus, Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, and Ralph, the motorcycle riding mouse! Although these books were written long ago, their characters feel like they could still be living in the house next door thanks to the remarkable writing of their author, Beverly Cleary, who celebrates her 104th birthday today! When asked about the multi-generational appeal of her books, Cleary credits the spirit of childhood which she believes is just as timeless as her stories. "I think deep down inside children are all the same," she told NPR in a 2006 interview. "They want two loving parents and they would prefer a house with a neighborhood they can play in. They want teachers that they can like. I don't think children themselves have changed that much." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Detroit mother of five answered Dr. King's call for volunteers and traveled to Alabama to help during the Selma March.

    On the final day of the historic Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo was helping shuttle marchers from Montgomery, Alabama back to Selma in her car, along with a fellow activist, 19-year-old Leroy Moton. When she stopped at a red light, a car filled with local Ku Klux Klan members pulled up alongside them. When they saw Liuzzo, a white woman, and Moton, a black man, together, they followed them, pulled a gun, and shot directly at Liuzzo. She was killed by a bullet to the head; Moton, who was covered in her blood and knocked unconscious, was assumed to to be dead by the Klan members who investigated the crashed vehicle. The murder of the 39-year-old Liuzzo, a Detroit housewife and mother of five, shocked millions of people around the country and, along with the outrage at the violent treatment of many of the Selma protesters, helped to spur the signing of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act five months later. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The 23-year-old secret agent hid her codes in knitting to avoid detection by the Nazis.

    In May 1944, a 23-year-old British secret agent named Phyllis Latour Doyle parachuted into occupied Normandy to gather intelligence on Nazi positions in preparation for D-Day. As an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Doyle – who is celebrating her 99th birthday this week – secretly relayed 135 coded messages to the British military before France's liberation in August. She took advantage of the fact that the Nazi occupiers and their French collaborators were generally less suspicious of women, using the knitting she carried as a way to hide her codes. For seventy years, Doyle's contributions to the war effort were largely unheralded, but she was finally given her due in 2014 when she was awarded France's highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies of World War II but her incredible story is largely unknown today.

    The Nazis considered Virginia Hall the "most dangerous of all Allied spies," yet the story of the "Limping Lady" is largely unknown today. Hall spent nearly the entire war in France, first as a spy for Britain's newly formed Special Operations Executive (SOE) and later for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Special Operations Branch. Even her cumbersome wooden prosthetic leg, which she nicknamed Cuthbert, proved no obstacle to Hall's courage and determination to defeat the Nazis. While undercover in France, she proved exceptionally adept at eluding the Gestapo as she organized resistance groups, masterminded jailbreaks for captured agents, mapped drop zones, reported on German troop movements, set up safe houses, and rescued escaped POWs and downed Allied pilots. Even years after the war, however, she rarely talked about her extraordinary career; a reticence she likely developed during her years as a spy since, as she once observed, "Many of my friends were killed for talking too much." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top tips for parents on keeping kids engaged at home while observing social distancing.

    With schools closing, events cancelled, and many companies urging employees to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, parents are facing an unexpected challenge. Since many of these closures overlap school March breaks, kids may not have homework to do — and even if they do, the lack of school and extracurricular activities will leave them with extra time on their hands. But that doesn't mean that parents can rely on their usual school holiday activities like playdates, playgrounds, and museum visits: as Dr. Asaf Bitton writes in Social Distancing: This Is Not A Snow Day, "even if you choose only one friend to have over, you are creating new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that all of our school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent.... We need to all do our part during these times, even if it means some discomfort for a while." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "'My Best Friend' is about the instant heart connection between two girls who meet for the first time."

    There are few joys as simple and as profound as a child's first friendship! In the course of a few hours — without even necessarily learning one another's names — two young children can forge a close connection that is unique to early childhood. These instant and joyful friendships are powerful moments in a child's life; Publishers Weekly aptly describes them as the "giddy infatuation when a child first meets another and feels an instant bond." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of the best new books for children and teens about incredible women from around the world.

    Gerda Lerner, the historian and scholar who pioneered the field of women's history, once said, "In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist." But increasingly, we are reclaiming history, telling the stories of the girls and women whose contributions to our shared story deserve to be celebrated! As parents and educators, it's also important that we tell these stories to all of our children, boys and girls alike, so that they live in a world where history has always been about the contributions of all of humanity. Continue reading Continue reading

1–10 of 42 items