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Tag: women's history
  • Every day, this mom draws a famous woman from history alongside an inspiring quote for her daughter's lunch - all on a napkin.


    Meaghan Elderkin from Glocester, Rhode Island, has always left little notes in her 9-year-old daughter Holden’s lunchbox: “They’ve progressed over the years from hearts and silly drawings to bad jokes and groan-worthy puns,” she says. But this month, Elderkin decided to give her napkin art a girl-empowering twist -- by drawing images of famous women, past and present, and including one of their powerful quotes. After sharing the images on the private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, she was met with such a tremendous response that she decided to share them publicly. As one group member wrote: “You are a star. Thank you for the reminders of how strong women ARE!”
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  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of the best new biographies for children and teens about incredible women from around the world.


    When Women's History Month rolls around, it can be amazing to discover just how many women of note you've never heard of before. In fact, adults in our community often comment on our posts wondering why they hadn't heard of a particular woman before. Scientists, artists, explorers, and more — too often these names and accomplishments are new to all of us.

    Fortunately, for the next generation, these inspiring women could be household names! From beautiful picture books to intriguing middle-grade and young adult biographies, there are more high quality stories of women who made their mark on the world than ever before. And the more of these books we put in their hands, the more today's kids — both girls and boys — will seek to learn more about the contributions of women in history.

    With that in mind, this blog post showcases dozens of inspiring new Mighty Girl biographies for you to share with the children and teens in your life. All 2015 and 2016 releases, these books capture the fascinating lives and impressive accomplishments of women who made their marks on the world. And who knows? Someday, one of the Mighty Girls reading them might just be the subject of her own biography! Continue reading Continue reading

  • British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914 British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914

    By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Do you know the name of the Polish social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII? How about the name of America’s first female self-made millionaire? Can you name a British suffrage movement leader who Time Magazine declared to be one of the most important people of the 20th century? Or the name of a real-life woman pirate?

    While we always delight in hearing about the achievements of women in history, there are some names that get much more attention than others. Children and adults of today are likely to be very familiar with the experiences of Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller -- and rightly so. However, there are many other talented, courageous, and remarkable women who also deserve to have their stories told, but whose names are far less familiar.

    We have gathered together a list of ten of these women, whom you may not recognize, but whose journeys are more than worthy of your attention. Sometimes these women have been relegated to the footnotes of history books, their experiences almost entirely glossed over. Yet, each woman made significant contributions or noteworthy strides in her lifetime.

    In addition to the descriptions listed below, you will find their stories within our collection of over 400 biographies of remarkable girls and women. We also share many stories of Mighty Girl heroes of yesteryear and today on our Facebook page.

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  • anne-sullivan1Today in Mighty Girl history, Anne Sullivan, famously known as the teacher and companion of Helen Keller for 49 years, was born today in 1866. The child of poor Irish immigrants, Sullivan herself went blind as a child due to untreated trachoma and was sent to the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. Though her vision was partially restored after surgery, she remained visually impaired throughout her life.

    After Sullivan graduated as class valedictorian, the school director recommended the 20-year-old for a position teaching 6-year-old Helen Keller in the small town of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Keller, who had been left blind and deaf due to disease as a toddler, had very limited means of communication but her young teacher soon helped her break out of, as Keller later described, the "silence and darkness that surrounded me." Continue reading Continue reading

  • francis-perkinsToday in Mighty Girl history, champion of the New Deal and labor rights pioneer, Frances Perkins was born in 1880. Perkins was the first woman U.S. Cabinet member and served as U.S. Secretary of Labor throughout President Franklin D. Roosevelt's long presidency.

    As one of the most trailblazing women in the history of the U.S. government, Perkins is largely responsible for many of the New Deal reforms including the creation of child labor laws, social security, unemployment insurance, and the federal minimum wage.

    After attending Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University, Perkins became head of the New York Consumers League in 1910 and sought better working conditions and hours during a time when labor rights and factory safety standards were nearly nonexistent. The following year, she personally witnessed the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in which 146 garment workers, most of them young girls and women, perished; many of whom jumped to their deaths out of windows because the doors and stairwells of the factory were locked. Continue reading Continue reading

  • doreen-rappaport2[1]By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    We are pleased to continue our new blog series, A Mighty Girl Creators, with our latest installment: a conversation with author Doreen Rappaport. An award-winning creator of nearly forty books for children and young adults, Ms. Rappaport often shares the true stories of remarkable individuals from over the course of history. In particular, she likes to feature those figures whom she calls “not-yet-celebrated.” She is an especially appropriate subject for Women’s History Month, as her writing so often celebrates the lives and contributions of women while making their stories accessible to young readers.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, you will find multiple books from Ms. Rappaport’s pen, and the selections cover a wide range of non-fiction territory. There are picture books presenting engaging biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller, and a gripping tale of female baseball legends. Older children will be invited to read stories of danger and bravery in Escape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom, a collection of five true tales, four of which focus on girls or women. A young adult audience will discover fascinating historic content within the covers of The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Ša and American Women: Their Lives in Their Words, two publications that heavily feature primary source material. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Aung-San-Syu-Kyi-447x580[1] Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition politican. Photo credit: Htoo Tay Zar
    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Happy International Women’s Day! Today countries around the world celebrate the contributions of women past and present. A Mighty Girl has chosen to mark the day with this blog post featuring eight amazing women from around the world. Some of them will be familiar, but some of them will be new to you; all of them have left their mark on the world.

    We have included reading recommendations for children and youth about each of the featured women. To view our complete selection of over 350 inspiring biographies of remarkable girls and women, visit our biographies collection.

    Alia Muhammad Baker (b. 1953)

    Baker was the chief librarian of Al Basrah Central Library in 2003 when the war in Iraq began. When she was denied permission to move the books, even after government offices moved into the library, she started smuggling books home; and when the officials fled the British advance and looters started to enter the library, she convinced the owner of the restaurant next door to allow her -- and eventually neighbors who joined her mission -- to store books safely in the dining room. Thanks to her efforts, 30,000 books were saved and became the core of a rebuilt library in 2004.

    You can read more about Baker in The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (ages 5 to 9) or in Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq (ages 8 to 12). Continue reading Continue reading

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    By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Around the world, Women’s History Month is a time to recognize the achievements of women over the course of history. In the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, the celebration occurs in March, to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. In Canada, it corresponds with Persons Day on October 18.

    Here at A Mighty Girl, we take pride in highlighting women, girls, and their remarkable accomplishments year-round and feature over 350 youth-oriented biographies of girls and women on our site. This month’s special focus, however, provides us with an opportunity to share their stories with gusto and Mighty Girl flair.

    In that spirit, we are pleased to announce "Mighty Girl Heroes: Inspiring the Next Generation of History Makers" -- our month-long campaign to showcase the stories of female trailblazers from around the world and to provide you with resources to share this important history with the children and young people in your lives.

    Children, girls and boys both, need to grow up with an intrinsic understanding of what is possible for women. They need to see examples, in real life as well as in their history books, of positive role models demonstrating a wide variety of skills and abilities. Continue reading Continue reading

  • irena-sendlerToday in A Mighty Girl history, Irena Sendler, one of the great, unsung heroes of the WWII who led a secret operation to successfully smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, was born in 1910.

    Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country's Jewish population.

    In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota's children's division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. Continue reading Continue reading

  • rosa stamp Image Credit: U.S. Postal Service

    On this day in Mighty Girl history, we remember Rosa Parks who was commemorated on this stamp released today on what would have been her 100th birthday. Dubbed “the first lady of Civil Rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” by the United States Congress, Parks is most often remembered for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama in December of 1955. This act of courage and defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the pivotal events in the US Civil Rights Movement.

    This was not her first, nor would it be her last, contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. In fact, she had been a member and the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP for 12 years prior to the bus boycott. She also attended the Highlander Folk School, a social justice leadership training school, the summer before refusing to give up her bus seat.

    Parks and her husband moved to Michigan shortly after the bus boycott as a result of losing their jobs. There, Parks was hired as receptionist for U.S. Representative John Conyers Detroit office, where she worked until she retired in 1988. Rosa Parks received many awards and accolades in her life, most notably the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Continue reading Continue reading

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