Celebrating Women During Afterschool Hours

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March marks Women’s History Month. According to the National Women’s History Museum, the celebratory month evolved from Women’s History Week, which began in 1978 as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California.

“This month, we want our students and staff to honor, celebrate and learn about the lives of influential women in both history and present day,” says Dr. Kimberly Leverette, executive director of Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “We think it’s important for all of our students to be able to look up to these women figures and know what is possible for them.”

According to Leverette, it is important to share these lessons on women not only in the month of March but all year long. After all, a study by the National Women’s History Museum found that just one woman for every three men is mentioned in school. This is disproportionate to the contributions women have made to history. By emphasizing women’s history in afterschool, YouthQuest can help bridge the gap and emphasize the importance of women and the achievements they have made.

Throughout March, students in YouthQuest will participate in a variety of lessons and activities designed to honor and celebrate Women’s History Month. Examples of activities set for the month include learning about influential women both locally and nationally that are related to topics that students choose, including sports and gaming. YouthQuest sites will also integrate technology to learn about women’s history including participating in trivia-style games such as Kahoot.

On top of lessons, YouthQuest sites will bring in a variety of women-owned businesses such as SK Luxury Care and Heart of Worship Dance Studio that can provide activities and lessons for the students throughout the month. Not only will this support local business owners, but it also gives students a chance to see and interact with influential women in the community.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, YouthQuest is also hosting a writing contest. For the contest, students are asked to submit original work in multiple forms including poetry, short stories or journal entries. The piece must describe a woman who has impacted them or touched the lives of others. Entries will be judged four categories based on grade level. Winning entries will be published in the youth section of the Michigan Banner, an independent, nonpartisan media outlet that reports diverse & multicultural news, happenings and stories in the Great Lakes Bay region and surrounding areas. The deadline to submit a piece is March 31. For more information, contact your site team leader.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.