Athena Perry & Meaghan Foley
Meaghan and Athena created a google site called Pass It On (https://sites.google.com/view/Pass-it-on20) that provides grade-specific resources and lesson plans for teaching inclusion in middle school through peace-building, kindness, language, self-awareness, and empathy.
- Year 8
- Sterling Middle School
- Quincy, Massachusetts
How did you use Girl Rising?
We were first exposed to the Girl Rising movie and book through the curriculum our 8th Grade ELA teacher brought to our school. We were asked to create a project for a city-wide Girl Rising Symposium (which we also helped plan) that featured student essays, poetry, guest speakers, and showcased student projects. We were inspired by Girl Rising’s message that we are each capable of making a positive impact on our world through the power of education. In looking at our own community were inspired to address unconscious biases that came to light during a class survey on labels and stereotypes earlier in the school year. We both feel that we and our peers are all-too-familiar with stereotypes,unconscious biases, and discrimination in our culture. We decided that the best place to start trying to dismantle that norm is in our own community.
We created a google site called Pass It On (https://sites.google.com/view/Pass-it-
on20) that provides grade-specific resources and lesson plans for teaching inclusion in middle school through peace-building, kindness, language, self- awareness, and empathy.
Our long-term plan is to come back to Sterling Middle School and teach some of these lessons to students as former middle schoolers ourselves. We are working with our teachers, families and peers to effectuate positive change in a sustainable, collaborative way. We want Sterling students to be empowered to have a voice in their community and to have the tools to continue to fight bias and discrimination wherever they see it.
What Girl Rising tools did you use?
Our class curriculum included the Girl Rising video and portions of the book Girl
Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time. We also consulted the book in
greater detail outside of the classroom as we developed our website.
What was your main takeaways from Girl Rising?
Girl Rising taught us that everyone deserves the same opportunities in life, and that equal access to education can change lives. We in the United States tend to take our public-school education for granted. Girl Rising inspired us to look more deeply at the experiences of members of our entire community, and we learned that having equal access to education is just the beginning––that biases and stereotypes (unconscious or not) limit opportunities for many. We learned that no matter where we live or what our age, we all must continue to ask “how can I make a difference in my own community?” Some of our most important learnings come not from textbooks, but from people who are different from us. When we share our unique experiences and passions with each other, we all benefit. We push our boundaries, expand our minds, become better individuals and better global citizens.