Although you need only complete 1 requirements, Maya selected to do #1, #3, a variation on #5, and #6.
#1: Talk to the girls in your troop about how each one of you gets to school. Maybe some girls walk with a parent or older sibling, and some ride the bus. Or maybe some girls are home-schooled and don’t need to travel at all! Can you think of ideas for ways to help get girls to school safely in places that don’t have school buses?
Maya and the girls in her troop are all homeschooled. She noted that girls can school anytime, anywhere, even in their pajamas or while laying in bed! She loves the idea that we can go everywhere or nowhere at all. We contrasted this to the other ways girls school in this area (public or private) and how they get there (walk, ride in a car, bussed).
#3: Interview a woman in your life—it could be your mom, another relative, or a family friend—about what it was like to be a girl in school when she was young. Were girls treated differently than boys? Were they encouraged to move on to study the same kinds of subjects? Were they encouraged to pursue the same kinds of careers? Does she think things have changed since then? If so, how? Are there other things that you think still need to change?
Maya and I talked about school when I was a little girl. I told her that, especially with sports and clubs, girls and boys were treated differently. There were sports that girls were not allowed to try out for (like Football and Wrestling) and that had no equivalent (as in baseball AND softball both being offered). Girls were encouraged to focus our studies on the arts and humanities, while boys were directed more towards science and math. Although this was the case, I do remember being encouraged to pursue whatever career or vocation I wanted, regardless of it's educational background. Things have definitely changed, now that girls have significant access to STEM programs and classes. That being said, I think that our educational system is flawed because we should offer opportunities and focus to all students while teaching to their strengths and weaknesses, regardless of gender or ability.
#5: (Variation) Did you know that girls face challenges related to education in many countries around the world, including the United States? Read a book that focuses on girls’ education in the United States, and talk about it with your Girl Scout friends. You might look at Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal, or choose a book of your own.
Maya is currently reading and loving her biography on Malala Yousafzai.
#6: What if, as girls, you were not allowed to go to school? What would your life be like now? What would you do with your time? What might your life be like in the future?
Maya drew a picture that showed all of the things she wants to pursue (being a lifeguard, a police officer, and a doctor), and then how she would feel if she were not allowed to learn and do those things.
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