Girls learn the value of working together very early. Picture those little girls jumping rope or giggling over hand-clapping games. Two players are imperative; more, even better.
The Women and Girls Foundation has a new initiative that expands its efforts to get girls working together. Its Allegheny County Girls as Grantmakers program has made national headlines with "Girlcott," a campaign against offensive slogans on Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts, and three Shaler Area High School seniors who won a national public service award for a program to educate teen girls about the dangers of sexual violence.
Now the foundation is reaching further with Regional Change Agents, a group of 15 teen-age girls from Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. The group met last month and learned, despite geographic differences, that they are united on issues of self-esteem, wage equity, girls in sports and combating stereotypes.
The group is soliciting ideas for grants from young women, ages 13 to 18, who are working with an adult to break down gender stereotypes. There's $5,000 available for each county, and teams may request as much as $2,000. The deadline is Sept. 20 and applications are available at girl2girlgrants.com.
In the words of foundation Executive Director Heather Arnet, this is a chance for girls "to think about what is wrong and how to fix it."