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Kent Place School Celebrates International Day of the Girl with Weeklong Festivities

Upper School students during the Half the Sky workshop where the students learned that women in many developing countries spend more time than men gathering fuel-wood, carrying water and cooking.

Kent Place School held a variety of events and activities throughout the week of October 6 through October 10, 2014 in honor of International Day of the Girl (October 11).

International Day of the Girl came into existence on December 19, 2011 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The resolution also declared October 11 as “International Day of the Girl Child.”

During the week of October 6, the Upper School decided to refer to the week as “Week of Goodness and Girls” – a week that encompassed World Day of Bullying Prevention, Pink Days for Breast Cancer Awareness and International Day of the Girl.

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The week kicked off with World Day of Bullying Prevention on Monday, October 6. Students in the Primary, Middle and Upper Schools wore blue shirts to spread awareness about bullying issues. On Tuesday, October 7, Athletic teams wore pink headbands or ribbons during their home games to spread awareness about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Representatives from the Kent Place Upper School organization, GLAM’D (Girls Learning and Making a Difference) also organized random acts of kindness and posted quotes about women’s rights throughout the Upper School. These activities led up to Kent Place’s International Day of the Girl.

GLAM’D seniors Madison Ryon and Reeve Lanigan organized a morning of workshops for Upper School students on October 10. They invited six guest speakers to visit: Half The Sky raises awareness of women’s issues and provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women; BlinkNow provides an education and loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children; AGFAF (Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund) pursues educational opportunities in the U.S. for Afghan women who are committed to working for gender equality and improving life in Afghanistan and who need financial support to obtain an education; Set Her Free empowers young women of Uganda to become self-sustaining by providing a safe environment, education and rehabilitation; Room to Read is a global nonprofit that builds schools and libraries, publishes books and gives scholarships to girls in 10 countries in Africa and Asia;Love True (Sex Trafficking in NJ) raises awareness of the realities of sex trafficking by educating youth, professionals and community members about the issue and what they can do to stop it.

“Kent Place is a place where girls learn to lead and make a difference,” stated Ryon. “By celebrating International Day of the Girl, we hoped to raise awareness of the issues girls face everyday all around the world, even in our own communities.”

“We believe that we accomplished that goal,” continued Lanigan. “We celebrated being young women in a world where we have the ability to make a difference.”

But the events didn’t end there. The Middle School held a special Morning Meeting on October 10 where students watched short video clips about public misconceptions of what it means to be “like a girl.” The students also announced a #LikeaKPSGirl poster contest. The girls were challenged to create posters that described what “Like a Girl” means to girls at KPS.

Primary School students also held International Day of the Girl celebrations. Using the theme, “Women Who Rock the World and the Girls Who Will Follow.” Two representatives from each grade, Kindergarten through Grade 5, spoke on behalf of their classmates during Morning Meeting. They shared biographical facts about “women who rock” such as Jane Goodall, Margaret Knight, Althea Gibson, Tillie Anderson, Elizabeth Blackwell, Betty Skelton, Sojourner Truth and Judy Blume. They then shared how they, as the “girls who will follow,” plan to “rock the world.” The celebration also included special guests, the Upper School Chamber Singers.

Festivities during International Day of the Girl have become an annual tradition at Kent Place School. Each year all three divisions hold activities to celebrate girls and young women and to raise awareness about the obstacles many women face all over the world to receive an education.

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