My goal for this project is to provide MAKEr projects for children that reMAKE, rewrite, re-introduce, re-create, reenact lives of women and girls that have been left out of main-stream history.
The impetus for this project arose several years ago when I knew that I was going to have three daughters. I have read so many children’s books in the past 6.5 years while working at home as a mother to my girls. I have always been on the lookout for books with a range of diverse female protagonists and about women and girls from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, etc. In addition, our lives have centered around making things: art-making, science-making, crafting, designing, building, and engineering. These projects extend from these activities.
NO-PROFIT AND PROJECT BEGINNING AND CRITERIA
This is a no-profit project, which is important to me because I want to ensure that all ideas are presented according to what I believe is important, as opposed to being influenced by outside sources. I have worked on bits and pieces of ideas for several years, but not until this year, 2020, was I was able to complete many of the projects during the COVID quarantine. I do so by making them a part of homeschooling. As a result, there are certain criteria that guide the structure of the projects, including 1) that my daughters will think it is fun, 2) ideas align with schoolwork, 3) projects center around US holidays which is part of public school curriculum, and 4) they incorporate science, writing, reading, math, social sciences, history, and art. Most importantly, they present woman and girls who have impacted history and done extraordinary, and wonderfully ordinary (but important), things. The provide models of women for my daughters to learn about through making things.
I see this as a collaboration with my daughters, as many of the ideas presented in these projects are partially (or mostly) theirs. I also hope to expand the project and invite other children to participate, include instructional videos, and possibly even write a book.
Many recent initiatives, including children’s books (Rebel Girls Series), videos, and websites (A Mighty Girl), have been devoted to this cause of bringing the work and lives of women and girls from history, who have been written out of it by a patriarchal society, into the forefront. My project contributes to the work of writers and artists in this vein.