TREMONTON - By Cari Doutre - Jan. 23, 2020
All it took was one old saying, “that’s for boys, not for girls” for a national campaign to start a movement across the country. It was a movement to combat gender stereotypes and encourage young girls that there are no limits to what they can achieve.
That movement to empower girls has made an impact locally when the Tremonton City Library decided to team up with a group of powerful, smart and community-minded women. For local young girls the possibilities to what they could achieve became endless, in fact, it taught them that #GirlsHaveNoLimits.
On Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, the Tremonton City Library, along with the local Women’s Civic Club GFWC, held an event for first and second grade girls as part of the #GirlsHaveNoLimits movement and the National Girls Collaborative Project.
The library promoted the two-hour event encouraging girls to “imagine yourself doing great things,” and that was exactly what happened. With a slew of volunteers in hand, 12 girls came to the event.
Debby Carter, Assistant Librarian at the Tremonton City Library, not only planned the event but she was also instrumental in obtaining the grant given to the library from NGCP to help fund it.
The activities that day tied directly into the #GirlsHaveNoLimits motto by following an activity sponsored by one of the leading car companies in the U.S.
In Nov. 2019, Mercedes-Benz USA created the initiative, “No Limits” and partnered with Mattel and the NGCP, a network of organizations that encourages girls to get involved in STEM for future careers.
Mattel donated 50,000 toy cars to motivate girls to engineer and design toy racetracks and erase gender stereotypes, girls can play with race cars too.
That donation of 50,000 toy cars made its way to Tremonton. The theme of Jan. 20’s activity was centered around race cars and race-tracks. The girls wasted no time getting in on the fun. They built their own tracks, engineered bigger and better jumps for the cars and spent hours enjoying the opportunity given to them from both the Tremonton City Library and the NGCP.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Carter said of the activity and the girls’ immediate interest. “They had a blast.”
It was that subtle push the girls needed to remind them that they have no limits to what they can become. Carter was also pleasantly surprised by the answers she received when she asked each of the girls what they wanted to be when they grew up.
From surgeons to firefighters to rock stars, each of them knew exactly what they wanted to be.
“I was amazed,” Carter said. “Kudos to their parents. They’re doing an awesome job and deserve credit.”
Carter was also amazed, and grateful, for the help of the civic club and their members.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” she added.
The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is a charitable organization that started in 2004 to bring other organizations together throughout the United States to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, as it’s often called. It’s an effort to “create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM,” they state on their website.
Using a national network to support these efforts, they share resources with any organization to get their message out and to motivate and interest girls to participate in STEM. They also share research, program ideas and products to strengthen this movement.
The NGCP has networks set up in 41 states allowing them to collaborate with over 36,000 organizations. Those organizations serve over 20 million girls. They are currently in the process of setting up a collaborative network in Utah.
There’s no discrimination on who they will share resources with, public or private, they have one goal in mind, increase gender equity in STEM fields. Each state has a network of professionals, researchers and others for organizations to use. Trained mentors are used to create partnerships at both the state and local levels.
Although the NGCP hasn’t officially set up a network in Utah, the Tremonton City Library is planning another event like the one they held last week. They are eyeing a day this spring and will announce those plans soon.