University of Iowa Faculty Use Literature to Teach Young Girls to Be Strong

University of IowaThe College of Education at the University of Iowa has launched an after-school program for elementary school girls designed to teach young girls to be strong through the use of literature. The Strong Girls program was developed by Renita Schmidt and Amanda Thein, faculty members in the College of Education.

schmidtEach week, faculty members and students at the university visit local elementary schools and reads to girls in grades 4 through 6. They then lead discussion groups aimed at building self-esteem and encouraging girls to be leaders. Professor Schmidt explains: “We see it as publicly engaged work; it’s something that we believe will make a difference in the world.”

Dr. Schmidt is an associate professor in the College of Education. She is a graduate of Iowa State College and earned a Ph.D. in language, literacy, and culture from the University of Iowa.

theinDr. Thein, an associate professor in the College of Education, said that “we talk a lot about how being a strong girl isn’t about being a particular kind of girl. Strong girls are girls who make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, who have imperfections.”

Dr. Thein is a graduate of the University of Colorado. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in English education from the University of Minnesota.

Filed Under: BooksWomen's Studies


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