Women’s History Month is celebrated every March. It began in 1978 in Santa Rosa, California, as a weekly event coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8. It wasn’t long before communities across the nation began organizing annual Women’s History Week events.
President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the week of March 8, 1980, the first National Women’s History Week. From there, the week eventually turned into a month long celebration. The National Women’s History Alliance chooses a theme each year.
Books are a fabulous way to share stories about inspirational women in history. There are many wonderful kids’ books dedicated to influential female role models. In the classroom, children will most certainly be reading about famous women like Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. You can continue the theme at home by introducing your kids to women who have left lasting marks in history through these motivating reads.
Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx
Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina member of the United States Supreme Court. The book by Jonah Winter focuses on Sotomayor’s humble beginnings as a young girl growing up surrounded by poverty and racism in the Bronx to become a member of the most prestigious court in the nation.
A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon
Suzanne Slade’s book introduces young readers to Katherine Johnson, an African American girl who started college at 15 and took her exceptional math skills to NASA where she helped get American’s first manned space flight to orbit the Earth.
Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote, and Changed the World
In Jess Rinker’s book, kids will learn all about how journalist and social political activist Gloria Steinem grew up to become a leader in the feminist movement in the United States in the late ’60s and early ’70s and co-founder of the magazine Ms.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Debbie Levy’s book is ideal for preschool through third-grade readers, touching on the life of Brooklyn-born former Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg served on the nation’s highest court from 1993 until her passing in 2020.
How Emily Saved the Bridge: The Story of Emily Warren Roebling and the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Emily Warren Roebling is more than the first person to walk across the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge that spans the East River in New York City. Warren Roebling’s story of how she stepped in to help her engineer husband, Washington Roebling, complete the project after he became ill is an inspiring read in this book written by Frieda Wishinsky.
Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
Kids might be surprised to learn that women were once considered not smart or strong enough to be doctors. Tanya Lee Stone introduces children to the story behind the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, and how she refused to accept that women could only be wives, moms, teachers, and seamstresses.
Who Says Women Can’t be Computer Programmers? The Story of Ada Lovelace
Another read by Tanya Lee Stone lets readers meet Ada Lovelace. Lovelace grew up in early 19th-century England and became a mathematician and writer. She is considered to be the first computer programmer after discovering that computers can follow a specific sequence of instructions. Lovelace made the discovery while working on Charles Babbage’s early model of a computer.
World Cup Women: Megan, Alex, and the Team USA Soccer Champs
Many of the players on the 2019 World Cup-winning United States Women’s Soccer team watched as kids in 1999 as the U.S. women won a World Cup. Meg Walters’ book focuses on two weeks in France where the women’s national team won a record fourth World Cup and its second in a row. It’s a great read for soccer girls everywhere.
Bring Women’s History Month home by sharing some inspiring reads with your kids about women who didn’t give up and let prejudice and discrimination prevent them from achieving their goals. Boys and especially girls will enjoy learning about these important women who have left their mark to help pave the road for future generations in science, math, health care, athletics, the law, and more.
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