The Michigan State University Office of K-12 Outreach has announced a free educational guide in honor of Women’s History Month full of resources to learn about and be empowered by women in history.
The guide includes a timeline for how commemorations transitioned from a single International Women’s Day (March 8, 2022) to the currently understood Women’s History Month, links to YouTube videos and a literature review.
“This document was a labor of love, and everyone can find something in its resources,” said Irma Hamilton, an outreach specialist with the Office of K-12 Outreach. Hamilton, who calls education her “calling” and has experience as both an educator and an administrator, led the creation of the document with a team of several others.
Sections include highlights of women in history from across cultural contexts and women from various professional backgrounds. While the primary focus for creating the document was for use in K-12 classrooms, Hamilton hopes those from all walks of life—including caregivers, men and young children—can be inspired by the stories they find in its pages.
“The document shares stories of people who were bold and courageous in times when it was not safe to do so. They were ordinary women who did extraordinary things,” Hamilton said. “I want to show the impact of their knowledge and lives on the world.”
International Women’s Day was officially recognized for the first time on March 19, 1911. In 1980, the National Women’s History Alliance sought to expand the celebration to a week-long event, which President Jimmy Carter initiated and, the following year, Congress confirmed as a resolution honoring a national observance. In 1987, followed by a successful petition by the National Women’s History Project, March was designated as Women’s History Month. International Women’s Day remains as a feature of the month, celebrated in 2022 on March 8.
Some of Hamilton’s favorite moments in creating the guide were learning about women in history she had never heard of before—like the 6888th Battalion, the first and only all-Black army corps of women to be deployed overseas during World War II who helped deliver mail to soldiers to boost their morale. Additionally, she appreciated the opportunity to talk to Molly Murphy MacGregor, one of the co-founders of the National Women’s History Project, about their efforts for women’s rights.
“Each woman who graces these pages dared to be different,” said Hamilton. “I hope this document sheds a light on opportunities and careers girls and women have not often been involved in, and inspires someone to find their inner passion, tap into their potential, reach for their dreams.”
The Office of K-12 Outreach also offered a guide of resources for Black History Month. Review here.