What would a BVP school look like without women? This is the question International Women’s Day poses. A few of us started to brainstorm a school schedule without women and quickly realized it was futile. While a handful of schools and districts across the country were closed today, almost all BVP staff were present wearing red with a single focus: to show solidarity in their support for the super talented, super fantastic teams of women all across our organization. This point was further illustrated by these photos taken this morning at Elementary School 2:

Moreover, on a day designated to shine a light on the achievements of women across the world, twenty curious 5th and 6th grade girls representing both BVP middle schools spent much of the morning learning about the design process at Ximedica’s 8th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. A team of all women engineers planned the day with a particular interest this year in working with young girls of color interested in the STEM fields. Central Falls’ Calcutt Middle School and several daughters of Ximedica employees also participated. The girls formed teams upon arriving and quickly got to work defining a problem, brainstorming solutions, developing a plan, building prototypes and later sharing their prototypes with other teams. Prototypes were built with guidance from Ximedica engineers but on a whole, it was the girls who were encouraged to be curious and creative in their solutions. There was a self -filling water bottle (designed to capture condensation), the “Ultra Spin” tool designed to revolutionize cleaning, and so much more! We could not be more grateful for this opportunity.

Back in our schools and classrooms, we also took time to focus on breaking barriers and what a world without women might be like. Second graders talked about women in STEM and used excerpts of the Oscar nominated movie Hidden Figures to examine the past as well as to share their hopes and dreams for the future. We thoughtfully embody the themes of International Women’s Day and look for opportunities to promote leadership throughout the year too, including the careful selection of texts and even a summer leadership camp for our middle school young women.

Days like today call attention to what we can achieve together and what we can teach our young scholars about inclusiveness, about curiosity and about breaking boundaries. Let’s keep striving to make sure that every day is a day like today. #BeBoldForChange #BVPpride