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Kaela Dennert, 11, Azarea Ma’at-Ra, 13, Belén Rivas, 12, and Amanda Surette, 12 began the campaign as a class project.
The Huckleberry Learning Center provides classes for homeschooled students, and meets at the Church of the Nazarene on The Old Road in Newhall.
Lori Rivas, who teaches a Women’s Studies class at the center titled “Learning About the Ladies,” wanted to engage her four students in making a difference for local women.
Rivas said that the class has three parts: American history through the eyes of women, a Local Women Leaders speakers series once a month and community involvement.
Rivas suggested the idea of petitioning the city to recognize Day of the Girl, and the girls took off with it and made it their own, she said.
The International Day of the Girl was first recognized by the United Nations in 2011, and is a day to “highlight, discuss, celebrate and ultimately advance girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe,” according to the Day of the Girl website.
The Huckleberry students’ local campaign was inspired by the recent Dove “Evolution of Beauty” commercial, which demonstrates the photoshopping used to create unrealistic images of women for billboard ads.
“I just had them brainstorm,” Rivas said “What do you think is important to you as a girl? What pressures do you face as a girl that maybe boys don’t face?”
Belén Rivas said that the goal was to get people to appreciate girls and women worldwide.
“In classes, you hear about men,” she said, “and people just don’t really get that girls are on this planet, and we have brains and needs and feelings.”
The petition echoed this.
“Communities around the world have to recognize that girls are facing a lot of injustice. People have to recognize that girls are pretty, just the way they are,” the petition began.
Rivas’ students, who call themselves the “Huckleberry Girls,” also asked that no one wear makeup on Oct. 11, to promote self-esteem among girls.
On Thursday, Mayor Bob Kellar will visit Rivas’ class to present them with the official proclamation of the Day of the Girl in Santa Clarita.
When asked how she felt when she heard the news, Belén Rivas simply said, “I was very, very, very happy.”
The class also created a comic strip describing their efforts, which was featured on the International Day of the Girl blog.
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Source: Santa Clarita News