to Our Newsletter
1, Number One Autumn
Mainely Girls Came To Be
years ago a group of Camden-Rockport middle and high school teachers examined
the culture that existed for girls in their schools and in their community.
At the same time, some very dismaying research on the status of girls
in America was being released nationally. Determined to address girls'
choices around healthy relationships, body image, and educational and
career aspirations, the women started a community grassroots project:
an annual conference for Camden area girls and young women.
on that early work, in 1996 Mainely Girls was formed to focus on girls'
needs state-wide, and to promote women's leadership on behalf of girls
throughout rural Maine.
schools, legislative committees, government agencies, and other organizations
turn to Mainely Girls for information, to explore ideas, or to promote
opportunities for girls. We have spearheaded the following state-wide
connected: Mainely Girls publishes a newsletter three times a year
to advertise opportunities for girls, to forward pertinent information
for and about girls, and to share efforts and achievements on girls'
behalf - keeping everyone who wants to stay in touch with what's happening
for girls in Maine connected and informed.
Mainely Girls offers conferences for parents, students, teachers and
administrators to educate people about girls' development. One will
be offered on October 29th for adults who work with girls.
Mainely Girls has written and distributed a survey for seventh-
and eleventh-grade Maine girls and will publish a statistical report
and analysis of our findings this autumn.
Our Daughters To Work Day: Mainely Girls organized this significant
day state-wide for middle school girls in 1999 and will continue to
consulting: Mainely Girls has acted as a consultant for five other
girls' conferences in Deer Isle, Millinocket, Old Town, Portland, and
Waterville, sharing what we know and offering advice.
economic empowerment: The number of Maine women who live in poverty
is high, and the influence of this poverty on Maine children is great.
Of all families living in poverty, 48% are headed by women and of all
female headed households with children under six, 63% live in poverty"
(Voices of Maine Women - Recommendation for Economic Security , August
1996). Mainely Girls believes that the time to begin addressing the
subject of women and poverty is during girlhood, when girls begin developing
their aspirations. Assisting girls in establishing high aspirations
and preparing for an economically viable career or profession is a crucial
area of focus. As a first step in this effort, Mainely Girls has supported
the expansion of Camp Aspirations to make this excellent opportunity
available for more Maine girls.
public policy: Because of the number of girls whose lives and educations
are negatively impacted by harassment at school, making schools safe
places for all students, especially girls, is a priority for Mainely
Girls. We support increased education for students, parents, teachers,
and administrators so that everyone is aware of the law and how students
can protect themselves from hallway harassment and school violence.
believe that girls will not grow to maturity as smart, strong, competent,
and independent women without more attention and nurturing than society,
and most of our communities and schools, have traditionally provided.
Mainely Girls addresses issues of girls in rural areas by:
helping communities identify the specific needs of girls and young women
in their areas and, in response to those needs,
programs to improve the environment in which their girls grow to maturity.
the efforts of Mainely Girls, in conjunction with women volunteers in
local communities, girls in Knox, Penobscot, and Waldo counties are now
putting on girls' conferences, acting in improvisational theatre, designing
and writing 'zines, climbing mountains and exploring cities through Outward
Bound, and initiating other programs for girls in their schools and communities.