“Wonder Girls” Highlights SGU’s Impact and Legacy

School Girls Unite is one of 15 girl-powered initiatives across 13 countries featured in a new book co-authored by Paola Gianturco and her 11-year-old granddaughter Alex Sangster. Paola launched her book tour in DC to recognize our 2011 victorious grassroots campaign to mobilize US support to establish the UN International Day of the Girl, observed annually on October 11.

Wendy and Jessica at a Wonder Girls book event
Wendy and Jessica at a Wonder Girls book event

Women Thrive Alliance sponsored the first book event at Busboys & Poets in DC. Two long-time SGU activists, high school senior Sabra and tenth grader Maya, spoke to a packed-house about their experiences lobbying for education equity for girls in the Global South.

Another mega-event in Maryland, organized by the Women’s Giving Circle, was held in a state-of-the-art auditorium at Howard Community College. Ninth grader Julia, one of the activists profiled in the chapter about School Girls Unite, together with seventh grader Vivienne, joined the discussion with Paola. Julia is starting a new group with other students, and reflected on this experience:

“I met so many supportive people and that gave me even more energy to keep on moving forward and fighting.”

Four students with another SGU group, called Global Equality Now, collaborated on this book review.

By Maria, Doreen, Radhika and Shrutina – Reservoir High School, Fulton, MD

Wonder Girls by Paola Gianturco is an excellent book that takes on global issues by sharing interesting stories of powerful girls leaving their marks on the world. By individually interviewing each girl and acknowledging her impact, Gianturco explores controversial issues, such as the gap between rich and poor, and how to combat them with peace over violence. Taking the reader on a trip around the world, it skillfully delves into sensitive topics such as teen pregnancy, AIDS, and the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Readers appreciate the struggle young women have experienced and how they were empowered to fight for their rights. The book respects cultures, while also promoting reform. By highlighting the girls’ achievements in each chapter, the book emphasizes that anyone can change society and promotes advocacy, open-mindedness, and determination. Overall, Wonder Girls provides an engaging, immersive experience connecting readers with girls who are making a difference in their communities.

If you want to support SGU, we have a limited number of “Wonder Girls” available for $45 plus $5 postage/handling (checks payable to School Girls Unite, PO Box 422, Kensington MD 20895). Paola’s website www.wondergirlsbook.com has loads of info, including options for buying in bulk.

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