At Sandy Spring Friends School, March is often a month full of energy and anticipation, welcoming the Spring season, spring-like weather, and spring break, while also hosting core SSFS events like Intersession, the Book Fair, and Immersion week.
In the midst of all of this, we also celebrate Women's History Month, first recognized nationally in the United States by Jimmy Carter in 1980. His Presidential Proclamation declared the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week and read in part:
“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”
By the end of that year, a bipartisan partnership between Representative Barbara Mikulski and Senator Orrin Hatch established a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History Week in 1981. By 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month; using this inertia and state-by-state action, lobbyists pressed Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March, and in 1987 Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.
What had begun as a week-long celebration initiated by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women and in Sonoma County, California, in 1978, had become a nationally recognized heritage month within less than 10 years.
During Women’s History Month 2023, the Sandy Spring community will be aligning with the National Women's History Alliance in uplifting the theme, "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories." That storytelling theme will be on full and literal display in the Lower School and Middle School Assemblies, where storytellers Jane Dorfman and Noa Baum will entertain students. Noa will offer her program “Marvelous Maidens” to MS and Jane will entertain our youngest learners with stories of empowered female characters. You will also see book lists, decorations, and displays in the Middle School and Lower School, in addition to decorations and content on Upper School screens. We will be initiating an All-School study of the life and work of Pauli Murray, including an evening movie screening and an Upper School Assembly. And as always, there may be some "pop up" surprises as well!
Please join SSFS and the National Women's History Alliance this month in a "recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media."