Cynthia Turnquest-Jones Founder of Tha Brown Urban Mother Partnership (Tha B.U.M.P,) Educator for twenty years and resident of Mount Vernon for forty-eight years decided to embark on the idea and understanding that reading is fundamental and places emphasis on community-led solutions to encourage girls to complete their education. Girls in grades 1-6 were invited to the library to engage with women from different careers and cultures that will speak on the importance of education and reading.
The Girls received free books donated from residents of Mount Vernon and participate in two STEM challenges while being encouraged by local women as they chat and chew on cupcakes donated by Cupcake Cutie Boutique located on 8 South 6th Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY. Books were collected by a local party promoter King George resulting in over forty books at an event taken place at Barcelona.
“There is a saying that girls are the future mothers of any society and when girls receive an education she is more likely to make education a priority for her children,” Cynthia shares with BW.
Mount Vernon Public Library partnered with Tha B.U.M.P. on Saturday, March 25, 2017 to host “Let Girls Learn Day.” In 2015, Former First Lady, Michelle Obama pioneered this initiative #letgirlslearn. She recognized that adolescent girls face multiple challenges in pursuing an education, Let Girls Learn is employing a holistic approach to change the perception of the value of girls at the individual, community and institutional levels; foster an enabling environment for adolescent girls’ education; and engage and equip girls to make life decisions and important contributions to society.
The event was a smash with Shawyn Patterson Howard, as the moderator and a host of panelists who shared with the girls their journey as a student along with their challenges. All were treated by the character created by Dr. Seuss “The Cat in The Hat,” played by longtime MVPL Employee Cathy Webb. Girls were excited about the STEM Slime Mix Chemical Challenge. The question posed to the Girls “If three solutions, glue, tide and shaving cream, are mixed, what effect would the viscosity of the glue used have on the viscosity of the slime?” They were reminded that the independent variable was the viscosity of the mixture. The Girls then listened to Kristal Mims, Author of “Where’s the Honey?” Kristal attended Graham Elementary School and is currently working at Rebecca Turner as an educational staff member.
Conversations and quick factual videos were shown throughout the event pointing out: Fostering school success and educational awareness, meeting the needs of vulnerable and striving girls, increasing access to inclusive STEM education to meet 21st century workforce demands and reducing opportunity gaps that affect women broadly in science, technology, engineering and math education and fields, sustaining reduced rates of teen pregnancy and building on success, and expand pathways to economic prosperity.“I supported the concept and agree that the “Let Girls Learn” initiative will benefit the Girls in Mount Vernon as well as other places,” states Mount Vernon Public Library Trustee President Oscar Davis.
Honorable Nichelle Johnson, Mount Vernon City Court Judge
Priscilla Echi, Philanthropist, Author “Live Classic Die Legendary”
Roberta Apuzzo, Mount Vernon City Council President
Kristal Mims, Author “Where’s the Honey?”
Nazarene Duncan, Founder MAMAiAM
Tracey Dixon, Physician Assistant
STEM Challenges: Kara Williams, Tracey Dixon