March is Women's History Month in the U.S. and pays tribute to women who challenged the status quo and dared to show the world that they could achieve just as much as men, if given the chance. As a parent, this is a great opportunity to educate your little ones about the difficulties women faced in years past (and today) and how they rose to overcome such limitations.
Through history lessons and special arts and crafts projects, you can help your children create Women's History Month keepsakes and gifts for women that will serve as educational reminders of the strides women have made in America and around the world. Here are some heroic Americans that your kids will love to learn about for Women's History Month.
Born in Kansas in 1897, Amelia Earhart was a major figure in the development and expansion of American aviation. Always the adventurer from an early age, Earhart saw her first airplane when she was 10 years old - shortly after the Wright Brothers' first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Over the next few years, she developed her aviation skills and built her reputation. In 1932, Earhart became the first woman and second person ever (after Charles Lindbergh) to successfully fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to Paris. However, Earhart's story is saddened by the fact that she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while attempting a flight around the world.
Rosa Parks was an immensely important figure in both women's history and the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans were required to sit in the back of public buses so that whites could sit up front in segregated Alabama during the 1950s. In response to this and other injustices against African Americans, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Parks helped spark the movement through an act of civil disobedience by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. This simple refusal became one of the most important moments in the entire Civil Rights Movement.
Sally Ride was born in 1951 and earned several degrees in physics and astrophysics, prompting her to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1978. After working for a time as part of NASA's ground crew, Ride became the first woman (and at the time, youngest American) to enter space when she joined the Space Shuttle Challenger's flight crew in 1983. Today, Ride works at Stanford University in California.