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Summer Programs: Mariposas

Provides access to information on our K-12 library summer programs.


Mariposas is a young adult program that addresses gender bias, inequality and self-esteem-building for girls.

The program is designed to strengthen a girl's sense of self and boost her ability to seek and meet challenges in he world.

What Does It Mean to be a Woman Today?

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.


The Good News:

  • According to the Pew Research Center (2010), women have surpassed men in management, professional and related occupations.
  • 37.7% of women earn more than their husbands (2009).
  • In 2009-10, women earned 57.4% of bachelor’s degrees, 62.6% of master’s degrees and 53.3% of doctoral degrees.
  • In 2011, more than 190,000 women played college sports, vs. less than 30,000 in 1972.
  • Between 1973 and 2011, women in the military rose from 2% to 14% in the enlisted ranks and from 4% to 16% among commissioned officers.
  • 101 women (a record number) are serving in the 113th Congress (2013-2014).


The Bad News:


  • A pay gap still exists. In 2010, women earned 81% of what men earned.
  • In a 2012 survey of Fortune 500 companies, women held only 16.6% of board seats, 14.3% of executive offices, ranked only 8.1% as the top earners and served as CEO’s in only 3.8% of the cases.
  • Studies show a bias towards men when selecting candidates for managerial positions.
  • Stereotypes of men as better leaders persist so that women have to work harder to prove leadership ability.
  • Children are taught that femininity is worth less than masculinity, so by 12th grade, girls are less happy than boys even though they were equally happy as little kids.
  • Women may develop what Marina Horner, a former Harvard University psychologist calls “the motive to avoid success,” because they believe that “masculine qualities,” (those valued in leadership) conflict with femininity.
  • Although women have made tremendous gains, a 2006 survey reports that they have become less happy over time.

How do you define yourself?

Camp Itinerary

Day One: June 6, 2018

  • What is gender inequality?
  • What is your self-image and where did it come from?
    • The Image Myth created and reinforced by society
  • What is beauty and who decides?
    • What makes you who you are?

Day Two: June 13, 2018

  • Negative messages and thought patterns
  • Finding your authentic self
  • Friendships
  • Creating a support network
  • Managing emotions

Day Three: June 20, 2018

Lesson Resources

Ideas or this program came from:

Evans, Nancy. “Strong Girls School.” Programming Librarian, A Website of the American Library Association Public Programs Office, 28 Mar. 2017,