Famous women visit Miller-Driscoll for International Women's Day.
International Women’s Day was celebrated in style at Miller-Driscoll school with around 40 women dressing up as famous figures from past and present. Participation came not only from parents, but also from the Wilton Library Children’s librarian Lesley Keough reprising her role once more as the 'Unsinkable’ Molly Brown in what she calculates is her seventeenth year on the job.
The program runs during National Women’s History Month in March of each year and is organized and supported by the Miller-Driscoll PTA.
Some figures are famous household names – Sally Ride, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some figures do not enjoy the recognition that their accomplishments deserve.
Amanda Mitchell, co-chair says that after several years of being Eleanor Roosevelt, she wanted to be someone the kids didn’t know. Speaking passionately about her part in the day she said ‘The suffrage era has always intrigued me, so I dug a little deeper and found Alice Paul. I was amazed that I had never heard of her. She was college educated and came from a very progressive Quaker family, she was part of the "night of terror." In 1917. An event when a group of women were arrested for campaigning in front the White House. While spending many months in jail they were treated very badly, went on hunger strike, were force fed and then sent to an insane asylum. When she was released, she did it all over again.
Another volunteer was Artie Rokkham, who spent the morning as Noor Inayat Khan. A Special Operations agent/spy who fought for the British Army in WW2. She was the first female wireless operator sent into occupied France in 1943. Rokkham said of her experience “It’s so fun to learn of these women whose stories of bravery and sacrifice are lost in the annals of time, Noor Inayat Khan voluntarily signed up to be deployed to a war zone and died at the young age of 30, having been a POW and not giving up any military secrets, despite tough interrogations.”
The Children thoroughly enjoy and get caught up in their living museum experience One second grader today called out ‘Be safe out there!" to Florence Nightingale when she bid her farewell and announced she was heading back to the battlefield to care for wounded soldiers. Another first grader offered sympathy to Alice Paul - "I'm sorry you went to jail so that we could vote for President!"
The event was made possible by the dedication and hard work of the co-chairs – Amanda Mitchell, Nicole Walberg, Mandy Dugan, and Marie Demasi. And the 40 volunteers who gave their morning to bring history to life for the students at Miller-Driscoll.