Foreign language teachers have noticed a trend in which girls (as compared to their male counterparts) tend to display less confidence and participation in the classroom. In addition to teachers’ observations, student confidence surveys administered at the beginning of the 2017 - 2018 school year also displayed a discrepancy between confidence levels in girls and boys. The community agrees that action must be taken to guarantee both girls - and boys - are provided the resources and opportunities to receive a quality education. Members of the project team (consisting of all 4 of the foreign language teachers, school administration, Peace Core Volunteer partners, and the Peace Corps Volunteer) have identified (1) the inclusion of supplemental materials during lessons that present strong and important female roles and gender equitable practices (2) the addition of presentation skills to the student curriculum (3) the implementation of a teacher training seminar that explains the importance of and ways to implement gender equitable practices in the classroom and (4) the creation of an after school women in culture exploration club that highlights remarkable female role models from Moldova and countries around the world as ways to develop girls confidence and participation.
Foreign language classrooms are currently furnished with highly constrained resources, limited to heavily worn chalkboards and often dated textbooks (which frequently display outdated and non-progressive gender norms). Community members believe that through the installation of laptop computers with mounted projectors, speakers, and printers in three foreign language classrooms - we will be able to incorporate the supplemental resources, presentation skills, equitable teaching practices, and after school activities necessary to develop confident and active young women. Our school is committed to providing girls with an education that prepares them to be successful women who are confident in pursuing their dreams, regardless of what gender tends to be stereotyped with that dream. The award of grant funds will allow us to take action to educate confident and successful women.
The community, more specifically the teachers and the administration are the driving force behind this project. They have expressed the need to further develop girls’ confidence and participation in the classroom. They initiated the project by creating a project team, which has scheduled meetings and led discussions on the necessary activities and steps to successfully draft and complete this project.
At these meetings project team members discussed why it is necessary to develop girls’ confidence and participation in the classroom, and how the installation of technology in foreign language classrooms will provide the necessary resources to do so. Project team members determined that the implementation of this project will facilitate: the incorporation of supplemental teaching resources to create a more gender equitable curriculum, the development of presentation skills, the use of gender equitable teaching practices, and the creation of an after school cultural club that highlights strong female figures and develops presentation skills. The grant application has been drafted with input and coordination from members of the project team.
Community-initiated fundraising efforts have successfully raised 25% of the project budget. Approximately 14% of these funds were raised through student, teacher, and PCV initiated fundraising projects such as penny wars and tickets for school dances and movie nights. Another 4% is represented by community commitments to in-kind contributions, primarily involving labor. The last 7% has been fulfilled through a cash contribution from the Mayor’s Office.
This project has been planned and drafted to ensure it will provide the skills and resources necessary to educate and empower girls to become confident and successful young women long after the purchases made through the grant have been made and the Peace Corps Volunteer has finished their service.
Foreign language teachers have committed to continue using the resources provided in the grant to promote and utilize gender equitable practices in the classroom after the PCV has completed their service. The PCV’s partner has also committed to maintaining the women in culture exploration club after the PCV has finished service. The training seminar will educate teachers on how to maintain, update, and care for the technological resources and the teachers are committed to doing so. The liceu’s annual budget will also be updated to account for ongoing material costs for items such as paper and ink for the new printers. Foreign language teachers are committed and invested in using these resources in the long-term to provide girls with empowering materials they would otherwise not be exposed to.