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International Day of the Girl Comes to Santa Clarita

Posted: October 11, 2013 6:06 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2013 6:06 p.m.

Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, left, presents an International Day of the Girl proclamation to the "Huckleberry Girls," left to right, Kaela Dennert, Azarea Ma'at-Ra, Amanda Surette and Bel'en Rivas. Signal photo by Dan Watson

Friday was officially the first International Day of the Girl in Santa Clarita, thanks to the political activism of some home-schooled SCV teens and preteens.

It all started when 12-year-old Belén Rivas told her mom that she was tired of learning about history through the eyes of boys, her mother said.

So Lori Rivas put together a “Learning About the Ladies” American women’s history course, which she is teaching this semester at the Huckleberry Learning Center, a Newhall location where home-schooled students can meet together for special studies.

Lori Rivas wanted her daughter “to learn not only about great women in history, but also to meet strong women, and to find their place in this world.”

The girls in her “Learning About the Ladies” course have dubbed themselves the “Huckleberry Girls,” and when they learned about International Day of the Girl, they lobbied the city to acknowledge it with a proclamation.

A worldwide student-led organization established International Day of the Girl a year ago as a way to acknowledge continuing gender discrimination in the world. Friday was the second observation and the first time the day was acknowledged in the United States.

The Huckleberry Girls’ efforts culminated Thursday, when Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar stopped by their classroom to present Kaela Dennert, 11, Azarea Ma’at-Ra, 13, Belén Rivas, 12, and Amanda Surette, 13, with a proclamation from the city recognizing Oct. 11 as International Day of the Girl in Santa Clarita.

President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation Thursday announcing the observance of International Day of the Girl nationwide on Oct. 11.

"I’m very proud of the girls for the effort they put in,” Lori Rivas said, adding that it was good lesson for the Huckleberry Girls “knowing that even as children they can make a change.”




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