A unique program in Oregon is inspiring curiosity and confidence in young girls through teaching the basics of construction. Girls Build, a week-long program for girls 8-14, teaches carpentry, plumbing, electrical, concrete and sheet metal work and more. The program is comprised of small-scale independent work—building sheet metal lamp bases, for instance—and large group projects where kids can work collaboratively in crews of 10. Build projects include sandboxes and playhouses that are donated to local domestic violence shelters.
The program was founded and developed by carpenter, Katie Hughes, who also serves as the program’s executive director. Her unofficial mission is to “teach girls to be fearless”. While the camp is focused on the practical nature of building, the lessons learned are intended to fuel the development of those who attend. Of the experiences she provides, Hughes who was quoted in a profile in local news organization KATU states, “It’s so important, because that little girl, when she goes back to school in September, she’s going to be more confident, she’s going to raise her hand a little more, she’s going to try new things a little more. It’s going to change the direction of her life, we hope.”
The program hosts up to 40 girls each week. Enrollment for 2019 opens February 12th. Scholarships are awarded to nearly 1/3 of attendees to ensure equal opportunity for all children.
For more information visit http://www.girlsbuild.org/
An Interview With Apprentice, Elly Hart
Video: Why I Buid, Jane DeWitt