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Women’s History Month Call to Action for iLEAD Antelope Valley 5th-6th Graders

three women diversity

Today is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It has also come to represent an international call to action to accelerate gender parity and women’s equality.

At iLEAD Antelope Valley Hybrid, Dr. Shayna Markwongark’s 5th and 6th graders are heeding that call to action. According to Markwongark, learners are currently embarking on a women’s history project. They have to first identify a key woman in history, learn her story and then connect that story to their own lives and community. Their driving question is “How can we use the activism of women throughout history to influence or change our community today?”

“This is all about research and then activism,” Markwongark said. “Its purpose is to connect this information to their world and their futures.”

The project has two key components once teams of learners have identified their famous woman, done the research and learned the key aspects of her story. First, said Markwongark, students will work in teams to produce a three-to-five-minute podcast that tells both the women’s story and then showcases how it can connect to the learners’ school lives and communities.

The second major public product, according to Markwongark, will be a series of written proposals that the teams prepare for iLEAD California Founder and CEO Dawn Evenson as well as iLEAD Antelope Valley Director Dawn Roberson. This proposal will represent the students’ recommendations to iLEAD about continuing to empower women and raise awareness within the iLEAD community.

This correlation of history and activism is at the heart of this project, according to Markwongark. She said learning the history and even connecting it to the learners’ lives is important, but what’s more important is how this information is used going forward.

“This is about inspiration first, then action second,” Markwongark said. “It’s great to be inspired and full of hope, but what matters is how we individually contribute to improving the world.”

For Markwongark, the goal is to empower learners to learn the stories of others and then take action. “I’m going to continually ask them what they can do going forward — this year, this summer, next year and beyond,” she said.

School Director Dawn Roberson is excited about the facilitation and learning associated with a project aligned with global goals of empowering women to advocate for their rights as human beings. Roberson appreciates the depth of this project, which allows learners to see the complex world in which they live from a more empowered position.

“Even in a nation like ours, we see the need to continue to advocate for equal pay, equal rights and equal opportunities for women and for all,” Roberson said. “These 5th and 6th graders will have a better understanding of their role supporting all the women in their lives and advocacy on behalf of others.”

As the Founder and CEO of iLEAD California, Evenson said she is eager to be part of such an important and dynamic project and can’t wait to see the learners’ proposals and presentations.

“Having our 5th and 6th grade learners participate in a project that deeply explores the impact women have had on history is academically engaging and a dynamic way to empower our learners to create change in their school, community and ultimately the world.”

Although this project is just getting underway, Markwongark has high expectations for learner outcomes. In addition to the historical knowledge and content, there is a social-emotional component, along with some very important skills that Markwongark anticipates learners will experience. One of her goals is that after reflecting on the obstacles, challenges and successes of women in history, learners will have epiphanies about what they can do with their lives.

“My learners already have great qualities, but I am going to see a lot more empowered young men and women,” Markwongark said. “It doesn’t have to be global. It can be in their own communities and even their own families. It might be even just working with their brother or sister to be more sensitive, aware or inspired.”

High-quality project-based learning make way for learners to have a voice and agency, according to Markwongark.

“Hopefully, they become the disseminators of this information about what equality looks like,” she said. “Who knows? Maybe some of these learners will come up with ideas that iLEAD decides to implement. That’s the power of PBL.”

For more details and background on this project, see The Project Design Guide and the Project Information Flipbook.

Posted on March 8, 2021 in iLEAD Digest

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Michael Niehoff

About the Author

Michael Niehoff is a teacher, leader, blogger, learner advocate, and the Education Content Coordinator at iLEAD Schools.
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Effective date: August 29, 2019

Maker Learning Network (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://ileadschools.org/ website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from the Service.

Information Collection and Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

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While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

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We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

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We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and we hold certain information.

Cookies are files with a small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Other tracking technologies are also used such as beacons, tags and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyse our Service.

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Maker Learning Network uses the collected data for various purposes:

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), Maker Learning Network legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described in this Privacy Policy depends on the Personal Data we collect and the specific context in which we collect it.

Maker Learning Network  may process your Personal Data because:

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Maker Learning Network will retain your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

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Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Maker Learning Network will take all the steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organisation or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

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If Maker Learning Network is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

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Under certain circumstances, Maker Learning Network may be required to disclose your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

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Maker Learning Network may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

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Our Policy on “Do Not Track” Signals under the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA)

We do not support Do Not Track (“DNT”). Do Not Track is a preference you can set in your web browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.

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If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. Maker Learning Network aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

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We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), provide the Service on our behalf, perform Service-related services or assist us in analysing how our Service is used.

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We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyse the use of our Service.

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Maker Learning Network uses remarketing services to advertise on third party websites to you after you visited our Service. We and our third-party vendors use cookies to inform, optimise and serve ads based on your past visits to our Service.

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Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

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Important information regarding confidential student data

There is ongoing litigation between the California Department of Education and the Concerned Parent Association. A notice issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson states, “The lawsuit accuses CDE of widespread, systemic non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.”

The court has ordered CDE to release student and parent information to provide personally identifiable information (PII) – an act that can only be taken as an exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, we are providing notice of the court order and directions to anyone wishing to object.

Please be advised that CDE will notify parents or students of whom are required to disclose information and those individuals may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure using the PDF link below:


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