Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Power UP! for Girls Interested in Construction Careers

Power UP! It's a Mother-Daughter Thing!
     Oh my goodness! When GranFran and I arrived at the Alabama Workforce Training Center in Birmingham on Tuesday evening, we weren't exactly sure what we would find. After all, the Power UP: It's a Mother Daughter Thing event we were attending was the first of its kind for central Alabama.
Note the hands-on bricklaying
being prepared for the girls
in the 
background -
they loved it!
     But what we found was teams of moms and middle-school/high-school daughters from three counties -- LOTS of them! -- pumped about exploring careers in construction.
A special treat for the girls
was hearing from
 Kayleen McCabe,
host of the popular
"Rescue Renovation"
show on the
DIY Network.
(Note her "Rosie"
lunchbox/purse - how
fun is that!)
Fox 6 anchors Ronda Robinson
and Janice Rogers were
on hand to cheer on
the girls!
    And when I say exploring, I mean having hands-on experiences with bricklaying, virtual welding, driving nails, and more. I mean hearing from and talking with successful executive women in construction from around the country who flew in to share their expertise. I mean interacting with 20 contractors about possibilities, as well as representatives from construction-related businesses and organizations. I mean chatting with reps from several universities about training in construction careers.
     All in a girly-girl atmosphere, complete with hot pink, lime green,and purple balloons, not to mention the pink swirly-top raspberry-filled cupcakes. It was awesome!
     Click here to see CBS Channel 42's coverage of the event.
Girls got to meet successful women in 
construction, like Lucy Thompson Marsh 
from Thompson Tractor and Caterpillar.
     GranFran had a table in the hands-on room, where she explained informally the historical Rosie the Riveter perspective, and encouraged the girls and moms to look for a WW II Rosie in their family tree and (of course!) join the American Rosie the Riveter Assocation. Over and often, we find how women's construction groups have embraced the Rosie legacy, since Rosies opened the door for women to fill roles in the work force that were traditionally filled by men. And judging by the number of girls and moms --  and men! -- who lined up to have their picture made with GranFran, the new generation is catching the point of Rosie's part in the process.
    The event was organized by Mittie Cannon of Robins & Morton construction and engineering company, Antiqua Cleggett of the Central Six Development Council, and the folks at Girl's Inc. of Central Albama.
     GREAT JOB!!! to all who put together this extraordinary event. Thanks for letting us be a part of it!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Rock On, Birmingham Rosies!

      Our Birmingham Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association had a great time (as always!) this past Saturday when we met at the historic Irondale Cafe for our quarterly meeting. The gentleman speaking in this picture is Mark Akerman, Director of Education for Vulcan Park and Museum. If you've ever driven through Birmingham, you have probably seen the colossal Vulcan statue high atop Red Mountain, and Mark knew all the great history and fun tidbits to share with us -- we love all kinds of history!
Some of our Birmingham Rosies
    Our Birmngham Chapter has such a great group of Rosies, Rosebuds (female descendants), and Rivets (male descendants) -- they regularly collect toiletry items for Three Hots and a Cot, a local shelter for homeless veterans, and they are preparing to gather and share with visitors on May 21 when the Southern Museum of Flight hosts the "Fifi," the last B-29 airplane still flying, and several other vintage aircraft from the Air Power History Tour.
     And we are gearing up to welcome to the Southeast Rosies from across the country, along with their family members and guests, when the American Rosie the Riveter Association has their national convention in Atlanta, June 10-12, 2016.
     And by the way, you are welcome to join us at any of these gatherings! See convention registration information on the ARRA website here, and join us for our next Birmingham Chapter meeting at Irondale Cafe on June 4, 2016!
     Rock on, Rosies!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reading Across America with Dr. Seuss!

     Would you like to read a book?
     Would you help kids take a look?  

     Would you like to read at school?
     Would you think that it is cool?

    Apologies to Dr. Seuss, who was the celebrity of the day on his birthday, March 2, but we had a great time on  Read Across America Day! GranFran celebrated by reading Green Eggs and Ham to Mrs. Bethnee Durham's first grade class at Gardendale Elementary - how much fun was THAT! It was especially fun because GranFran's great-grandson, Parker (who is also my grandson, I must say, BTW!) is in the class. And what a great group of listeners they all were!  ( Click here to find a lot more Dr. Seuss fun at Seussville.)
     GranFran also read her Manners For Me book, which she wrote it in 1957 while teaching a Child Development class at Samford University. One of her students, Marie Smith Hogg, illustrated it, then it sat in a drawer for 55 years until it was published in 2013. But the retro feel still connected with Mrs. Durham's class!
     Thanks for a great day, you guys!