Let Girls Learn in Queens, New York

As Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood at the podium addressing negative behavior towards females in Washington, DC, Cynthia mingled with five impressionable toddlers from Queens, New York. A private Let Girls Learn session was requested by a group of mothers. Covid-19 interrupted school and the ability to attend summer camp. The world was already dealing with a learning crisis, as evidenced by high numbers. Interrupting a possible learning crisis is the goal for the mothers in Queens, New York. These mothers from Queens agree that learning can never be interrupted.

Educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities. However, 98 million girls worldwide are not in school, and barriers to girls’ education continue to persist. We understand that all girls should have the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to break the cycle of poverty, raise healthier families, and help build their communities.

Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc. “Tha 💛 B.U.M.P”, hosted a private “Let Girls Learn Day” in the comforts of a home. Founder Cynthia Turnquest-Jones understands that at this age, children believes that everything revolves around them. They are the center of their world. Their world is full of magic. Their imagination is working all the time. They are also learning to be a good companions to other children their age. The Let Girls Learn playgroup provides a great opportunity for these girls to learn appropriate developmental skills: communication, social, vocabulary, and fine motor skills were intertwined in the play date.

Our playgroup kicked off with handkerchiefs being discussed and used as mask while practicing safety while outdoors. They created a unicorn using a toilet paper roll, followed by experiencing what happens when you combine oil, water, drops of food coloring and alka-seltzer together. Watermelon was interjected into their discussion.

Their day ended by recreating a volcanic eruption by using mentos and cola sodas. The girls were thrilled with yelling and screaming by the reaction and wanted to encounter the mini-explosions again.

Cynthia, spoke to the girls about the negative reviews connected with watermelon and Black people. The girls were encouraged to ignore the ignorance built around Black people and watermelon. It was emphasized that eating watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is soaked with nutrients. Everyone sitting at the table polished off delicious slices of watermelon while discussing the cover of “Annie Goes…Camping” by Annie Turnquest. The Girls received a test copy of the book and gave feed back on the cover. They voted on the cover with the character in full body.

The mothers understand that technology is one of the most critical tools to support remote learning however, hands-on learning is the process of learning by actually doing and experiencing something. They are continuing with infusing their girls with educational play dates which they believe to be the most important way of learning new skills.

Contact Cynthia Turnquest-Jones, founder of Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc. “Tha 💛 B.U.M.P”, for S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) experiences at 240.605.2477 or abrownmother@yahoo.com

Annie is the character featured in “Annie Goes Camping” by Annie Turnquest. The girls shared that they love Annie. This character was illustrated by Kobe Jones and created by Annie Turnquest. When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part. Annie is a mirrored character.

With Love, Cynthia Thank You #stayinside #letgirlslearn #coronavirus #annieturnquest #anniegoes #handsonlearning #healthylivesmatter #mirrorsandslidingglassdoors #shortstory

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