Esther Wilson, age 14, 5th grade, S.E. Gibson Elementary School and I (Christina Mallie.)  I’m happy to say that Esther has hung in for the duration of the 4 month program.  It’s a challenge to keep some of the girls attending.  Their families often choose to keep them at home to do the cooking, or other jobs.  The ratio of boys to girls started out equal and now 3 groups are predominantly boys, while one group grew in number of girls.  For both boys and girls its a challenge for their families to understand the value of the program.  If they aren’t bring back food or some tangible result, the families are more likely to ask them to work instead of attend the class and this is especially the case with girls.  It shows how they are valued, and how much gender discrimination there is here. 

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