Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sporty Book Review: Let Me Play, by Karen Blumenthal

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Nonfiction, history in particular, gives us a deeper understanding of the foundation upon which our experiences are built. Such is the case with Karen Blumenthal’s 2005, LET ME PLAY.

I finished this book a week ago but it has seeped so deeply into my consciousness that I continue to bring it up whenever possible. While the focus of the book is Title IX and its effects on sports programs for girls and women, it is much, much more. It is a book about how policy and politics matter to all of us.

The book, appropriate for grades five and up, begins with an easy-to-read survey of the early fight for women’s right from Seneca Falls in 1848, to Women’s Suffrage, to a quick summary of the 1930’s and 1940’s, to the effect of war on women and work. This quick historic review sets the stage for the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Blumenthal concentrates on Representative Edith Green and Representative Patsy Mink who worked tirelessly drafting, honing, and defending equal educational opportunities for women throughout their long tenures in the US Congress. The original intent of the Education Amendments of 1972 was not to equal the playing fields but the classrooms—educational programs for schools receiving federal money including admissions, scholarships, and teaching salaries. The opening of physical education and athletic programs was an unexpected bonus for all the girls and women who had been turned away from little league, track meets, swimming pools, and more.

LET ME PLAY highlights key political and sports players in sidebars called “Player Profiles.” In “Instant Replays,” we learn about key historical events. Throughout the book “Scorecards,” show statistics comparing the numbers of male and female participants in sports, admissions to undergrad, and admissions to select graduate programs. These statistics show the consistent progress of women in athletics and education. While these “Scorecards” are understated, they are inspiring and empowering to the reader.

There are many current female athletes, girls and women alike, who are ignorant about the fight that got us the freedoms we enjoy today. These athletes might not remember a world where the adults or men in women’s and girl’s lives wouldn’t let them play soccer, basketball, softball, rugby, or field hockey—a day when being feminine and fertile was more important than a woman’s talents and dreams. Those days were not so long ago, and many of the issues from the 1960’s, The Equal Pay Act, are still being challenged and fought in 2014. LET ME PLAY is the book that reminds those who may have forgotten, and teaches those who never knew, that we owe our freedoms to women and men who came before us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Researching Concussions

In between fiction projects, I recently took a nonfiction assignment. I’m writing about concussions. It’s a very timely subject, but writing for a fourth and fifth grade level is a little tricky on this serious subject.

Did you know that according to the CDC girls are most likely to get a concussion while playing soccer or while biking than any other activity? *

Boys are more likely to suffer from concussions while playing football. 

The takeaway from all the research I’ve been doing is this:

  • Ask some key questions if you suspect a concussion.
a.     Do you remember what happened?
b.     What is the date?
c.     Can you remember the last play?
  • Observe the person.
a.     Do they seem dizzy?
b.     Can they walk in a straight line?
c.     Do they appear “off” in any way?
d.     Do they complain of a headache?

If you even suspect a possible concussion—even if the person says they are okay—ask them some questions and observed their behavior. If they seem “off” in any way, make them sit out the game and get medical assistance as soon as possible. A second hit after a first concussion, can be devastating and, sometimes, deadly.

I don't have a publication date for my book, but it will likely be next fall.

I recommend Robert Cantu’s book CONCUSSIONS AND OUR KIDS: http://robertccantumd.com/concussions-and-our-kids/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Girlsports initiative from Girl Scouts (GSUSA)

I wanted to share with you today some information about an initiative from the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). In the fall of 2013, GSUSA relaunched its GirlSports initiative. Together with Nestlé USA, they are “proud to continue Girl Scouts' century-long legacy of committing to girls' leadership by actively engaging millions of girls in sports, nutrition, and healthy living.”

As a Girl Scout leader and mother of a pre-teen girl, I love that the Girl Scouts are encouraging fitness and being strong. The following is from a press release dated September 13, 2013.

"Today's youth have been raised indoors, away from the physical activity that was so common just a generation ago," said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "GirlSports is about reminding girls of the importance of staying active and staying fit, and teaching them how they can have fun in the process."

Since 1912, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts, believed that health, nutrition, and fitness were essential to the Girl Scout experience. Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, and were encouraged to prepare healthy meals. We recognize now more than ever that we need to engage girls through sports and healthy living. We know that girls who play sports earn better grades, develop more confidence, and get more involved in their communities.

The GirlSports initiative has been around for decades and utilizes the Legacy Athlete badge program to connect girls to health, leadership, learning, and teamwork through sports. Girls also earn five age-appropriate badges that teach them about fair play, practicing with a purpose, good sportsmanship, cross-training, and coaching.

In collaboration with Nestlé USA, we created the new GirlSports booklet, which illustrates and explains the existing sports programming and/or healthy-living initiatives of each council, and provides councils with a turnkey asset to engage donors and recruit girls, parents, schools, and others in the community. This new 12-page booklet also highlights our current program offerings for girls in sports through the five athletic badge offerings, the Make Your Own badge, and online activities on our website ForGirls.GirlScouts.org.

"Nestlé USA is proud to be Girl Scouts of the USA's inaugural GirlSports sponsor," says Kenneth W. Bentley, vice president of community affairs and educational programs. "At Nestlé USA, we are committed to delivering 'Good Food, Good Life' to communities nationwide. The GirlSports program is one of many ways we support this message. Our partnership will encourage girls to take a holistic approach to health by playing sports, eating healthy, and building self-esteem."
With GirlSports, Girl Scouts continues the mission of inspiring girls to achieve leadership roles in all aspects of society, helping them get there through sports and the leadership skills they learn in the process—no matter what paths they choose.

About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U (212-852-8000) or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About Nestlé USA
Named one of "The World's Most Admired Food Companies" in
Fortune magazine for sixteen consecutive years, Nestlé provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That's what "Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life" is all about. Nestlé USA, with 2012 sales of $10 billion,is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland—the world's largest food company with a commitment to nutrition, health, and wellness—with 2012 sales of $98 billion. For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or Facebook.com/NestleUSA.