Photo by Kelly White
Evergreen Park friends Sam Giglio (left), 12, and Colleen Malloy, 12, have fun at the first-ever Wonder Woman Day at the Evergreen Park Library on Saturday afternoon.
Girls of all ages dropped by the Evergreen Park Library on Saturday in a celebration of the power of females, just in time for last week’s movie release of “Wonder Woman.”
Growing up in Evergreen Park and the youngest of four children, Grace Dwyer, 15, decided to edge into the world of sports at a very young age, a world she considers mostly male-dominated.
“I began playing softball in kindergarten,” Dwyer said. “To me, when I think of sports, I think of them as mostly aimed at boys, especially in high school, but I never let that stop me. I fell in love with sports and enjoy playing them whenever I can.”
Attending Evergreen Park High School, Dwyer currently plays volleyball and softball and is hoping to try out for the swim team next school year, if the season does not conflict with her volleyball schedule.
Young girls, like Dwyer, are also looking towards female super heroes as icons.
“It’s important for girls to be strong in many different ways -- mentally, physically and emotionally,” said Sam Giglio, 12. “The world demands a lot from us, and we need strong women to look up to.”
The Evergreen Park Public Library stressed the importance of strong females during a “Wonder Woman Day” at the library on Saturday afternoon for youth and teenage girls in the local community.
Wonder Woman is a fictional super hero that originated in American comic books. The event also marked Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary of having the first-ever solo lead in a female comic book.
The character provides inspiration for young girls to be strong, according to Mary Black, the teen assistant at the Evergreen Park Library, 9400 S. Troy Ave.
“This event is a really great way to provide a social space to talk about inspiring women,” Black said. “Wonder Woman was the first female super hero. She is not just an extra, like a Batgirl or Super Girl; she is her very own super hero.”
“I like that Wonder Woman is a female,” Dwyer said. “She is a great role model for all girls.”
“Wonder Woman provides justice for all women,” said Louise Brady, 8, of Evergreen Park.
This was the first time the library offered this particular experience that gathered 10 youth and teenage girls at no cost to them. Black was responsible for organizing the event, along with librarian Rachael Baldwin, who presented a book talk to the youngsters, highlighting books from all genres that have strong female characters.
“Books provide an opportunity for girls to discuss topics that matter to them, such as body image, gender, racism, school, careers and relationships,” Black said.
A second talk was held on the topic of girl power, addressing issues of self-confidence, independence and navigating social media safely by Sargina Jerome, who has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Loyola, led the discussion.
“Young girls need to have strong female leaders to look up to,” Jerome said. “They need to focus on the qualities within themselves that makes them unique and powerful, not something like flying or teleporting, but aspects like being creative, helpful and smart.”
Jerome had the girls create a board stating all of their own internal superpowers and present their reasons why they chose these qualities to the class.
Each of the participants received a free Wonder Woman comic book and worked on a craft, making a book tote from an old T-shirt.