Brick Mill Elementary School Library Specialist Janice Haney was one of 15 finalists for the Rodel Foundation's 2013 iEducate Delaware awards, which recognize public school educators who take risks and make innovative, positive changes.
Haney was nominated for developing WISE Women, an annual after-school night in which girls and young women get a chance to meet female leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Five nominees were chosen last to week to receive a $2,000 grant. While Haney wasn't selected, she did talk to the Transcript about the program she founded.
Q How did WISE Women come about?
A I thought about the need for such a program for several years before I pulled this together. The program is sponsored by the Appoquinimink School District librarians and the third-annual event will be held at Brick Mill Elementary on Nov. 13. We also have gotten the attention of the male students in our district, as many were interested in the highlighted careers. Last year, we also invited them to attend. We also sponsor Real Men Read every February to encourage male students to continue reading.
Q What does the program entail and what do you hope the girls and young women who attend get out of it?
A WISE Women is a program designed to encourage girls (really all students) to stick with the technical courses even when they get tough. Many female students are truly interested in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, yet their enthusiasm often declines as the classwork becomes more rigorous, and also as the students reach middle school. WISE Women provides girls with female role models from careers where these STEM core concepts are necessary.
We reach out to the community for our presenters. This year, our headliner is Elizabeth Partridge, a nonfiction author who was a finalist for the National Book award last year. We hope exposure to many different STEM careers will help students choose something they about which they are passionate.
Q What do you think about being named a finalist for an iEducate Delaware award?
A My library colleagues nominated me for this award. I am excited and grateful that they thought I was deserving of this honor. Also, I am proud to be included in the company of the other 15 statewide finalists.
Q What would you have done with the $2,000 award from the Rodel Foundation?
A The grant would go into a fund to support the continuation of the WISE Women program.