Project spotlights Missouri women

Tuesday, September 16, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:40 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

A pilot literacy project sponsored by the Columbia branch of the American Association of University Women will be unveiled tonight at Field Elementary School.

The new curriculum, spotlighting the lives of 10 Missouri women, is being prepared by freelance author Carlynn Trout of Columbia.

Grace Butler, co-chairwoman of programs for the Columbia American Association of University Women, or AAUW, said the program is based on two books published by the AAUW — “Show Me Missouri Women: Selected Biographies,” volumes one and two, published in 1989 and 1991.

Trout, who has written textbooks, will team up with Mary Dahm, a Columbia production artist and graphic designer, to develop the project. It will be used beginning next semester.

What to expect

At tonight’s meeting, Phyllis Chase, superintendent of the Columbia School District, and Jolene Schulz, director of Columbia’s Partners in Education, will sign the agreement between the AAUW and Field Principal Ed Schumacher.

The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the importance of women in Missouri history. The pilot program looks at women who lived from 1770 to now — including Luella Agnes Owen, a famous spelunker who is thought to have explored more caves an any other woman in the world.

Butler said the program is a big step toward getting more women recognized in history books.

“This program is absolutely essential for elementary education. There is an interest from the students because most of these women have not been talked about in their textbooks,” Butler said. “Our goal is for this program to catch on, and for there to be similar programs in schools all across the state.”

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Field Elementary School, 1010 Range Line.

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