The CAG Update

CAG Update: April 2022

The Center for the Advancement of Girls (CAG) is pleased to announce that Julie Lythcott-Haims’ visit has been rescheduled to Thursday April 28th. Lythcott Haimes will lead an all-staff professional development session in the afternoon for AIS employees and follow up with a presentation for families at 6:30 p.m. in the West Wike Theater. Please be sure to register – we look forward to welcoming you to campus!

Every Girl, Every Day: CAG Programming

Special Studies Programs (SSP)

CAG was thrilled to design, plan, and teach two of this year’s many SSPs. 

Zero Waste

Eighteen students examined the principles of zero waste which promotes reuse, repurposing, and the conservation of resources

Eighteen students examined the principles of zero waste which promotes reuse, repurposing, and the conservation of resources in order to protect land and water and eliminate disposal into landfills. A wide variety of community leaders visited over three days to talk to students about waste reduction, including:  

  • Kimberley Bezak and Eleisha Eagle from Mainline SHIFT, a local organization that provides actionable steps toward reducing waste, as well as an updated calendar of local recycling events such as outdoor space clean up days, a car seat trade in, and bag recycling opportunities. 

  • Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz, an urban developer, known for the adaptive re-use of an old, abandoned, factory located in Phoenixville into Franklin Commons, a vibrant educational and mixed-use complex.

  • Peggy Zwerver, owner of Earth Bread and Brew, a restaurant in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia that embraces the tenets of sustainability, composts its organics, recycles, and buys local provisions when possible.

  • Bradley Flamm, Director of  West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability, who works with students, faculty, staff, and community partners active in WCU’s Sustainability Council in order to promote local, regional, and global sustainability.

  • Chrise de Tournay Birkhahn of the Zero Waste Commission, an independent zero waste specialist, educator, advocate and current Chair of the City of Berkeley Zero Waste Commission.

  • Steve Beebee, owner of Community EcoStore, an all-volunteer boutique for eco-friendly lifestyles in Phoenixville. 

  • Tracy Viola P ’26 ’30, a passionate, environmental advocate. 

“Using lessons taught during the speaker series, students worked in pairs to develop plans to reduce AIS community waste, including on-campus composting, reduction in light use, reuse of water bottles, and changes to cafeteria packaging,” said Vanessa Pope, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Experiential Learning, who taught the SSP. 

Being a Girl Around the World

What does it mean to be a girl around the world? Girls and women face a unique set of issues in the global landscape,

What does it mean to be a girl around the world? Girls and women face a unique set of issues in the global landscape, including access to education, equal employment opportunities, reproductive rights and healthcare, and gender-based violence. Eighteen Upper Schoolers heard from various speakers and engaged in activities that highlighted real life experiences of girls around the world.

  • In a virtual exchange with female students from Robert College, an independent high school in Istanbul, Turkey that is the oldest continuously operating American school outside the United States, the students talked about the challenges they face as girls growing up in their respective countries, shared their hopes and goals for the future, and what they like most about being a girl. This connection was made possible because of an existing partnership between CAG and the Head of Educational Research at Robert College.

  • West Chester University Assistant Professor of English, Emily Aguillo-Perez, visited to discuss her work in the areas of children’s literature, girlhood studies, and children’s cultures, particularly Latinx. 

  • Student activist Emily Aikens, a senior at Wyoming Seminary Upper School, a boarding school in Kingston, PA, spoke about her commitment to getting menstrual products in school bathrooms through advocacy and public policy.

  • The students also took a mini-field trip to Villanova University for a lecture from youth activism expert Dr. Jerusha Conner, who highlighted the ways in which student activism has taken shape and evolved since 2015 including major issues and how students identify as activists. 

Led by Ali Monzo, Director of Programs for CAG and English Department Chair, Lydia Traill, the students in the SSP used the Smithsonian Girlhood (It's complicated) exhibit as inspiration when they worked in teams to build their own ‘girlhood exhibits’ featuring artifacts that represented key learnings from the week.

  1. CAG in the Community 

Lisa Schreiber P ’27 helped Upper School students organize an upcoming fundraiser for refugees of the Ukraine-Russia War

Lisa Schreiber P ’27 helped Upper School students organize an upcoming fundraiser for refugees of the Ukraine-Russia War. From April 19 - 20, students in all divisions will sell sunflower seeds, the national flower of Ukraine, to raise funds that will go directly to organizations assisting refugees, such as the International Rescue Committee. Seed packets are available for sliding scale prices and all proceeds will be donated. Cash and Venmo will be accepted. 

CAG is grateful to the parent community for sharing your ideas with us to further the work of providing service-, experiential-,and project-based learning to students. If you have an idea that you would like to see brought to life for the AIS community, please contact us. 

  1. Families in Partnership: Resources to Support Your Daughter

Feedback: Keep in Mind for All Newsletters

  • Zoom into the experience, division, or a theme

  • Give detail (see, look like, feel like, what are the girls doing, what are we doing)

  • Showcase essential/impactful things 

  • Showing and thinking about all girls and identities

  • Consider bulleted list of other things