Over the last year, our own Contributing Writer Tia Shah, has been writing an amazing column about trailblazing girls throughout history. This new Incredible Girls column is in that vein, only this column is about contemporary girls under the age of 25 who are doing awe-inspiring and significant things in the world. Every Friday in 2019, we are going to post a column detailing the life of an Incredible Girl and why you should know about her. Read on for a glimpse into the life of newly-published author, Alice Tapper.
11-year-old Alice Paul Tapper, daughter of broadcast journalist, Jake Tapper, just wrote a picture book all about the importance of girls raising their hands in the classroom. When she was 10, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times where she talked about a recent school trip and she noticed that all the boys were speaking up in class and the girls were quieter. Alice decided to take the experience to her Girl Scout troop, and together they created a “Raise Your Hand” patch. Girl Scouts can get a patch by promising to raise their hands in class and get other girls in their class to do the same. The patch has been available nationwide since October 2017.
Inspired by the op-ed, Alice’s picture book, Raise Your Hand, came out on March 26, 2019, and encourages girls to be more confident in class. All of the proceeds of the books are being donated to the Girl Scouts, as per the Hill, and Oprah also made a matching donation to the Girl Scouts.
In her op-ed, Alice explained that she was on the field trip and noticed that most of the girls “politely stayed in the back and were quiet” while all of the boys stood in the front and participated. On the car ride home, Alice talked about the trip with her mom and they decided to take her experience to her Girl Scout troop and talk about it amongst the troop. All of the girls in her troop had noticed the same issues in their classrooms, and they decided to create a patch to get girls to speak up. The message of the patch is that girls should have confidence, step up and become leaders by raising their hands. Like with every patch in Girl Scouts, girls need to earn the patch. To earn it, scouts need to pledge to raise her hand in class and recruit three other girls who will do the same.
In her op-ed, Alice said: “People say girls have to be 90 percent confident before we raise our hands, but boys just raise their hands. I tell girls that we should take the risk and try anyway, just like the boys do. If the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like answering a trivia question to win a million dollars on live TV.”
Alice’s determination and confidence are inspiring, and make me really hopeful for the next generation of girls to channel their inner Hermione Grangers and be fearless in the classroom.
Girl Museum Inc.