Women In History

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Women In History News & Updates


Kathy Van Slyke
Primary chair and script co-coordinator
Ann Kahng

If you are interested in portraying one of these women or just wish more information about the program, please click here and leave your name and message or if you are a parent of students in one of the schools, please contact the Women’s History Representative at your school. Presenters from AAUW, parents, and community members are all welcome.


This wonderful program originates from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). We assist units in coordinating with the AAUW.

Women in History program dramatizes remarkable women—from Queen Elizabeth to Sally Ride—for our elementary and middle school students. We coordinate the costumes. We write the scripts. We are the women!

General Policies

Policy on Ethnicity of Portrayers

Suggestions for Recruiting

Timeline for School Reps

  1. A list of the women to be offered in March will be presented to the schools no later than the end of the first week of school by the AAUW co-chairs. AAUW will provide biographies for prospective performers and an abbreviated biography for the principal. Additional material that will be provided is a flier for publicity, a suggested newsletter item and volunteer and supplemental forms and this policy statement.  This information will be given to the PTA/PFO women’s history rep.  When possible AAUW will also send by e-mail the biographies to the previous year’s performers.
  1. AAUW Women’s History program is a program for adult volunteers. The scripts used in the March program are interactive and many involve activities and extensive props and therefore are suitable only for adult performers
  1. Schools will provide to AAUW a parent rep and if possible a teacher rep. The parent and teacher rep will decide how responsibilities are divided. Normally the parent rep does the recruiting, the communication with the volunteers, and some simple hospitality for the volunteers during the program in March.  The teacher rep is usually an advisor as to which of the selected women should be done in the school an advisor for scheduling.  Teachers are frequently helpful to the parent rep in suggesting potential performers.
  1. AAUW recommends that recruiting be done starting at Back to School Night and be completed by Thanksgiving. It is strongly suggested that the parent rep herself fill out the forms.  Availabilities can be gathered just before the deadline.  If availabilities have been obtained earlier it is recommended that the parent rep call each volunteer and verify the availability.  Generally there will be a display board that can be borrowed on a first come first serve basis for Back to School Night.  AAUW will also try to make available pictures of the women to be sent by e-mail if a school is interested in having them.
  1. Complete performer volunteer forms and the supplemental form must be turned in on time. Due date is Dec. 1. If forms are not received by Dec. 1, a notice will be sent to the principal and the teacher rep saying that they have not been received and the school will likely be dropped if the forms are not received by Dec. 13.  Exceptions to this policy will be only made in extraordinary circumstances.  If a school has to be dropped AAUW will attempt to provide one woman so at least the school will have some type of program.  If AAUW discovers that a large number of the forms are incomplete, they will be returned to the school rep and the principal and teacher rep will be notified so they can assist if necessary.
  1. Schools will be basically scheduled in the order they were received with all schools scheduled at the same time.
  1. AAUW will present tentative schedules to the schools for their approval. These schedules will be sent to both the PTA/PFO rep and the teacher rep. The PTA/PFO rep will let AAUW know when she has checked them and inform AAUW of any problems.
  1. 8. AAUW will send scripts by e-mail to all performers and to parent reps. Teacher reps do not get scripts. Parent reps will verify that all performers have scripts and notify AAUW when this has been done.  This is a way of checking e-mails.
  1. One or more training sessions will occur approximately 1 month before the program. If possible a make-up session for the viewing of props will be held for those unable to come to the training session.
  1. Pilots – From time to time a pilot script will be offered. Sometimes they will be generally advertised – other times it will just be in a given school with the approval of the principal. In general for AAUW to pilot a script, the script must be in good form by August 15.
  1. Evaluation Form – generally an evaluation form will be sent to the parent rep to be distributed in a manner acceptable to the principal. AAUW will be glad to pick these up at the schools.
  1. Giving Scripts to Other Groups: Scripts have been written mainly for the Camarillo AAUW Women’s History program and are given to other groups only with the approval of the AAUW board. Adult scripts are not given at any time to any group to be modified for student use as they are not suitable.
  1. One of the Camarillo AAUW’s women’s history program goals is to promote the accomplishments of various ethnic groups through first person portrayals.
  1. We realize that some schools have a larger number of potential volunteers for minority roles than other schools. When practical, we will present a choice of women around a central theme (for example athletes, astronauts).  For these, we will try to provide parallel scripts so that the students will gain about the same material no matter which woman or women are portrayed.  When a choice of women is offered, we expect that the schools will choose to present the woman or women for whom they have appropriate volunteer(s).
  1. There are some women whose accomplishments are so unique that we cannot effectively offer a choice. One example is Harriet Tubman.  In such cases, the AAUW women’s history committee reserves the right to require that the presenter be of an appropriate ethnic group.  In placing any restrictions, the committee will consider how culturally sensitive the script is and how the ethnic group feels about others presenting their role models.  If we do place a restriction, we will if we have requests from the schools support the woman for more than one year. .  At the request of the school, we will make every effort to recruit a suitable performer from another school or from the community.  For example, Harriet Tubman was offered for 3 years until we reached all schools who desired to have her portrayed.
  1. We feel that the few times where we would execute these restrictions will not adversely affect the education of Camarillo Teachers have students write reports, do portrayals of famous women, read books, and in many other ways teach students about diverse groups of people.  Camarillo AAUW women’s history program is only one small part of the education process.  We feel that since these are adult first person portrayals, we want to concentrate on those things that we can do well.
  1. Camarillo AAUW has no restrictions on minorities portraying non-minority women. In fact we welcome minority presenters.
  1. Plan how you are going to use the flier, biographies, etc.
  1. Figure how to use Back to School Night. Some things people have found successful
  • Consider borrowing the AAUW board.  One school that used this successfully said for this to be successful one person was there all evening and nabbed new people—would have to have parents that only have one kid in the school and both father and mother attending so one can go to the classroom—this was successful—if this is done have the volunteer form right there to at least get name and phone number – can follow up later
  • Several schools have teachers mention it at back to school night and some schools have papers in classrooms for sign-ups  This might be a use for the flier with a sign-up sheet
  1. Another technique that was helpful is going to K-2 and asking teachers to suggest parents—sometimes teachers can talk to parents and get the phone number – then the rep can call—if you get parents of young children, you will have them for a number of years if they have a good time.
  1. AAUW will be willing to go to one of the first PTA meetings if it would be helpful.
  1. While it will not help for this next year, some schools have found it helpful to invite parents of K or 1 to attend a presentation. When they see it they may want to volunteer for the next year. A good thing to remind prospective volunteers is that preparation can be done on volunteers own time and time commitment cam be a morning
First week of school Make sure that you have biographies and other forms – if you wish to use the board from AAUW request it – if you wish to have pictures of the women being portrayed request them
Back to School Night Begin recruiting applying some of the techniques that may be helpful to your school
Sept. Place information either in principal’s newsletter or school newsletter as appropriate in your school
Sept and Oct. Contact prospective volunteers and fill out forms – We suggest that you don’t give forms to presenters – do yourself – they just don’t come back when given to performers – do not have to get availability then but do fill out all the rest of it – make sure you use the year’s form.
Thanksgiving Recruiting complete
Until Dec 1 Verify or get availability—if specific problems communicate with AAUW (for example a flight attendant who does not have a set schedule)
Dec. 1 (or designated date) Performer Forms and supplementary form due–submit either electronically — each form should be a separate attachment–forms should either be computer generated or in ink so can be scanned—or by paper in an envelope
Jan In a welcoming call Rep checks with volunteers to be sure they have scripts—if someone does not have one the rep sends it if we have sent out scripts to reps and notifies AAUW—if all have scripts then the rep also notifies AAUW—particularly important is  welcoming  those who are not parents
Jan Rep checks the preliminary schedule that was sent out and notifies AAUW if it is all right or if there are problems
Jan After training dates set the rep encourages performers to go and also encourages them to ask for costume help if they need it
Two weeks before program or as school decides Work with Teacher rep to get schedules filled—when program is set, contact volunteers telling them when their first performance is going to be, when they will be finished, and if they are going to be there all day indicate that they will be suggesting a place for them to have lunch at school  (possibly telling them there will be a refrigerator for them to leave their lunch in if that is the case).  If you are one of the schools that provides lunch (and this is not expected) please let them know that so they will not end up with 2 lunches.  For volunteers not from your school, please make sure that they know where the office is  (that has caused problems)
During program Make sure volunteers have what they need—map of school, location of restroom, schedule, knowledge of where they are supposed to take their breaks etc.  – have some type of simple hospitality—can be as simple as a bottle of water and a thank you note.  Some schools have chosen to have a class write thank you notes to performers and that is much appreciated.  If possible have someone to greet the volunteers (particularly if they are not from your school)
After program See that teachers get evaluation forms in method approved by principal and determine with principal the method of collection–encourage volunteers to send in their thoughts for next year
Spring Hopefully most reps will be the same but if you are not going to return please help to find your successor