Worried about what they feel is a shortage of good reading material and television programs for elementary-age and adolescent girls, some budding writers, editors, and illustrators from Duluth, Minn., have taken matters into their own hands.
Twice a month, 24 girls between the ages of 8 and 14 gather at the home of Nancy Gruver and Joe Kelly to produce New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams.
Since the magazine was launched last fall with support from Ms. Gruver and Mr. Kelly--the parents of 13-year-old twin girls--it has built a circulation of about 20,000 in the United States, Canada, and 25 other countries.
The 48-page magazine is filled with artwork, stories by young women from around the world, and columns such as "She Did It,'' which details notable accomplishments of girls.
Mr. Kelly and Ms. Gruver now manage the business full time, but all
editorial decisions are made by the magazine's young board, Mr. Kelly
"We're creating an environment where the girls can use their power to a constructive end,'' he said. "We figured if there weren't tools out there, we were going to make one.''
The editors also publish a journal for the parents of girls. The publications are available by subscription and in about 2,000 bookstores nationwide. For more information, contact New Moon, P.O. Box 3587, Duluth, Minn. 55803; (218) 728-5507.
Meanwhile, a group of students in San Leandro, Calif., is trying to raise awareness of young women's concerns by organizing annual summits for teenage girls in the area.
The group, called Females Unifying Teens Undertaking Responsible Education, or FUTURE, last month held its second annual gathering, where participants discussed health-care issues such as teen pregnancy.
About 125 state officials, legislators, city leaders, and girls between the ages of 15 and 18 from the San Francisco-Oakland area attended the summit, said Joanne Lothrop, the teenage-programs coordinator for Girls Inc., the nonprofit group that sponsors FUTURE.
She said FUTURE's members had attended other seminars or meetings for young women, but felt that adults always controlled the agenda.
The group's 17 student leaders poll young women to determine what
will be discussed at the forums, which are designed "to educate younger
girls about issues'' they may face as teens, Ms. Lothrop said.