Bridey Heing
Updated July 03, 2015
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Cash Cayen, of Timmins, Ontario, spends a lot of time at the local library. It was there that she recently saw a flyer about a summer session on robotics. Being a total boss, Cash was excited to sign-up … until she was told the session was for “boys only.” But this girl wasn’t going to give up that easily. She launched a petition, and the results were staggering.

“Today I tried to register for the robotics session that our local library is offering and was refused based on the fact that I am a girl,” writes Cayen on her Change.org petition. She goes on to explain how she spoke to the Assistant Library Director about her interest, but was still turned away on the grounds that the “boys only” clause was because “boys’ academic and literacy skills don’t improve over the summer break,” according to the petition.

But the Assistant Library Director did offer one compromise: If enough girls showed interest, the library would look into letting girls sign up in the future. So Cash went to work, and soon got 3,000 people to sign her petition! Actually, she got a lot more supporters than that. To date, over 27,000 people have signed the petition. And it wasn’t just people from Timmins who took note.

Actress Andrea Libman (of My Little Pony fame!) shared her support on social media, as did women in robotics from across the country.

It didn’t take long for the Timmins Public Library to issue an apology, as HuffPo noted, clearing up the “misunderstanding” and announcing that all children between the ages of 9 and 12 are welcome.

It’s awesome that Cash didn’t let this one slide, and opened up the opportunity to all the girls of Timmins. Her petition may have been local, but she raised awareness about a much more widespread issue. Girls need access and encouragement when it comes to early education in science and engineering.

Despite women making up at least 47 percent of the workforce, they hold less than 25 percent of all STEM jobs in this country, according to the US Department of Commerce. That needs to change, and it all starts early on.

Although no one can begrudge any program designed to help kids stay on top of their studies over the summer, there’s no real rationale for not letting girls take part, as well. And we’re glad that the public library saw that. Way to go, Cash!

(Images via Change.Org, Facebook)