About HFFU



Darlene Norman
Franklin School
Alameda, CA

Susan Scott
Glenview Elementary Oakland, CA

Debby Stone
Kelly Elementary
Carlsbad, CA

Darlene Sweatt
Elmhurst Elementary Ventura, CA
Colleen Wahl
St. Theresa School
Oakland, CA
Craig Westfall
Rosamond Elementary Rosamond, CA
Amy Winuk
Franklin Elementary
Elk Grove, CA


What Students
have to say about
Winning A Voice

(Comments from Amy Winuk’s 5th grade class)

I think it is important because we learn about famous men. Also because women are equally hard working and are important to the species. —Alex

My favorite activity was...

Pairing up in groups and studying about different suffragist women. I like studying about Lucy Stone. Lucy became a really powerful woman, even though she had a difficult life. — Stacy

The musical play. I liked acting like a woman who changed history. I really, really loved the songs. The songs had nice music and lyrics. — Meliza

The speech to the class. I like reading to other people. It was fun. — Bryan

The Winning A Voice play. It taught me how a lot of women had many hardships...now I understand how women suffered. — Emerson

Why do you think it took so long for women to get vote?

Men thought women didn’t need the ballot...they were just there to clean, cook and cloth the body. Some men thought about equality though. — Maryssa

Because its hard to make changes...it takes a long time. — Chris

Because it was a big change...men were so used to having all that power that it was hard to change...I’m glad they finally did. — Jessica

History vs. Her story

History is about men, HerStory is about women. In HerStory we get to do fun activities. In history we have to learn about war and just read social studies books. HerStory is fun, but history is boring. — Sarah

In history only men were talked about...only one woman was in the history book we read. — Bryan

All the history books have mostly men in them...they don’t tell you about all the women who have changed the laws or done something really important for the world and society...women should be included in history books more often. It is wrong to have only men in history books because a lot of women do heroic things and don’t get noticed for it. — Haley

What I remember most about the women suffragists

I will remember them when my Mom goes to vote. My Mom will get to vote because of the suffragists. — Jessie

I will remember that women fought as hard as they could to get freedom. Some tried so hard....some of them died. — Hammer

The women worked hard, long hours..for the vote which today some people take for granted. I’ll remember that! — Chris

It took great courage to fight for their rights...it was sad that none of the original suffragists lived to see the amendment passed. — Denise

They didn’t stop ’til they said ‘YES.’ Women are still fighting for freedom. — Robert







































Susan Scott
Glenview Elementary, Oakland, CA

I work in a community of recent immigrants and with cultures where women’s roles are traditional. I noticed a difference in the young females from these various cultures after studying women’s history in the WAV curriculum unit. These female students were usually good students, but did not often participate in class discussions. After learning about their female character and performing in front of a crowd, they began expressing themselves in class — not only answering questions but also giving their opinions in class discussions. Hopefully this experience will have a lasting impact on their lives.

Debby Stone
Kelly Elementary, Carlsbad, CA

Teaching the Winning A Voice unit and producing the documentary musical as a multimedia production was a most rewarding experience not only for me as an educator, but for the students, parents, and community as well. “HerStory” will go down in history for all of us as an event of tremendous importance. It was about time that such curriculum be included within American History. Milli-Ann has done an exceptional job, and the videos were motivating and helpful.

Darlene Sweatt
Elmhurst Elementary, Ventura, CA

Using the Winning A Voice curriculum was a natural vehicle to teach the Constitution Unit in U.S. History. It was a marvelous experience for student and teacher alike. In fact, it was the richest teaching I’ve done.

This unit of study includes all the elements of an outstanding lesson. It interacts with several periods of American history and integrates Math, Geography, History, Reading and Writing. Cooperative learning groups provide tremendous opportunities for research and reporting back.

The culminating project, done as a theater performance, gave a complete Fine Arts experience to the students. The students took pride in performing this historical piece while developing dramatic, singing and dancing skills. The visual arts were included through the sets, signs, and reproductions of the suffragettes. The students were clamoring for more. They did not want their experience to end. They have wonderful memories to carry with them as well as an in-depth knowledge of this period of history.

Colleen Wahl
St. Theresa School, Oakland, CA

I’d like to let you know how much my school has benefited from the Winning A Voice project. For the last five years, I have covered some of the material from the kit in my fifth grade class.

We had 8 small groups, each assigned one of the suffragists from the Suffrage Kit . Each group did some research, made at least two picket signs, prepared a speech to give at our “convention”, and prepared a cake around a theme related to their person. The student giving the speech at our convention was doing so either in the person of the suffragette or someone who would have known her. This allowed some boys to be speakers.

Once our in-class convention was over, each group went to one of the lower grades and gave their speech and then asked the class questions about the presentation. As a thank you to the class they were speaking to, the group left the biographical cake they had prepared.

Last year’s class made a Ratification flag in the suffrage colors of purple, gold and white with 36 stars that measures about 3’ x 6.5’. It was saved for this year so that the students speaking to other classes could carry it down the school hallway as they went to speak.

This project will continue to be one that I use every year.

Craig Westfall
Rosamond Elementary, Rosamond, CA

I have used the kit furnished by Milli-Ann Iuso-Cox covering the history of women seeking the right to vote for many years now. Winning a Voice is read to the class orally. I have found that this takes on more meaning after the children have been exposed to their fellow classmates taking on the identity of a suffragist for an entire quarter. As the names surface in my reading of the book, children’s faces light up as they hear the familiar names (especially the students who portrayed the various suffragists).

The bio-folders are used as an independent reading activity for comprehension. I have a hierarchy of independent reading activities (comprehension) that the children are required to turn to when they complete their work. The biofolders are one of the systems they are required to pass through, again reinforcing the unit.

I use the time line and the suffragist exhibit...usually timing it so that they can be displayed during open house in the spring. I am constantly amazed at how receptive and supportive the students are (both boys and girls) with each corner that I turn in this worthwhile unit. I look forward to further additions to the kit.

Amy Winuk
Franklin Elementary, Elk Grove, CA

I completed my master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. My thesis focused on gender equity. My research revealed that in general girls are developmentally ahead of boys when they begin elementary school, but by the time they graduate from high school girls fall behind boys. This is reflected in SAT scores and college admissions.

I designed an intervention for the girls in my fifth grade classroom, so that they would have the self-confidence and motivation to achieve in the academic subjects through high school and beyond.

I completed my intervention in May 1997 and then that summer came across the Winning A Voice article in the California Educator. I was delighted and excited to find the article because my research indicated that one reason girls tend to lose interest in the curriculum is because they don’t see themselves reflected in it. I truly believe that the current textbooks are a serious disservice to girls, so I viewed the Winning A Voice curriculum as a perfect opportunity to ensure that the students in my classroom learned about influential and courageous women from history.

The Winning A Voice curriculum was extremely beneficial to all students because it enhanced their reading, writing, speaking, geographical, and musical skills while they were learning about women suffragists. My students learned a tremendous amount of new knowledge and improved their skills in all subject areas.

I had all of the students in my classroom evaluate and reflect upon the Winning A Voice curriculum. I believe their enthusiastic responses are a true testimonial of the sensational curriculum.

Darlene Norman
Franklin School, Alameda, CA

The very first activity we did was “If I were….” The boys had a tough time thinking outside of the “box” but for the girls, however, this turned out to be the most enlightening experience of the whole kit! We had an open discussion and the boys’ responses were: “I’d have long hair, I’d wear perfume, I would stay home instead of going to work.” The girls responses were more thought out: “I wouldn’t be worried about my looks, I wouldn’t be as nice, I could do anything I wanted and people wouldn’t mess with me.” This discussion allowed the boys the opportunity to hear (along with me) how suppressed girls feel. The boys felt no restraints being a male. I definitely pointed that out.

In their cooperative learning groups they later received a suffragist to read, study and report back to the large group. They learned there were more women involved than “that lady on the coin that nobody wants.” The kids need to understand how long after we gained our independence from Great Britain that women got the right to vote. Women’s suffrage is explained in detail in the textbook. I will definitely use the Winning A Voice kit again.