Moretown Elementary School students listen as professional women describe their jobs are part of the schools wellness lesson regarding gender stereotyping. From left to right, Jason Stevenson, school counselor; Ellen St. Marie, snowplow driver; state police detective Tara Thomas and Vermont State Trooper Lindsay O’Steen.

When teachers at Moretown Elementary School heard a few children bragging that “boys are stronger than girls” they came up with a creative and successful program to break those gender stereotypes.

They invited three women in professions that are often associated with men to address the students with the students being told only that visitors were coming to tell them about their jobs.

“They knew the visitors were coming to tell about their jobs, but they only knew their titles and not their genders. Several were quite surprised to see that they were all ‘girls,’” teacher Brenda Hartshorn explained.

Moretown Elementary School hosted the three professionals on October 15 to tell children in kindergarten to grade three about their jobs and to help answer the question "Are boys stronger than girls?"

The visiting professionals were Vermont snowplow truck operator Ellen St. Marie, Vermont State Police Detective Tara Thomas and Vermont State Trooper Lindsay O'Steen. The presentation supported the gender stereotype work that children are engaged with during their wellness lessons with school counselor Jason Stevenson. Children heard that being strong is more than just muscle strength.

“Children were able to look inside the snowplow truck and cruiser along with pushing the siren buttons to finish up their time getting to know these women and the important jobs they do that require strength in so many ways,” Hartshorn said.