Little Toasters program empowers girls to succeed

 Fifth-grader Grace Nesbit in the historic fire truck at the fire station on Key Peninsula.

Fifth-grader Grace Nesbit in the historic fire truck at the fire station on Key Peninsula.

Fifth-grader Grace Nesbit found her voice in the Little Toasters program.

The Little Toasters program builds confidence in girls through weekly gatherings where they share stories and participate in activities. 

The program is designed similar to Toastmasters International, an organization dedicated to communication and leadership development. It is offered through the Key Peninsula Family Resource Center at elementary schools in the Peninsula School District. 

When Grace started the program in first grade, she admits she was shy when talking to others. 

“I learned how to speak in big groups and write speeches,” Grace said. “It showed me that I could learn to stand up for myself.” 

Her mother, Anne, also noticed a significant change in her daughter and believes that the skills Grace learned in Little Toasters will help her grow into a stronger and confident woman. 

“I was blown away by how well-spoken she was,” Anne said. “Her teacher was saying to me how she noticed such confidence in her. She found her voice.” 

Because of her experience in Little Toasters, Grace believed in herself and decided she wanted to play a bigger role in helping her community. 

She has volunteered with the fire department’s pancake breakfasts and holiday giving and raising money to help other children attend environmental science camp. She was also nominated for Key Peninsula Citizen of the Year. 

“We can have an impact on the lives of girls so they have the confidence to be themselves and stand up to others,” said Jud Morris, community manager at Key Peninsula Family Resource Center. “We are so proud of Grace’s accomplishments in the community and can’t wait to see how far she will go.”