Bring the stories of amazing women from history to your library, school, senior center, historical society, or civic organization!

Carol Simon Levin currently offers the following programs:

correct-headerBridge Builder in Petticoats: Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge
Many books and films have featured the Brooklyn Bridge and millions of people have crossed it. Built between 1869 and 1883, without modern machines or even electric light, it was one of the most amazing technological achievements of its time. Yet few people know that a woman helped supervise much of its construction.  After her husband was bedridden, Emily Roebling became his liaison to the project – eventually communicating with the engineers and suppliers so well that it was rumored that she had become the Chief Engineer herself! Later she helped design the family mansion in Trenton, studied law, organized relief for returning troops from the Spanish American War, attended the coronation of the Tsar of Russia and even took tea with Queen Victoria. At her death, she was called “the most famous woman in New Jersey” and “one of the most noted women in the country,” yet today almost no one knows her name!

Nobody Owns the Sky: Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Female Aviators
Long before Amelia Earhart’s famous exploits, female flyers had already proved that aviatrices were every bit as brave and daring as their male counterparts. Flying in flimsy wood and canvas aeroplanes, Aida de Acosta, Raymonde de Laroche, Hélène Dutrieu , Marie Marvingt, Harriet Quimby, Katherine Stinson, Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman and Elinor Smith awed and thrilled people on the ground — executing audacious acrobatic aerial maneuvers, soloing across the English channel, setting records, barnstorming and buzzing beneath New York’s bridges.  Undaunted by male skepticism, they were determined to show that anything that men could do, they could do too!

WASP takes Wing header+title

During World War II, more than one thousand women volunteers completed the WASP military pilot training program. They endured terrible Texas weather, snakes, spiders and scorpions, as well as the hostility of some male instructors.  Graduating WASPs piloted every kind of military aircraft, tested new and overhauled airplanes (some with defective parts or dangerous reputations), delivered more than 12,000 planes, and flew over 60,000,000 miles (sometimes towing targets that soldiers shot at with live ammunition!) Thirty-eight of them died serving their country. Then they were told that men needed their jobs and they were dismissed and forgotten.

Carol Simon Levin tells the story of the amazing WASPs  through the eyes of Ann Baumgartner Carl, the Jersey girl who trained as a WASP, became the only American woman to test-fly  experimental planes during the war, and the first American woman to fly a jet airplane!

Please click on the links for more information about these programs. Preview videos are available upon request.

Silent Partner: Building the Brooklyn Bridge.  Photo Credit: Patricia Hart Zachman.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for an extremely outstanding performance in your portrayal of Emily Roebling.    It’s not surprising that we received many complimentary comments about your exceptional knowledge of Emily and about the era in which she carried on to fulfill her husband’s dream project.    We heard remarks such as “it’s amazing how she can remember all those facts and make her character so believable.”  As previously mentioned, the audience was riveted by your portrayal and completely drawn into the story.   We really do appreciate your effort in making this program a success, and we look forward to having you back again next year.”  — Elaine and Phyllis, Program Coordinators, Warner-Lambert/Pfizer Retirees

“Thank you again for a wonderful program last night! I am still haunted by thoughts of Emily….you made her come so alive…..and I learned more about the Brooklyn Bridge than I thought I would ever know in my whole life!” — Nora, Ocean County Library

“Thank you for presenting a wonderful program that was so informative and enlightening.  Your knowledge and creative storytelling fosters uncovering the truth of our past heroines.” — Nancy, Somerset Run Singles

Re-enactor Carol Simon Levin performs at the Montville Township Public Library to tell the story of WWII WASP Ann Baumgartener Carl   Photo Credit: Melissa Benno

“I was somewhat skeptical  when Lilyan invited me to your program. As a pilot for many years I thought that I knew I everything about women pilots. What a surprise. Your program taught me so very much and your presentation was outstanding. I am sending your information to as many women as I can. I know that anyone who attends your program will be as excited as I am.”  A.L.

“Fascinating to learn of women who were so successful and we never heard of them!” —W.M.

School Visits:

Inspire your boys and girls to pursue careers in
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and
bring the new Common Core Curriculum Standards to life….

Invite “Emily Warren Roebling,” “Elinor Smith Sullivan,” or “Ann Baumgartner Carl” to your school!

The program can be tailored for primary grades, middle school or high school/adult audiences. It can also be tied in with a STEM activity (building bridges or paper airplanes).

“Thank you so much for this morning’s presentation. The presentation was informative, well thought out and entertaining. The 2nd graders really enjoyed your visit and they’ve been asking me follow up questions ever since–which I consider the best sign of learning. Thank you for your time and preparation, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting Emily!” — Michele (Stevens Cooperative School)

“Thank YOU!!!!  The story was fabulous, on so many levels.  And your passion for it was the best part. Thank you so much for bringing Emily Roebling to life this morning!”  –G.L. The Willow School

“Thank you for allowing Carol Simon Levin to offer her historical presentation to our Bridgewater-Raritan High School Stem Club…. Not only was she fantastic, the students were captivated with her historical characterization of this very modern woman from another time who pioneered an engineering marvel.  We will never view the Brooklyn Bridge the same.  Her elaborate efforts also included …bridge-building hands-on activities which had students involved and thinking…  One student told me, ‘That was the best presentation that we had all year!'”  — Joanna R.  BRHS Librarian.

4 Responses to Bring the stories of amazing women from history to your library, school, senior center, historical society, or civic organization!

  1. Sharon Orlando says:

    Watchung Library’s patrons and staff had the privilege of meeting both “Emily” and “Elinor” during Carol’s very engaging, fact-filled programs. Discovering what these women accomplished is amazing, and realizing that they have been overlooked for so long is as jaw-dropping as their feats. Thank you, Carol, for restoring these missing chapters to our collective history, and doing so in such an informative and creative way. Brava!

  2. Daniel J. Tutler says:

    We just saw your story on the wasps at the middletown library and enjoyed it very much. Thank
    you again for a delightful evening and educational evening….

  3. We have presented two of Carol’s programs at the Long Branch Free Public Library in the last two year – the Emily Roebling program and the WASP program – and both were successful and enjoyed by our patrons. Carol Simon Levin is a professional and reliable performer, whose “in-character” storytelling programs are very well- researched, presented in a fun, informative manner and entertain while they educate on historical topics many may not be very familiar with these days. There are good Powerpoint presentations accompanying her narratives,and they are full of interesting images to complement her tales of strong, accomplished women who have broken traditional role expectations. I highly recommend Carol and her programs, especially for Women’s History Month. I’m looking forward to seeing what she will develop next!

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