Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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Women’s Day Celebration Rewards Maggie’s Campaign with Bonus Funds, March 3-8!

Despite the fact that women were physically able to pole-vault, gender bias kept them grounded from athletic competitions. Shown: Pole vaulters  at University of Nebraska Lincoln 100 years ago during women's PE class.

Women have always been able to pole-vault, but gender bias kept them grounded from athletic competitions. Maggie Steele faces gender bias in her quest to vault over the moon.To honor her quest, Indigogo’s Women’s Day Celebration will honor Maggie’s Audiobook Campaign with bonus funds, March 3-8. (University of Nebraska PE class, 1914).

Storybook heroine Maggie Steele’s Audiobook Campaign has been selected to receive bonus funds during the International Women’s Day Celebration, March 3-8, to honor her inspiring message for young women and girls.

On Monday March 3rd, Maggie’s campaign will receive an extra dollar for every $25 raised on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. Indiegogo will also match $1 for every $25 raised on Saturday, March 8th.womensdayheaderInternational Women’s Day on Indiegogo celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.

Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for the celebration, which encourages advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

Sponsors who believe in Maggie's story have stepped up to reward contributors to the campaign.

Sponsors who believe in Maggie’s story have stepped up to reward contributors to the campaign.

“I’m honored that Maggie’s campaign has been selected for the International Women’s Day Celebration,” said Grant Overstake, author of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon. “It’s a tribute to Maggie’s heroic character as a young woman and to female pole-vaulters everywhere. Challenging the status quo is one of Maggie’s strongest character traits.

“I want to encourage contributors to be sure to give on those dates so that we can maximize the total amount raised for the campaign and Maggie’s voice can be heard,” he added.

Narrator Tavia Gilbert will tell the story of Maggie Steele in the audiobook version of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Funds raised through the International Women’s Day Celebration will help narrator Tavia Gilbert perform and produce ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’.

Maggie, a gusty farm girl from tiny Grain Valley, Kansas, is an inspiring new heroine in young adult fiction. Narrator Tavia Gilbert is eager to perform and produce the novel on audiobook. Her list of accolades includes six Audie Award nominations (the audiobook equivalent of the Academy Award). The campaign will cover Tavia’s expenses, and lift the sport of pole-vaulting to a new audience.

Gill Athletics, the world’s largest track and field equipment manufacturer, is proud to be the Grand Prize Sponsor of Maggie’s Audiobook Campaign. Additional sponsors for the 30-day event include: Artist Phillip Carrero, Dial Athletics, Fuzion Athletics, Raise the Bar Pole Vault Club, Rusty Shealy Pole Vault Club, Texas Pole Vault Club at Elitz Sports, Tailwind Pole Vault Club, and Vaulter Magazine. Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Author Supports Funding for Student Activities in Kansas Schools

KSHSAA Presentation

Author Grant Overstake, right, presents a copy of the teen sports novel, ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’ to Mark Lentz, Assistant Executive Director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. The story features the Kansas State Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation.

WICHITA, Kan. (Feb. 25) — Award-winning journalist and author Grant Overstake used his moment in the spotlight today to defend the value of extra-curricular activities as “an essential ingredient” for student success during a presentation to the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).

Locked in the ongoing budget battle in Topeka, school board officials and administrators in Kansas are feeling increasing pressure to eliminate even KSHAALOGOmore sports and activities from their schools. But the author said these activities deserve funding because they are fundamental for future success.

“I could go on and on about how KSHSAA programs helped me achieve more personally than I could ever have achieved without them,” said Overstake, a Wichita resident and graduate of Wichita Heights High School.

Overstake spoke before about 250 attendees of the United School Administrators of Kansas 42nd Annual Convention at the Hyatt Eagle Ballroom in downtown Wichita. He presented a copy of his new teen sports novel,  Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, to KSHSAA Assistant Director Mark Lentz. Continue reading

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Sports Book’s Heroine Soars Over Gender Bias on 40th Anniversary of Title IX

2012_NGWSD_theme_logoMaggie Steele, the heroine in the new sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, faces many obstacles in her attempt to overcome tragedy and hardship on her tiny Kansas farm.

One of her biggest challenges is overcoming the gender bias of local townspeople, clergy, and school board members, who seem to be living in a time warp some 40 years in the past — before Title IX guaranteed girls the right to have equal access to sports.

The young adult novel by Grant Overstake, captures the struggle of a teenager overwhelmed by grief and uncertain about her future. Despite powerful opposition, she finds her destiny through the sport of pole-vaulting, a track and field event that was once considered too dangerous and therefore inappropriate for girls.

The story of Maggie Steele’s setbacks in the face of gender bias struck a chord with USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, regarded as the top female sportswriter in the nation and an important voice for gender equality in sports.

In addition to being an award-winning sports columnist for USA Today, an on-air commentator for ABC News, CNN, NPR, Fox Sports radio, and the author of seven books, including the national best-seller Inside Edge, Brennan has covered the last 14 Olympic Games, Winter and Summer, beginning with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Her three books on figure skating include Inside Edge, which was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated. Brennan also broke the news of the pairs figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Most importantly in this context, Brennan has written and spoken extensively on women’s sports issues. Her 2002 USA Today column on Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club’s lack of female members.

Here’s what Brennan says about the potential impact of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon:

“This inspiring book comes along at a perfect time, on the 40th anniversary of Title IX and in the same year as women athletes dominated the 2012 London Olympics,” Brennan says. “Girls who play sports and the coaches and families who support them will thoroughly enjoy Grant Overstake’s warm, uplifting story. After reading it, we’ll all wish we were pole vaulters like Maggie.”

Over the past decade, hundreds of girls have taken up the sport of pole-vaulting, finding within themselves the courage to overcome the highest obstacles. The National Federation of State High School Associations doesn’t have a specific number of high school girls’ pole vaulters in the United States, but Greg Hull, who works with the NFHS as a track and field/pole vaulting consultant, estimates the number at around 15,000. Continue reading