Her name is Cash Cayen – and according to her mother – she was refused entry into the Timmins Public Library’s Robotics Program simply because she is a girl

In an online petition started by the mother, thousands of supportive signatures began pouring in.

Here is her statement written on change.org :

“Because today I tried to register for the robotics session that our local library is offering and was refused based on the fact that I am a girl. Even after speaking to the Assistant Library Director Elaine De Bonis, where I explained that I have been participating in library programming since I was only a few months old I was still turned away. Mrs De Bonis explained to me that boys academic and literacy skills don’t improve over the summer break therefore this program would only be offered to boys. She said I could be added to a waiting list and if enough girls showed interest they could possibly look into offering it to girls in the future. I explained that it was unfair that I was being denied this opportunity simply because I am a girl, but she insisted I could not register.”

Timmins Public Library Chair and City Councillor Mike Doody says the entire incident was an “unintentional” “miscalculation” on the staffs part.

He says, this year’s robotics program is accepting 15 children. Currently, he says they have roughly 5 applicants registered so far.

So why was Cash, a young girl, allegedly turned away from the program when there were still 10 positions available? Her mother writes on change.org that Assistant Library Director Elaine De Bonis told her it’s because Cash is a girl, and the robotics program is geared towards boys to improve their reading skills.

Mike Doody elaborates on this claim

He explains, the Library’s initial focus with the robotics program was to improve boy’s literacy through reading. How? He says, by creating incentives like the Robotics Program, boys are more likely to return to the library after the program is over to read. He says the library has found that girls are more likely to come to the library then boys are – hence, they don’t need as much initiative like the Robotics Program.

Doody says the library now “realizes” and “agree” that they will now offer the Robotics Program to both boys and girls, men and women of all ages.

So what’s next for Cash?


He adds, the library now “realizes” and “agree” that they will now offer their programs to both boys and girls.

Registration is now being accepted. Children, boys and girls, between the ages of 9 and 12 are welcome.

Interested? Call 705 360 2623 ext 8519 to register.