Monday, November 28, 2016

Gold Award Spotlight: Library Beautification and Reading Appreciation

Brooke, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Brooke focused on helping students at Bayside Elementary School increase their appreciation of reading. The first part of her project was building a new set of bookshelves for the school library. She then worked on planning a Reading Celebration for more than 30 students at the school who had been identified as needing financial assistance. With the help of her fellow members of Troop 372, Brooke made video book reviews that were shared on the school’s morning announcements during the week leading up to the Reading Celebration. During the celebration, students made bookmarks, listened to a story, picked out books to take home and decorated their own shoebox bookshelves to house their new reading collection.

“At the beginning of the school year, my AP English teacher suggested we purchase our own copies of the books we would be reading throughout the year because it was important for each of us to develop our own personal libraries,” Brooke said. “Recognizing the value in this, I reflected upon how not all students are able to have their own libraries. I am an alumna of Bayside Elementary, and I felt the school would be a great place for me to give back.”

Thanks to members of the community, Brooke collected hundreds of books that she was able to give to the students to keep at home and to the library for all students at the school to check out. In order to make a sustainable impact, Brooke has arranged for students at Virginia Wesleyan College to continue hosting the Reading Celebration for students at Bayside Elementary School each year.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Brooke to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.