Sunday, February 5, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: As Easy as 1-2-Read

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

For her project, Julia focused on helping students at P.B. Young Elementary School in Norfolk improve their reading skills. She created two spaces at the school, one outdoors and one indoors, for students to enjoy while reading. The outdoor space, which is located near the playground, is a bench that she built for students to use for reading during free time. In the library, Julia filled a corner with comfortable seating, a bookshelf full of new books and a set of wooden letters that students can use to practice spelling.

Julia also created a series of videos that she placed online to teach children about each letter of the alphabet. The videos reinforce writing, recognition and pronunciation of each letter and correspond with worksheets available for download that Julia created.

“I love reading, and I don’t think I would be as creative of a person today without the books I’ve read,” Julia said. “The main thing holding kids back from that is their inability to read effectively. I thought that if I made a fresh way to study the alphabet and provided more spaces for kids to be encouraged to read it would help.”

In the future, Julia wants to be a teacher to help even more children gain fundamental reading and writing skills.

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 Julia to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.