Monday, February 17, 2014

Black History Month Read-a-Thon

Girl Scouts Jordan and Marvetta
read about Coretta Scott King at the
Read-a-Thon hosted by their troop.
A group of 10 Girl Scouts from Troop 329 gathered at the Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Library in Chesapeake on February 8 to host their second annual Black History Month Read-a-Thon for children in the South Norfolk community. The girls, who are in grades 3 to 6, carefully selected their favorite Black History Month books to read to children at the library. They also set up reading response activities for the children to make character puppets out of brown paper bags, write about what they learned from the book and draw scenes from the stories they heard.

The Girl Scouts, who invited all children at the library to participate in the Read-a-Thon, also set up stations for children to decorate key chains, make snowflakes, play games and win prizes. The Girl Scouts were each responsible for setting up and running the stations.

Through this project, Girl Scout Troop 329 is addressing the issue of illiteracy that is affects people around the world. In the United States, some 30 percent of all 17 year olds are functionally illiterate. By offering children the opportunity to participate in activities that reinforce literacy skills through fun and interactive experiences, Girl Scouts are working to make an impact on this issue by making reading and writing fun activities.

Girl Scouts Catori and Anaiya work on paper bag puppets
after reading stories about famous African Americans.
Literacy has been a fundamental part of Girl Scouting's informal education program activities since its founding over 100 years ago. This is just one of the many benefits of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Research shows that girls with enriched literacy skills, such as those obtained in Girl Scouting, attain higher levels of education, as well as higher-paying and more satisfying jobs, and are more likely to hold leadership positions in their communities. Girls who are reading at or above age level are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

At Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, we recognize that the ability to read, write and communicate has never been more crucial. If girls and women are to thrive in this information age, they must become lifelong learners so that they will have the ability to build knowledge and skills. This fall, our Girls Who Read Lead membership campaign helped us to share the ways that Girl Scouts continues to place a high priority on giving girls the opportunity to develop good reading skills. This includes badges and awards that girls can earn from completing Girl Scout Journeys, such as It's Your Story- Tell It!

To learn more about how Girl Scouting supports academic achievement and engagement, read the Girl Scout Research Institute's study, Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference.