Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: PROJECT anti-Bully

Chesapeake Girl Scout Donna-Lee has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Donna-Lee focused on raising awareness about the issue of bullying in her community. She started by surveying her peers and adults in the community to find out what they know about bullying and if they have experienced bullying. She then researched anti-bullying strategies and behaviors of bullies, victims and bystanders. With this information, Donna-Lee organized an anti-bullying workshop at Church of St. Therese, where she worked with 45 students and adults to teach them how to stand up to bullies, to speak out about incidents of bullying and to make a difference in the lives of others.

During the workshop, students created comic strips portraying bullying incidents, talked about friendships, contributed to a video journal about the effects of bullying and more. Donna-Lee also shared with the students a list of resources where they could find more information about the topic.

“Each day, 160,000 students across the country stay home from school because of bullying,” Donna-Lee said. “I wanted to do this project in order to encourage my peers to be a part of changing the world and creating a safer world for everyone.”

Donna-Lee also created a website, where she placed her workshop presentation for others to use, and distributed CDs with her project to local churches and schools.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Donna-Lee to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.