Blog feature authored by Maddie Ford, Girl Scout Troop 1364, Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient
My Girl Scout Gold Award project is called “The Little Children Who Could” A Gold Award is the highest award earned in Girl Scouts and it is a high honor and rare to achieve.
This project is a program that promotes enthusiasm for reading and increases literacy. My main target audience is children who have not had much exposure to books or reading at home early at home This may lead to children not wanting to read for various reasons such as lack of confidence, lack of encouragement, and/or lack of interest in a book. Little or no reading by a child can lead to educational struggles later in life. By showing how characters in books can be role models and by making their own books, I want children to gain confidence and excitement from reading and writing. With the knowledge they learn from this project, they can make an impact in their own communities.
I started this project with a five-session reading program with First and Second graders at a Boys and Girls Club in Denver, Colorado. Throughout the five sessions, we read two important books that promote inclusion and uniqueness. Strictly No Elephants and A Bad Case of Stripes. These books illustrated the idea of being able of expressing yourself freely that I want the children to carry into the future. We also learned how easy it is to become an author and poet because you only need a piece of paper and a pencil to express yourself. This program is different than most school programs because it is interactive and allows them to think about books in a different and more positive way. It was a successful program that ended with 45% of the Club expressing a greater interest in reading.
I ended my project with a “toolbox” to allow others to experience a part of my project. They are filled with activities from my program to allow other children the ability to try these activities. I contacted three elementary schools at the end of the previous school year to donate books they will no longer use. I got over 400 books that helped me make over 20 toolboxes to be passed out in the Denver Metro Area.
The toolboxes included
- Make your own book using a template
- Rewrite the ending of a story you just read
- Book Chains to show how much you have read
- Character descriptions activities
- Reusable bubble map
- Send a letter to an author
- Comprehension activities to understand the book better
My hope is that my Girl Scout Gold Award project will encourage children to dive into books, discover new authors and build confidence that can help them shape their world.
To learn more about my project go to firstname.lastname@example.org