Girl Scout holds book drive and story time to earn Gold Award
HOUSTON (August 6, 2010) – Girl Scout Senior Kathryn R. held a book drive for the Rise School of Houston, a preschool for children with and without disabilities, to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.
“I learned the importance of organizing people to finish tasks and commit to dates,” says Kathryn, a senior at Lamar High School this fall. “I learned how to plan my time and finish tasks by a deadline. I also learned that everyone, including me, can give back to their community.”
Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.
“As a person with Down syndrome, life sometimes presents challenges,” explains Kathryn as to why she chose the project. “In my life so many people have been helpful to me. I wanted to give back and be helpful to others. I found the opportunity to do this at Rise School.”
Kathryn led six volunteers in collecting books for Rise School. Their initial goal was to collect 60 books, 10 for all six classrooms. They ended up with 325 books. From creating flyers announcing the book drive to creating bookplate stickers, Kathryn organized every aspect of the project. The entire thing concluded with hosting a reading day at Rise School where Kathryn and her volunteers chose stories to read to students.
“Kathryn is happiest when she is engaged with other people,” says Patricia R., Kathryn’s mother. “I think this project gave Katie a purpose and a reason to engage with others. She gained confidence in herself and realizes that she has some power over her future.”
As an active member of Girl Scouts, Kathryn enjoys sailing at Camp Casa Mare and attending resident camp in the summer. At Lamar High School, she is a member of the swim team, Best Buddies Club and the Lamar Special Olympics swim and track teams. Outside of school, she cheerleads at Texas Cheer. Following graduation next May, Kathryn would like to attend a community college to study math and reading.
Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 72,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org
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