Local Girl Scout Troop 14655 (second year Brownies) from Bascomb Elementary recently completed a Take Action Project as part of the Girl Scouts’ new Engineering Journey. The result was a little free library located in the school’s parking lot.
Membership in Girl Scouts is 2.6 million strong, and it is the pre-eminent leadership development organization for girls. Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success, and believes in the power of every GIRL (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) to change the world.
Girl Scout journeys and badges are a great way for girls to explore interests and learn new skills. Girls pick topics that interest them most: caring for animals; taking a stand for girls; exploring STEM; helping others; spreading kindness; protecting the environment.
The girls from Troop 14655 brainstormed to identify needs in the community, and they talked about each need, and voted on what they wanted to address. They decided that, while reading is important, the availability of books to children is limited to library hours. They requested meetings with Bascomb Elementary Principal Kathleen Chandler and media specialist Pam Morris to ask permission to build a free library at the school. The girls created a design and a PowerPoint presentation for the meeting.
The girls learned quickly, after answering a few questions, that they hadn’t thought of everything: What happens if a school or public library book gets put in the free library? Also, the location can’t impede safety areas, etc. They weren’t discouraged, since their Engineering Journey taught them it was OK if they didn’t get it right the first time. They took what they learned, redesigned, and received approval for the project.
Everyone is invited to check out the library (limited to children’s books only), and sit on the bench while you enjoy a book. Anyone may contribute or take books. If you take a book (or two), you do not need to return that exact book. However, to keep the little library full of good choices for the community, the next time you visit, bring a few books to share. Little library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside − this way, we all win!
– Jennifer Flannery