When you’re a Girl Scout, you learn the importance of taking the lead to make a difference in your community. That’s just what the Girl Scout Brownies from Troop 1362 did when they collected over 4,500 books for students in need.
“Together, the troop chose to do a book drive for our service project for the year, and we knew the girls would be successful,” Troop co-leader, Amanda Forr said. The books were distributed last week through Reading Partners Baltimore, a volunteer-based program that provides one-on-one literacy instruction to elementary school students reading below grade level in 19 Title I schools across the city.
“The theme was Share your Story, so we voted on ideas, and some people thought of a book drive and we could share our stories,” Girl Scout Sabine, member of troop 1362 said.
At Girl Scout Maureen’s school, her Principal, Benjamin Richardson, was so excited about the project he asked Maureen and fellow troop member, Grace to speak directly to their classmates at a school assembly.
“I told the school about what we were doing and who we were donated to,” Maureen said. “We knew lots of people [at our school] had books and there were kids who didn’t have any books and were reading below grade level and it is important to practice reading.”
The girls decorated a box and put it in the school lobby and called their drive “Share a story, donate a book.” At their school alone, 1,303 books were donated. “I was just really amazed how many we collected,” Maureen said.
Sabine was expecting about 250 at her school and was pleasantly surprised when she ended up with 967 books. “I was thinking, ‘Wow, I got so many books when I was collecting books by myself,’” Sabine said. “I would have to say thank you to everyone who donated.”
She and her troop-mates are extremely pleased with the results of their book drive. “I feel happy because it will affect other people and their lives and not just us,” Sabine said.
With a total 4,522 books collected, the girls far surpassed their initial goal of 300 books. “They exceeded our wildest expectations,” Forr said. “Our original goal was 300 books, and we had that within the first couple of days of the book drive.”
Forr attributes the troop’s success to the schools and the church allowing them to be leaders.
“From speaking at assemblies to doing the morning announcements to making advertising materials, these girls did it all. When we sorted the 4,500 books during our meeting and the girls realized just how successful they were when their efforts were combined, it was really inspirational to all of us.” Forr said. “I know the girls are really proud of what they’ve accomplished and how their efforts will benefit others, which is exactly what we hoped for.”
The Girl Scouts donated 2,000 of the books to eight Title I schools in Harford County, and 2,500 to schools in Baltimore City.
See the story in The Aegis.