CRANFORD – Six Cranford Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 40071 recently received the prestigious Silver Award for their community service efforts. The Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn. It represents a girl’s accomplishments as a leader in her community and reflects a girl who is organized, determined, and dedicated to making a positive impact in the world.

Cadettes Amelia Hunt and Julia Ramsay partnered to create “The Dyslexia Awareness Project,” an initiative to help students and educators see dyslexia as a learning difference and not a disability. The project was prepared with the help of Ms. Judy Shapiro at the Children’s Dyslexia Center of New Jersey in Scotch Plains. Amelia and Julia reached out to the elementary school community at Orange Avenue School because elementary school is when dyslexia is commonly diagnosed. They presented the information to several classes and shared a list of famous and successful people known to have dyslexia (Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, among others). Next, they presented an interactive slide show that helped students experience what it is like to process visual prompts as a person with dyslexia. At the conclusion, students took a quiz on what they learned. The same slide show was also shared with school educators.

Cadettes Alyssa Colombrita, Bailey Croft, Bridget Kachoogian, and Sofia Bongiovanni partnered to address cancer awareness in a project called “Bringing Awareness of Cancer to the Community.” The project was specifically geared toward young people. The Girl Scouts met with Dr. Maria Kaplan of the Cancer Infusion Center of Saint Barnabus Hospital to learn how students can create healthy habits at a young age to lower the risks of cancer, such as healthy eating and using sunscreen. With the knowledge they received from Dr. Kaplan, the group created an interactive program and presented it to the faculty and students of Orange Avenue School. The program consisted of a review of healthy habits, a listing of cancers and their related support programs, a yoga demonstration, and a video of young people speaking about their own experiences battling cancer. The four Cadettes also worked with the elementary students to write messages of encouragement and support for cancer patients at St. Barnabus Hospital.

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The Silver Award is the second highest award of the Girl Scouts of the USA and the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. It involves a minimum of 50 service hours and includes Girl Scouts working as individuals or small teams to address a community issue they care about by researching, creating a plan, putting it into action, and sharing what they have learned with others.

The Girl Scouts of Cranford is an organization dedicated to building G.I.R.L.'s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ of courage, confidence, and character who will make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts of Cranford Service Unit 48 is a part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council which is part of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. For more information on the Girl Scouts of Cranford, go to www.cranfordgirlscouts.com.