Giving Back

Somers Girl Scout Stitches Together Gold Award Project

Vicki DiSanto, Sandra DeSena, Nola Blair, Susan Berkow, Jet Watchell, Andrew Farber, Susan Cod and Girl Scout Michelle Kushner Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Closeup of the quilt completed by children ages 5-9. The quilt will be auctioned at the “Happy Birthday, Reis Park” celebration April 29. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik

SOMERS, N.Y. – When deciding what to do for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Michelle Kushner noticed a stark difference in today’s kids versus what she remembers from her childhood.

“My goal was to get kids away from the ever-growing electronic [obsession],” she said.

In an attempt to unplug Somers’ youngest from their digital devices and reconnect them with the type of activities she remembers doing as a kid, she created a series of programs where she reads a book to children in grades K-4 and then leads them through an accompanying project related to the book.

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Vicki DiSanto, the children’s librarian at Somers Library, assisted Kushner with the planning of her project. DiSanto, who was a Girl Scout leader for many years, was familiar with the process and deemed Kushner’s project a success.

“Michelle was great,” DiSanto said. “She did all the work and the kids loved it. She made real world connections to the books they read.”

After reading “The Quiltmaker’s Gift,” Kushner and the kids drew images onto pieces of fabric, which Kushner has been sewing together since November. As part of the project, Kushner has to demonstrate leadership, which she did by recruiting some friends and showing them how to sew. With their help, she completed the quilt by the end of March and gifted it to the Friends of the Somers Library.

The Friends of the Somers Library will auction the quilt at the 50th anniversary celebration of Reis Park on April 29. The event, held at the park, runs from noon to 4 p.m., and the auction will take place at 3:15 p.m. Susan Berkow, president of the Friends of the Somers Library, said all proceeds will go toward the purchase of children’s books for the library.

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