To achieve the Bronze Award, Girl Scouts troops have to undertake a service project and see it to completion. They have to identify something that they believe can make their community better, then they come up with a plan to implement it. The Girl Scout Troop 40916 wanted to leave behind a legacy of sorts for Jefferson Elementary school as they were moving onto the sixth grade. The troop decided to give their school a Little Free Library.
A Little Free Library allows people to “take a book, leave a book.” It is a free book exchange of sorts. The idea is to create a library where people can get books for free.
The library was about more than just reading, though. It was about creating a safe space for all ages where they could come and have something to do.
Before the troop could do anything else, they had to get permission from their principal, Dr. Hung. She was very supportive of the girls and their efforts. Next, they researched Little Free Libraries. Some girls drove around town looking for libraries while others checked the internet. The girls had decided that building a library from scratch wasn’t in their skill set, so they were exploring other options.
The girls decided to use their troop funds to buy the necessary supplies. They learned much about managing costs and budgets, and decided that an affordable LFL kit was the best option.
The girls were able to reach out to local businesses for assistance. The owner of South Avenue Arts facilitated a session with the girls during which time they came up with a design and color options. She helped them create a prototype on paper of the LFL.
Home Depot in Garwood provided the troop with space to design and paint the parts of the LFL. Some of the girls got their family members to assist with the building of the library. The girls had finished building and painting the library and were excited for the installation when all of a sudden, March came in and the world, so to speak, shut down.
The troop split themselves into small groups and continued working virtually on completing the project. They kept in contact with Dr. Hung to arrive on a suitable date for the install. Thanks to Dr Hung's encouragement and support, the library was installed during the first week of September, and formally inaugurated on Sept. 18 2020.
Over the course of the Bronze Award project, the girls learned many skills. They learned how to research an idea and turn it into a plan. They learned money management skills, also to how to create a timeline and stick with it. Most importantly, they learned how to come up with an idea and turn it into a reality. Girl Scout Troop 40916 truly believes it has left behind a part of themselves at their elementary school.