Girl Scout gold award

Hailey poses for a picture with members of Luther Memorial Church who have helped her with her project. Pictured are Deacon Koren Lindley, left, and council member Mark Westergard.

Hailey Baker from Troop 43100 held a ribbon cutting Sunday to recognize the progress of her Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Only five percent of Girl Scouts achieve the Gold Award status.

In order to achieve the Gold Award, the following criteria must be met:

Complete two Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador Journeys or complete one Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador journey and have earned the Silver Award.

Girls must plan and implement an individual "Take Action" project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides a sustainable, lasting benefit to the girl's larger community. It requires a minimum of 80 hours of work in planning and actually completing the project. All of these hours must be completed by the Girl Scout. Plans must be developed with the aid of an advisor, then a project proposal must be submitted and approved by the girl's local council before starting the project, and a final report submitted and approved after the project's completion.

For her Gold Award, Baker focused on literacy and the importance of reading to children. Along with several church members, including Pastor Carmala Aderman, Deacon Koren Lindley and council member Mark Westergard, along with a grant from Immanuel Vision Foundation, Baker was able to do several things to promote literacy. These things included: Building a Free Little Library, creating a reading room at her church, creating flyers to promote the Free Little Library, creating brochures on literacy statistics, as well as a variety of additional tasks that go along with such a project.

At the ribbon cutting, which was broadcast on her church’s Facebook page, Baker gave a speech about the impact the project has had on her and how she would use the skills she learned through this project throughout her life. Baker also thanked the key members who have helped her with this project. Baker also asked for book donations anyone may have to help both libraries thrive. Her plan is to rotate books in the libraries about one to two times a month.

Baker still needs to finish her final report for the completion of the project but plans to do this within the next month.

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