by Tori Cappo & Claire Magnanini
When it comes to Girl Scouts, most teenage girls can recall dropping out of Brownies in elementary school. Yet, for a select few the commitment to the program persists, even as high school students.
Each year, these girls work toward receiving the highest award a Girl Scout can earn: the Gold Award. From recycling to literacy, this year’s Gold Awards cover some critical service areas.
This initiative requires 80 hours of service focused on improving an aspect of the community. Senior Sarah Morton is revamping the recycling system at WHS, and senior Amelia Ritter is increasing children’s access to books by creating mini-libraries.
In September, Morton placed new recycling bins around the school in classrooms, offices and cafeterias, and made signs that explain what can and cannot be recycled. “It’s always been a myth at the high school that the recycling just ends up in the trash and part of my project has been to debunk this myth,” she said. “I hope my project has made it easy for the WHS community to be green at school.”
Ritter addressed reading in a neighboring community by building “littlefreelibraries” in Plainfield. Ritter said that a “littlefreelibrary” is a small construction left in a public place, where people are encouraged to take or leave books. “It is a way of sharing your favorite literature,” she said. “They allow kids who might not have access … to be able to get recently published and classic books.”
Ritter has been collecting books for ages 5–18 in the WHS lobby during the first two weeks of November; donated books can be in either English or Spanish. Her project will increase the availability of books in the Plainfield area, promoting a lasting interest in reading and learning among locals.
In order to ensure that her recycling project is sustained in the years to come, Morton will hand the responsibility over to the Key Club. Morton said she could not have achieved all of her project goals without the help of sophomore Linzy Rosen.
These projects take many hours of effort and are intended to impact the community in a profound way. Said Morton, “The final result of the project...will be the culmination of a year of work that will hopefully last a lifetime.”