Girl Scout Troop donates Spanish books to People’s Health Clinic
For five months, the teens of the Girl Scout Troop 944 of Park City gathered any book written in Spanish that they could find. Then, they dropped them off at the People’s Health Clinic, along with a bookshelf to hold them.
The troop of six 13-year-old girls recently donated Spanish books and magazines to earn their Silver Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can receive. They spent 50 hours collecting the reading materials and bringing them to the clinic, which provides medical care to uninsured individuals in the area.
Lanie Pidwell, a member of the troop, came up with the idea for the troop’s Silver Award project in February. She was volunteering at the People’s Health Clinic and she noticed that there were no books in Spanish. She realized that some of the people the clinic serves are native Spanish speakers, and she wanted to make sure that they felt welcome.
Since half of the troop is in the Spanish dual-language immersion program in the Park City School District, they thought it would be a good way to use their bilingual skills to connect to and help the Spanish-speaking community, said member Kate Rooney.
“We wanted to help these people who didn’t have anything to read in the waiting room,” she said.
The whole troop agreed to Pidwell’s idea and got to work. Overall, the girls donated about 30 books and six magazine subscriptions that will last for two years. It took 50 hours, the required amount of service hours to earn the Silver Award.
The girls spent their hours asking friends and family to donate books and finding books when they could, such as at Spanish language fairs for school. Rooney said that the troop researched different magazines about health that they thought would be helpful for those waiting to be treated at the clinic.
The funds for the subscriptions came from the troop’s account, which was partially funded by selling Girl Scout Cookies.
Girl Scout Camden Graff said that it was rewarding to give the books to the clinic, and also nice because they will be able to go back and see the books months later. As part of the Silver Award, the project must be sustainable for at least two years.
Rooney also was glad to bring the books in and see their hard work completed.
“I’m really happy that we were able to make a difference with our Silver Award project,” she said.
Allison Coffee said that the service project helped put her in someone’s shoes, because she sometimes forgets that not everyone speaks English. Her family donated some of the books, which were in both Spanish and English.
The girls are expected to be honored with their Silver Award at a banquet in the fall.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.