Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois has received another grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA, to implement Challenge and Change projects in three southern Illinois communities.
The three communities where girls will plan and implement a project are Pontoon Beach, Roxana and Anna.
Challenge and Change: Challenge Yourself, Change the World strengthens rural communities. Through these projects, girls become change-makers as they envision and start long-term community service projects. Girls begin with an initial daylong training, where they learn leadership, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills through a comprehensive curriculum. Led by trained facilitators, the girls discover what effective leadership looks like, connect with local experts and take action by digging into issues affecting their communities. After the training, girls recruit a community action team – including an adult who serves as their community champion – to turn their good idea into a sustainable, long-term project.
The three Challenge and Change projects are:
- Pontoon Beach: Girls in SU 102 are excited to work with leaders to create a community park or garden in the Pontoon Beach area. They have met with the mayor and have secured a plot of land and are meeting with community members to determine needs and resources.
- Roxana: Girls in SU 101 are creating a Heritage Garden in Roxana that will highlight plants and natural features of Southern Illinois. They will form a partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department to offer learning experiences for schools to bring students as well as encouraging participation from community members of all ages.
- Anna: Homework Pals is a continued project which offers a tutoring program to elementary students. This past school year, the tutoring program has moved locations from the library to the elementary school which now houses a new library funded by this grant. Starting in July, a summer reading program is being implemented so students can continue their learning throughout the summer.
For information, visit www.gsofsi.org or “Like” Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois on Facebook.