Not too long ago, two high school girls with a vision completed a project which earned them the coveted “Girl Scout Silver Award”. For a Girl Scout Cadette to achieve the prestigious title they must make a change for the better. The opportunity to do so allows scouts to show their leadership skills and make a difference in the world.
Giuliana Silva and Zoe Fazio of Girl Scout Troop 10707 decided that they wanted to enhance the playground for the educational benefit of the kids at an area school. Upon a previous visit, the ninth-grade girls noticed the sand-covered sidewalks and the lack of toys and games which were not acceptable for the children who played at the K-2 playground at Stephen Foster Elementary School.
It was at that moment that the “Stephen Foster Educational Enhancement Project” came to life. The ambitious duo planned to create a garden to brighten the area and teach the students how plants grow. The interactive garden would be a hands-on learning experience just the same. Next, they wanted to paint the cement area under the pavilion and sidewalk area with educational improvements. Lastly, they wanted to have an organizational system for the students to place their toys.
“The reason I’m so passionate about this project is that I went to Stephen Foster Elementary. Prior to the project, the K-2 playground area had appeared neglected and not the same as remembered it. On top of that, my 5-year-old cousin goes to school there so I will be able to see how this project directly impacts the students. To be able to give back to my community, teachers, and all the staff by restoring a place that means a lot to me is one of the many reasons I am so passionate about this project,” explained Silva.
Four educational enhancements were created which included three different numbered hopscotch courses and an ABC caterpillar. These colorful designs are great examples that learning happens outside the classroom as well as inside. Students will be able to water their garden and watch it grow and learn to clean up and organize their belongings.
“The finished product is pretty amazing, the gift that they have given the students and school tremendous, but their hard work and perseverance is the important part. I am very proud of Giuliana and Zoe for making the commitment to this project, for putting in the hours necessary toward completing this project,” exclaimed proud troop leader Laura Weiss.
“Not only will these alterations to the pavilion area provide as educational tools, but they will also encourage the kids to stop bringing sand onto the cement only for the janitors to sweep it away at night,” added Fazio.