1. What was the name and purpose of your gold award project?
My Girl Scout Gold Award was called Sensory Needs for Special Needs. The purpose of it was to obtain more sensory items for special education students and get the community involved. I was part of my district special education system from kindergarten through my Senior year with a speech impediment so I would generally be in the special ed classrooms. I noticed the students needed more items to decrease anxiety and increase attention/focusing skills. The twelve counselors and eight teachers that taught these students thought it was an excellent idea, and it turned out greater than expected.
2. What sustainable impact did your
Gold Award project have on the community?
I am spreading awareness throughout society for the tolerance of behavioral differences. My goal is to introduce a local solution to students, families & teachers that will have a ripple effect. The classrooms and teachers were provided with a basket full of sensory items to keep in the classrooms for future generations. Some of the items were textured touch boards, handmade soft pillows, sensory jars full of glitter and pom-poms, and LEGO keychain fidgets. The students will also be keeping some of these items to use in other environments, such as at home. Additionally, I collected over 300 plastic bottles from my High School and the community for the sensory jars.
3. What insights/takeaway did you
gain from your project?
Learning about my ability to inspire my friends to learn more about disabilities and how they affect the community showed me that I can do the same with my future students and get them involved in their communities. The fact that one post explaining my project and what I needed on a Facebook community page got me all of my supplies because my community wanted to help the special education department AND help the environment by recycling & repurposing things, was the most amazing part to me. Other students became aware of the need for sensory items, not only for special education students but for students with anxiety. Students involved with my project realized the impact these disabilities could have and how to help other students function within the classrooms and in life.
4.What is your favorite memory of
completing your Gold Award project?
My favorite part was when I received letters from teachers saying positive things and seeing pictures of the students use the items in the classrooms. It was heartwarming to have had such an impact on their education and learning development, and I can’t wait to become a teacher for this reason. My Girl Scout Gold Award project has shaped me to realize what I want to pursue in college.
I’m a proudly going to Rowan University for Biological Science and Education as a five year Masters plan with a minor in Special Education.