Four seventh grade students from Gutierrez Middle School recently completed a project to help Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s youngest students better comprehend the books that are being read to them.
As part of their Girl Scout Silver Award project, Camryn Hale, Jenna Porter, Jessica Porter, and Anissa Gonzalez, with the help of Troop 289, designed and assembled 30 puppet literacy kits for Pre-K students and teachers of HCISD.
“All of us love to read, so when we knew we had to commit to 50 hours we thought about what we felt was important to us,” said Hale. “After we met with Carmen Alvarez, Early Childhood Specialist, we researched ten popular kids books such as The Three Little Pigs and Chicken Little.”
The purpose of the puppets is for pre-k students to be able to summarize or paraphrase the book by retelling the story with the puppets. Kids can even use their imagination to tell new stories.
Earning their Leader in Action badge in the process, the four Cadettes instructed 130 girls from younger troops in the proper assembly of the puppets to complete the puppets in time for summer school.
The Girl Scout Cadettes then took a few of the puppets on a visit to Bowie Elementary. As they read to the kindergarten summer school classes, they discovered that with puppets they were able to break down the language barrier for some students.
“This was fun because we got to see the kids light up when they got to use the puppets that our community made,” said Jenna Porter. “The use of the puppets allowed the students to understand words that they weren’t too familiar with.”
Hale also had the opportunity to speak to a group of new pre-k teachers about the project.
“I talked to the teachers a little bit about what we did and I got to pass the puppets around,” said Hale. “The teachers will also receive the instructions on how to create the kits themselves. There should be enough puppets so that there is at least one kit in every pre-k classroom.”
The Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette Scout (ages 11–14 or in grade 6-8) can earn. Girls must complete a Cadette Journey prior to beginning their project. Once the journey is completed, girls must complete a 50-hour service project that leaves a lasting impact on the community.