Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jason Dothager from Staunton is GSSI's October Pearl of the Month

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Jason Dothager from Staunton have been named GSSI’s October Pearl of the Month. GSSI’s Pearl of the Month Award recognizes a Girl Scout volunteer who has delivered service beyond expectations and helped to ensure that the approximately 14,000 Girl Scouts in southern Illinois benefit from a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Nominees must meet several criteria, including completion of all required training for his or her volunteer position as well as providing outstanding service to his or her Service Unit or the Council.     
Jason is the father of four Girl Scouts.  He takes an active Girl Scout role, serving as co-leader of a troop and has also stepped up to help with other activities for the Service Unit.  He initiated the “He & Me” campout last year which attracted over 20 girls and their “He’s” for a day of fun outdoor activities.  Following the success of this event, he recruited other dads to help plan for this year.  Jason has also become the leader of a STEM group which resulted in the recruitment of three new Girl Scouts!  The Staunton area day camp also benefitted from Jason’s certifications in archery and canoeing, which allows girls the opportunity to enjoy these activities while at camp.  He is known as an example to other who always says “What can I do to help?”

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Religious Award Offered to Girl Scouts from P.R.A.Y. (Programs of Religious Activities with Youth)!

Bible Basics RP3 is a new program offered by P.R.A.Y. that is for all ages of Girl Scouting.  The program is designed to help the girls GET INTO THE BIBLE by using RP3- Read (the Bible)  to Picture, Ponder, and Put into action (what they have read).  P.R.A.Y. is launching this series with three patches: The Good Book, Out of the Water, and Birds of the Air. The Good Book patch is considered the anchor patch and the first patch that should be earned. After that, the patches may be earned in any order. Patches are independent study units. Requirements are posted on the P.R.A.Y. website and may be downloaded at no cost. Ordering the patches is easy: patches are available through the P.R.A.Y. Online Store and may be ordered at any time. Each patch is designed to be a visual reminder of the Bible stories and can be used as a prompt for reviewing past lessons.

Bible Basics RP3 
is a series for all ages (school age and up). Each patch includes questions for younger children, older youth, and adults.  It is designed to be done in a family or group setting with all participants (including parents and leaders) earning the patch.

Girl Scouting encourages girls to grow in their faith.  Faith-based awards include both the My Promise, My Faith pin and Religious Recognitions. Requirements for the My Promise, My Faith pins can be found in each level of the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting.  A girl can earn the pin each year!  The requirements for the Religious Recognitions can be found at P.R.A.Y’s website.  Each faith has their own pin and their own requirements based on their faith. 
The Religious Recognitions were created by the national faith groups for their members to grow stronger in faith.  Each religious organization/committee develops and administers its own program.
Step 1: Girls must obtain the specific booklet for their religion.
Step 2: Parents must review the program guidelines.
Step 3: Families should talk to their religious leaders and show them the booklet before beginning any program
Step 4: Girls need to complete the requirements, obtain the proper signatures and follow the instructions to order the recognition or pin.

Lauren Carter from Collinsville Meets with AT&T Representatives at 2014 Girl Scout Convention

(L-R) Cathy Coughlin, AT&T Executive Vice President and Chief Global Marketing Officer, Lauren Carter, Emily Fontes, Maria Zepeda, Samantha Belcher and Marachel Knight, AT&T Vice President of Technology Reliability Centers.

Lauren Carter, a Girl Scout from Collinsville, travelled to the Girl Scouts of the USA’s National Convention in Salt Lake City recently to participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute.   While at the convention, Lauren and three other Girl Scouts from Nevada, California and West Virginia met with senior AT&T representatives to talk about girls today and Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) was one of four councils nationwide that received a $72,000 grant from Girl Scouts of the USA and AT&T to advance Science, Technology, Engineering & Math for 200 girls in 10th-12th grades in the Collinsville and East St. Louis School District.  The grant is part of a partnership between GSUSA and AT&T through a program called Imagine Your STEM Future.

Lauren and other Girl Scouts had breakfast with Cathy Coughlin, GSUSA Board Member, AT&T Executive Vice President and Chief Global Marketing Officer and Marachel Knight, AT&T Vice President of Technology Reliability Centers.   Lauren shared about her Girl Scouting journey and STEM experiences and how both have positively impacted her.  “I love the Girl Scouts and I love Science, Technology, Engineering & Math,” Lauren said.  “Thank you AT&T for supporting the Girl Scouts and providing more girls STEM opportunities.”

As the result of a $625,000 national contribution from A&T Aspire—a long-time supporter of Girl Scouting—Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is implementing “Imagine Your STEM Future.” Through this program, GSSI will inspire even more girls to pursue STEM fields.   “Imagine Your STEM Future” will be implemented as a natural addition to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), where girls will gain leadership skills by engaging with program materials in the context of the three Girl Scout processes: girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning.

“We are thrilled to receive this Imagine Your STEM Future grant from GSUSA and AT&T,” said Micah Bolandis, Director of Mission Delivery.  “Today’s girls need programming that will introduce them to a variety of career options in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.  GSSI has an extensive STEM program that allows girls to participate in a variety of STEM initiatives like programming robots, building bridges, candy chemistry and STEM Explosion Day Camp.  In fact, more than 1,728 girls participated in a STEM program in the past year,” Bolandis added.

The contribution from AT&T is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative, focusing on school success and workforce readiness.  Beyond funding, AT&T employees are giving their time by providing mentoring, which is a part of the company's commitment for one million hours of mentoring by 2016.

More specifically, “Imagine Your STEM Future” will provide after school STEM and mentoring activities to 800 girls in four councils across the country, 75% of which are at-risk of dropping out of high school. This program will also increase local involvement of community and professional volunteers, and the program’s outcome will be measured by girls’ academic performance.

Girl Scouts leads the nation in empowering girls to pursue their natural interests in STEM. Girls exposed to STEM activities and careers while being encouraged by professional mentors will not only be more likely to graduate high school on time, but also be more likely to excel in STEM-related subjects in school, explore post-secondary education in STEM, and consider STEM-related careers in which women are historically underrepresented.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 14,000 girls and 4,800 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in southern Illinois.  Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. 
About AT&T Philanthropy
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.