Over the last six weeks, girls from Egyptian Elementary in Tamms have been inventors and engineers, tinkerers and thinkers. They laughed and worked together, explored new ideas and dreamed of ways they could make the world a better place. In short, they’ve been Girl Scouts.
Through a Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) outreach program, girls built circuits, created a robot, made glow-in-the-dark slime and conducted experiments. The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program was so successful that all 11 girls who participated want to become Girl Scouts year round to explore even more of their interests, including selling Girl Scout Cookies and doing community service projects. GSSI is currently working to help recruit and train a volunteer troop leader so that these hopes can come true.
"Girl Scouts is inspiring to me,” said participant Allison Turner. “I want to earn all of the badges.”
“I enjoyed trying and learning new things,” added Kelsey Whalen. “I want to continue being a Girl Scout to do even more new things.”
GSSI strives to bring fun and engaging activities to underserved areas across southern Illinois so that even more girls have the opportunity to try new things and expand their horizons through Girl Scouts.
“GSSI offers a variety of after school, in-school and summer activities that can complement regular school curriculum,” said Emily Stanley, New Program Initiatives Manager. “These can include the areas of interest in the upcoming Every Student Succeeds Act of STEM, and also topics like financial literacy, environmental education and bullying prevention.”
Along with the collaboration with the Egyptian School Distict, GSSI also has recently completed an outreach program with kindergarten students in Centralia and is currently working with the Illinois Center for Autism.. In June, a program focused on building life skills and financial literacy will kick off with One Hope United, a private children and family service organization in Centralia. Schools, libraries, community organizations, housing authorities – even state detention centers have collaborated with GSSI.
Upcoming outreach programs in the works include bringing additional STEM opportunities to girls at Carbondale Middle School and Effingham Library. To bring a GSSI program to your school or organization, please contact Emily Stanley at 800.345.6858, ext. 1111 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.