Today is Family Literacy Day! Find out how one Ranger is getting the word out about the importance of literacy.
If you’re like me, you’re probably constantly looking for a way to make a difference. After learning statistics on poverty in Canada, like how 1 in 10 people live in poverty, I could never help feeling that I wasn’t doing enough. When I heard about the National Service Project: Words in Action, which promotes access to literacy, I immediately jumped on board.
I decided to run a meeting with my Brownie Unit about what literacy is and why it’s important, and to empower the girls to take action. It started with some fun bookmark making and story reading, but ended with some really important discussions. By the end of the night, all of the girls were on the same page that if there was a way to help, we should. This was where our literacy backpack drive was born.
I got in contact with a teacher of a grade 3/4 class at a nearby school, who said that his class could greatly benefit from backpacks filled with school supplies and books. With some drawstring backpacks donated by a local store, we began our drive. The Brownies, along with a Pathfinder and my Ranger Unit, all worked together to gather school supplies (such as pencil cases, crayons, and gently used books). It was SO inspiring to have my Brownies going above and beyond and proudly showing me all the school supplies they had handpicked to donate. In the end, we filled 22 backpacks. After weeks of work, they were ready to donate!
The energy was amazing when I went to the class to drop off our donation and I can barely put the experience into words. The excitement in the room was sky-high, as I heard things like “Woah, this is awesome!” and “I got pencils!” As I walked around the class, I had kids pulling me over to say ‘thank you,’ and this was the moment I realized what an amazing thing we had done as Girl Guides.
I went back to the school a few weeks later to find that the class was still using the school supplies we had donated. I felt so honoured to have been able to have Girl Guide units help these kids out. This service project taught me not only that you are never too young to make a difference, but that girls LOVE to help out when they have the information and the opportunity. I definitely recommend getting involved in Words in Action. Odds are it will change your life as it did mine.
Guest post by Alissa Sallans. Alissa is a Ranger and Grade 12 student from Whitby, Ontario. She has been passionate about making a difference in her community and in the lives of others since a young age. See her previous blog post: Small things really do make a difference.