Lafayette Girl Scout Troop 31883's Dayna Silvani, Kelly Williams and Molly Pines have earned their Gold Awards, the Girl Scouts' highest honor, under the guidance of troop leader Mary Ilyin.
Dayna Silvani built a barn play structure for the Concord campus of Shelter Inc., an organization which provides families with housing assistance, life skills training, and employment services. She worked with Shelter Inc.'s Resource Coordinator Terri Gonzalez to design a structure that would fit the needs of the community and space of the housing facility. Dayna enlisted help from architect Dara Youngdale and contractor Dan Fahrner to design and plan building the structure, and used skills she learned in her advanced woodworking class to construct the barn at home. Kyle Vinther from West Coast Specialty Coatings, Inc. donated his flatbed truck to transport the barn to Concord for the ribbon cutting ceremony in March.
My favorite part about doing this project was the actual building of the play house, because I learned a lot about building," Dayna said. "And I also liked giving it to the kids, because, as soon as I did, they rushed in and started playing in it."
Kelly Williams developed a music program for special-needs children at the Walnut Creek Parks and Recreation Summer Camp in June 2011. She used voice warm-up exercises, singing techniques and short tunes the children would be able to memorize and carefully chose fun, easy-to-learn tunes that would
After demonstrating how to use them, Kelly gave her lesson plans and song lists to Program Director of Therapeutic Recreation Preston Jones and Camp Director Kelly Steeb.
"I really liked singing with the kids, teaching them new songs, some breathing techniques and singing skills," Kelly Williams said. "I think they had a fun time and will want to keep singing."
Molly Pines created Spanish books on CDs to address illiteracy in The Dominican Republic. She bought Spanish-language children's books, found local Spanish speakers to record the books and bought 10 CD players with headphones for children at The Arc, an orphanage run by Kids Alive International, a mission partner with her church.
Last summer, Molly traveled with adviser Lisel Greenfield to the Dominican Republic to present her program, books, and CD's to Anija School Librarian Julie Anne Bailey. Molly also trained the children to use the equipment.
"I really felt I made a difference when a little girl, Indiana, befriended me," Molly said. "All week Indiana teased me, but when we discussed books, she soon became one of my closest friends. Seeing the concentration on her face and watching her smile as she listened to the CDs was the proudest moment of my entire project. Indiana said my project was sure to make a difference and the kids couldn't wait to utilize it."