Troop 1052 in Carlsbad began the learning process for its project last year and built a tiny library, which will be installed at La Posada de Guadalupe Shelter, according to troop leader Brisha Cordella. She said the troop earned the Bronze Award, which is the top award for fourth and fifth grade Girl Scouts.
They went with a library with the goal of helping to educate and stimulate the minds of the homeless community in order to help them get back on their feet. The library has a shelf for educational books, one for art supplies, and now due to COVID-19 a shelf for sanitary first aid items.
“They learned about stereotypes and did a take action project to teach boys that girls could also play football,” Cordella said of the troop’s journey.
The troop, which consists of Ella Thompson, Karlye Stein, Aashi Jolata, Ella Soto, Lilly DeSimone, Corinne Siaosi, Jenny Daniel, Lucia McDaniel, Angelina Mastracci-Hoeh, Sofia Cordella, Cassidy Battin, Makena Cardenas and Riley Gattorna, were required to spend at least 20 hours on the project, which they did by building the library, connecting with the Carlsbad and Oceanside police departments to learn about homeless issues and connecting with La Posada.
Cordella said the troop learned about how and why people become homeless and the steps to help them get back on their feet. She said education is helpful and without access, it makes getting out of homeless even more difficult.
It’s why the library was built and consists of academic and educational material, Cordella added. The first aid supplies were in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
“The challenge was nobody wanted to take it because of COVID,” Cordella explained.
Although the troop’s project was in jeopardy, Holly Nelson of CPD was an ally. Cordella said Nelson began calling a number of shelters on behalf of the troop and eventually La Posada accepted the library.
The Bronze Award, meanwhile, requires a lasting impact in a community beginning with a journey and action project.
“A lot of them are one-time things … and with the Bronze Award you have to think past that,” Cordella said. “You can’t just pass out blankets or a one-time food drive.”