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Book smart: Girl Scouts donate books and funds to school library

Annaliese Voss, Claire Gustafson, Meagan Moore and Catie Hansen donated books and funds to Crestview and Nuevas Fronteras Elementary Schools. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)

Four members of Girl Scout Troop 52577 presented a $350 check to administrators June 6 at Crestview and Nuevas Fronteras Elementary Schools.

Annaliese Voss, Catie Hansen, Meagan Moore and Claire Gustafson had previously delivered 584 new and gently used books to the library/media center, which is located in the building shared by the two schools.

Nuevas Fronteras is a Spanish immersion program offered to students in District 833.

The check donation was the culmination of two years’ work for the Scouts, who all live in Woodbury. They created the project, which they named “Reading is the Foundation of Education,” to fulfill the requirement for the Girl Scout Silver Award.

It had to be approved by the Girl Scout Council in St. Paul. Among the requirements was that the project must serve a need in the community and provide a legacy, troop leader Marsha Voss said.

When funding for books dried up for the school library, the girls stepped in.

“We figured because books are the main tool of education we wanted to help out,” said Hansen, 13.

“We decided to do this elementary school because three of us went to this elementary,” said Voss, 14.

The $350 donation includes $200 that the girls raised themselves and a $150 matching grant from PTSO (Parent-Teacher Spanish Organization) at Nuevas Fronteras. The Scouts raised their share by soliciting donations of $1 each from friends, neighbors and relatives.

“If you knew someone well, you’d ask for a dollar. They’d say, ‘Wait a minute, we’ll give you $10,’”  Moore said.

They also organized several book drives and collected codes from boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, which were then exchanged for new books. Last August, they organized a summer reading camp for young girls.

The donation came at a good time.

Funds that typically support library material replacement were redirected to other areas for the 2013-14 school year, said Barb Brown, District 833 communications director.

Despite the increasing prevalence of e-books, students at Crestview and Nuevas Fronteras are still drawn to the allure of a paper book, said Jim Glazer, a librarian and media specialist for the schools.

“We had no book budget from the district,” he said. “Donations like this really help us keep our collection up to date and provide kids with books they want to read.”