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Junior Girl Scouts organize reading event

These fifth-grade junior Girl Scouts (Troop 53529), under the direction of leader Katie Skramstad, organized a reading event coming up at the Somerset Public Library. (From left) Kendra Westphal, Faith Christensen, Abbey Skramstad, Priscilla Rivard and Autumn Wood. Hannah Thoreson is not pictured. (Submitted photo)

The six members of the junior Girl Scout troop Katie Skramstad leads will host a “Read to Succeed Day” at the Somerset Public Library Saturday, Jan. 18.

The fifth-grade girls are working on completing a Take Action project to complete their Agent of Change book. Each troop must complete three “journeys” each year to earn badges and get closer to the highest, most coveted award: the Bronze Award for junior Girl Scouts.

Skramstad said the girls are learning the concepts of the power of one, the power of team and the power of community. The project is meant to hone the girls’ leadership skills.

“They have to take the talents of one person and put it into a team, then put the team into the community,” Skramstad said.

A Take Action project is supposed to help the community in some way. The girls have to come up with a project, organize it, make contacts and execute their plan while the leaders oversee their efforts.

Skramstad’s troop, part of the St. Croix River Valley Girl Scouts, chose to promote reading for their community project. The troop includes members Autumn Wood, Abbey Skramstad, Kendra Westphal, Hannah Thoreson, Priscilla Rivard and Faith Christensen.

From 10 a.m to noon Jan. 18, the girls will lead kindergartners through second-graders through three different stations at the library. The aim is to improve their reading.

Each station will take about 20 minutes, Skramstad said. The children will rotate among stations.

At the first station, the junior Scouts will read stories to the kids. At the second station, two Scouts will help the children write a short story, working on sentence structures and illustrations. At the third station, kids can work on a wintry, fun craft of painting snowmen, Skramstad said.

The Scouts have also compiled their own word searches and other fun game activities to send home with the kids. All the activities pertain to reading and the winter theme, according to Skramstad.

“They are learning to look at the needs in the community they live in and the gifts and talents they have to offer, whether it’s drawing, organizing an event or writing,” Skramstad said. “They then can offer those talents to the team and the community.”

Skramstad said the project is also teaching the girls basic leadership skills and how to organize things, like how to start, and with who.

“They’ve had to learn budgeting with this project and what resources do they have within their families, the group and the community,” Skramstad said.

She used the girls asking library director Norma Scott if they could use the library for their project as an example of finding resources.

“It’s helping them look at themselves and their gifts and talents,” Skramstad said. “Then they look at each other, working as a team to see who’s best suited for each job. It’s teaching them how to go beyond themselves and their team and see what else they need.”

Skramstad said the girls are excited about their hard work. They also spoke with Somerset Elementary School’s and St. Anne’s principals to see if they could distribute fliers advertising their event to the classes.

“They were a little nervous, but we’re guiding them and keeping them on track,” Skramstad said.

The troop is looking for donations of new or gently used books to hand out to the children during “Read to Succeed Day.” To donate, call Skramstad at 651-303-3820 or drop books off at the Somerset Public Library. To register for the reading event, please call Skramstad. Two sessions will be held Jan. 18: one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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