Girl Scouts in Knox County had the opportunity this summer to participate in Read City USA. Led by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Read City USA is a collaborative initiative of Knox County government, Knox County Public Library, Knox County Schools, The Great Schools Partnership and other community organizations.
In order to earn a special Read City USA patch, girls had to read for 20 hours and finish two books from a GSCSA reading list. The reading list was compiled by Ashley Smallwood, the outreach program manager, with help from Suzanne Sherman, the librarian at Hardin Valley Academy. The reading list was comprised of 25 picture books and novels, fiction and non-fiction, that featured girls and women who exhibited the courage, confidence and character that Girl Scouting works to instill.
After reading some of the titles on the list, the Girl Scouts of West View Elementary Outreach Program prepared for Battle of the Books, a competition where teams test their knowledge of books by answering questions detailing characters and plot details. The questions for this battle were created by Sherman and based on six picture books from the GSCSA list.
The battle took place on July 23, at the West View Elementary library. Mayor Jacobs himself came to read the questions. The girls were split into two teams: the Glitter Girls and the Huskies (they came up with their team names). The competition was fierce, and the teams were neck-and-neck. But in the end, after 18 questions, the Huskies prevailed!
“The first year of our Outreach summer program has been such a wonderful success!” said Smallwood. “The girls participating in the program completed the It’s Your Planet- Love it journey, where they learned more about water conservation and sustainability for our planet. Battle of the Books allowed us the opportunity to tie in our newfound knowledge about these topics and correlate these findings with books that had strong female leads to encourage our girls in the Outreach Program to reach for the stars.”
So, whether reading for fun, reading to learn or reading to battle, Girl Scouts are ready to take on the challenge!
Lucy Branam is creative content coordinator at the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. She is also author of the children’s book Roof Octopus.