Literacy Initiative – Are you up for the challenge?


At Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, we KNOW we can make a great impact on problems we see in our communities. Our entire nation, state, and within the 10 counties we serve, adults, children and girls are at risk of falling behind. With over 9,000 girl and adult members, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is focused on a mission this year to curtail this literacy risk.

Startling statistics:

  • 67% nationwide and more than 80% from low-income families are not proficient readers by the end of the third grade. (Grade Level Reading, 2014)
  • In all of Florida, 20% lack basic literacy skills. In Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast’s 10 counties, and average of 21% lack these skills, one of our counties going as high as 42%. (US dept. of Education, 2003, NCES)
  • Roughly, only 39% of fourth-grade girls in Florida are proficient in reading. (The State of Girls in Florida, 2014, GSRI)
  • If parents cannot read and face economic hardship, their children suffer, often encountering barriers to learning and to reading, and the cycle of illiteracy continues.  Family members in 50% of all Florida households with incomes below poverty level cannot read on an 8th grade level. (National Institute for Literacy)

What Can WE do?

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast are on their way…

GIRLS are on board:

Girl Scout, Sydney Ring of Venice is in the process of her Gold Award Project, “Books and Bears for literacy.” Sydney’s project focuses on encouraging preschool aged children IMG_4959 (2)to engage in the love of books and early reading. She set her goal to collect 500 new books for local children and she further expanded the program to include 500 new bears so each child could also have a “reading buddy”.

Sydney hopes to spread her passion and excitement for the “Books and Bears for Literacy” outreach into other counties so more children can develop a love for reading. Currently, a “Books and Bears Literacy II” is being planned for Charlotte County by a young man who wants to continue building an awareness for early literacy needs.

TROOPS have a project:

Troops 8, 748, and 462 of LaBelle will be working together on an ongoing project called Little Free Library.  Little Free Library is a free-standing birdhouse-style box with a door full of free books. They have several opportunities to put these libraries up in LaBelle, FL.

SERVICE UNITS are getting creative:

20140906_183946 (3)Lee 13 collected over 500 books for Golisano Children’s hospital for their monthly community service project.

Service Units in Lee County are hosting a community table and literacy programs at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival.

Manatee 4 is collecting new or gently used books in lieu of admission for their fall event to donate to a local literacy council.

GSGCF has some special programs:

Scout about the Library is an event for Girl Scouts in grades 2-5 to have a sleepover in the library. Register Today >>

Day of Service we are challenging girls to participate in a literacy based service. We are challenging every girl to participate and earn prizes. Check it out here>>

As mighty Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, our projects, awards, community service, and awareness are certainly the beginning of working together to create change. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida are Taking Action to Change the World. Are you up for the challenge?

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