Gold Award Girl Scout: Kate Bleyle, Highlands Ranch, “Create, Compose, Communicate”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I designed a creative writing curriculum for students K-12. This curriculum is available for students of any background (e.g. homeschooled, low-income, the average student). The curriculum consisted of a series of lessons with fun activities (such as crossword puzzles and word searches), an emphasis on interaction among the students, and multiple writing exercises. I had the opportunity to teach my curriculum with Boys and Girls Clubs, and I was able to receive feedback from the students I worked with. I made revisions to the curriculum based on that experience and input from the students.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I taught my curriculum at two different Boys and Girls Clubs locations over a period of eight weeks. During that time, I taught a total of 20 students (about two to three students at Johnson Elementary and as many as twelve students at KIIP on any given day). Throughout the teaching experience, I had multiple students return to each teaching session. In order to gauge how much of an impact my project had on the students, I asked them two questions at the end of my teaching experience: What did you learn and what did you enjoy about the curriculum?  The feedback I got from the students was extremely positive.  The students said they learned about writing, and they enjoyed the curriculum because they could write about anything.  Some of the students even asked if I would come back next year to teach my curriculum.

In addition to teaching at Boys and Girls Clubs locations, I partnered with Carnegie Library in Trinidad, and they have agreed to put my curriculum binder in their library.  My curriculum will provide students with an opportunity to practice creative thinking and writing outside of what schools typically teach.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

I provided my curriculum to various Boys and Girls Clubs locations, so they will be able to teach my curriculum at their locations. Over the summer, college students volunteer with Boys and Girls Clubs.  These volunteers often don’t have a curriculum they can use to teach the students at Boys and Girls Clubs, but now with my curriculum, the college volunteers will have a curriculum they are able to use. I also put my curriculum into a binder format that I gave to Carnegie Library.  This way, the curriculum can be taught as a class at the library, or homeschoolers can check out the curriculum and use it themselves.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

While my project does not directly influence people around the world, my hope is that the students who partake in my project will develop creative thinking and writing skills which may someday have a global impact. I have also provided Carnegie Library in Trinidad with my curriculum. Along with the library, I contacted teachers in the Phoenix area to see if they would like my curriculum, as well as Denver Public Schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

When I have a goal in mind and a time crunch, I can really do anything.  I delegated different tasks to my team members and chose my team members based on skills I wanted assistance with (e.g. research, curriculum development, logo). I had never worked with young kids before, and while I don’t think I’ll pursue a career as an elementary school teacher anytime soon, I was surprised that I was available to develop a good rapport with the students. Prior to this project, I was reluctant to pick up the phone and call an adult, and I was shy in front of a small group. Although I am still naturally shy, I can tell that this project helped me break out of my shell a little bit.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

While working on my Gold Award, I developed good leadership skills that will be useful later on in my life. The Gold Award also gave me experience teaching and developing a curriculum, which is a career option I may like to pursue.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I think the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to finally apply everything I learned as a Girl Scout to a real-world situation. As a Girl Scout, we are taught to make the world a better place. Helping people to communicate, think creatively, and work together will, in the long run, make the world a better place.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a go-getter. The Gold Award is extremely daunting, and the decision to earn the award and continue working on it in the face of adversity made me a go-getter in itself. However, I also overcame some of my personal setbacks (i.e. my shy nature) through teaching my curriculum, communicating with Boys and Girls Clubs, and presenting my ideas to the Girl Scout Gold Award Committee and others in the community.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org