Aurora Girl Scout works towards earning her Gold Award by creating Refocus Centers at Parker Elementary school

For her Gold Award project, Girl Scout Maggie Donohue created Refocus Centers for Pine Lane Elementary School. Refocus Centers are tools that teachers and kids can use to take a break from the classroom and recenter themselves, so they are ready to return to learn. Each center is a different Colorado nature theme that includes facts, sounds, and sensory stimulation. Students will find reminders on how to self-soothe that compliments the social emotional curriculum in place, as well as explore each center visually and auditorily.

Maggie’s hope is that students can learn to recognize their stressors and identify ways to rectify them, so their learning is not interrupted. Here is a link to the Refocus Center website to learn more.

Maggie suffers from migraines and non-epileptic seizures.  She spent over 12 weeks in a wheelchair this past year and had to participate in speech therapy, physical therapy, and biofeedback. Despite these challenges, Maggie persevered and was still able to complete her Gold Award project.

Through the process of completing her Gold Award project, Maggie has learned how to balance her ideas with the needs of the community and to advocate for herself and other student needs.

“With Girl Scouts, I have learned how to use my voice to help others,” said Maggie. “I feel like I belong to a much larger family and have met many new people. We have experienced things that we wouldn’t have done as individuals.”

Maggie’s Refocus Centers will continue to have a positive impact for the teachers and students of Pine Lane Elementary for generations to come. Since the Refocus Centers were implemented, staff have noticed that students have improved coping and teachers have had less behavioral interruptions.

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