CICERO — Girl Scout Troop 10871 of Central Square, (part of the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Council) is one of 200 semi-finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® program. The troop needs the community’s assistance in an online voting campaign running today through August 23 to become one of just 40 community causes to receive a $25,000 grant. The grant will be used to help fund the troop’s Girl Scout Silver Award Project, Extraordinary Acres, their community’s first all-inclusive playground.
Proposed to be built at Gerald P. Van Lieu Park on Wilson Road in the town of Hastings, the playground is designed for children of all abilities and their families. Troop members Molly Giblin, Angilee Haberer, Rachel Fonger and Sophia Jueranko make up the project team. The Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette (grades six-eight) can earn. Girls who pursue their Silver Award look around their neighborhoods and/or schools and develop a project to make their community better in the process.
Giblin, Haberer, Fonger and Jueranko worked on the all-inclusive playground research and concept as part of their Silver Award Project. Their hope is that the playground will be universally accessible and sensory rich to meet the widest range of needs and that it will help strengthen their community.
“This project started out as a dream of our Girl Scouts. They began doing research to educate the community and make people more aware of the need for this space. The scope and impact of this project has blossomed from what was first a very crude concept,” says Katie Haberer, the girls’ troop leader.
The Girl Scouts looked at available options and with community insight designed a playground space. Through this project, the girls say they’ve witnessed people from all backgrounds and walks of life come together. Cost factors for the playground are beyond what their local municipality can put forth. The troop has earned $15,000 of the $81,000 projected cost. With the help of community donors, total funds raised currently stand at $50,000.
The public can help Girl Scout Troop 10871 and its community by voting for the playground project on the State Farm Neighborhood Assist site now through Aug. 23. Vote up to 10 times daily at neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2024215. Voters must be 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen with a valid email address.
For more information about the troop and their work on Extraordinary Acres, contact Katie Haberer at 315.380.8859 or firstname.lastname@example.org.