Kiwanis helps with Girl Scout Gold Award

— Photo by Amy Pokorny

Taryn Hanley, left, accepts a check from Russ Pokorny, treasurer for the Helderberg Kiwanis, center, and Nelson Kent, Kiwanis vice president.

To the Editor:

Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs is proud to have contributed $150 to Taryn Hanley’s “Literacy — Poverty and Homelessness” Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Taryn Hanley met with the Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs on Oct. 2 to describe a two-part Girl Scout Gold Award project she is undertaking, which is the highest possible award for a Girl Scout.

This fall she began the first part, for which she arranges to have recipients of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary Backpack Program receive “Birthday Boxes.” Each box has supplies for hosting a birthday party during the month of the child’s birth, including the makings for a birthday cake with frosting, candles, decorations, and goodies to pass out to friends.

Taryn’s reasoning is that no child should lack a celebration of his or her birthday because of financial insecurities. The school provides Taryn with the gender, age, and approximate birth date of each child in the Backpack Program and she puts the boxes together herself. Each box contains about $35 to $40 worth of items.

The second half of her project is “Literacy — Poverty and Homelessness,” which involves purchasing books about poverty, hunger, and homelessness that will be donated to the school and read/provided to classrooms from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and to the elementary-school library to increase student awareness of these social problems.

Taryn hopes to encourage students to develop kindness and empathy as their literacy increases and they learn from the lessons of these stories.

Taryn is asking for donations of specific books she has selected, or funding for her to use to purchase the books. Individuals who wish to support Taryn’s efforts can use this link:

If you would like to donate one or more books, you would sign up on this link for the title(s) you plan to buy. Then you would purchase the book or books and arrange to get them to Taryn. If you purchase books using any online shopping site, you can have the books mailed directly to her. Use the private-message option in the project link to get Taryn’s home address.

If you purchase books from a store, you can send a private message to Taryn through the project link to make arrangements for her to pick them up from you.

Taryn is seeking 49 book titles, with multiple copies of each book. Her goal is to donate 470 books to Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School, of which she has received 211 in donations to date. The average price for new copies of these books is between $7 and $15. Gently used (like new) copies would cost less.

Taryn’s project complements many other efforts the Kiwanis Club supports, including programs to address bullying, child poverty, and literacy.

Amy Pokorny

Kiwanis Club of

The Helderbergs

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