Girl Scouts of Bridgewater create small, free library for the community

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Girl Scouts in Bridgewater are working to help the community even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, including a recent project that is expected to last for years to come.

Members of Girl Scout Troops 61136 and 60782 made a presentation at the April 19 virtual meeting of Bridgewater City Council regarding their Small Library Service Project.

The meeting attendees, all fifth graders, included Gianna Losik, Safaa Fakhry, Anabella Cancela, Lorelei Park, Amy Mohandas, Julia DeJesus and Brooke Engstrom. Adult soldiers Eman Ahmed-Fakhry and Michelle Cancela assisted the troops.

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“The small library is important to our community,” said Anabella Cancela.

The library, which will allow children to pick up one book and leave another for someone else to read, is located just outside Kids Street Park.

“More kids will go to the park when the weather is nice,” Park said.

The structure was built from a kit purchased with funds that were raised by Girl Scouts last year, through cleaning up the park and selling cookies. The overall cost of the project was approximately $ 550.

“The bookcase is made of eco-friendly plastic wood,” Engstrom said.

According to littlefreelibrary.org, there are several different models available that are weatherproof and low-maintenance, and are all made in America. The site offers versions with one or two floors, finished or unfinished models, as well as accessories.

Council members were impressed with the concept and its implementation.

“It’s a wonderful idea,” said Councilor Howard Norgalis.

He asked how many books would be available in the library. He’s been told the structure measures 12 inches by 12 inches and can hold between a dozen and two dozen books, with titles for younger and older children.

Mayor Matthew Moench said he was “thrilled” by the small library, with his youngest daughter about to join a Girl Scout troop.

“I’m sure they will love this opportunity,” he said. “It’s fantastic and I know my kids will benefit from it.”

“Thank you for being of service to our community,” added Vice Chairman Allen Kurdyla.

Councilor Michael Kirsh said he regretted this was one of those times the meeting did not take place in person, due to the coronavirus, although he congratulated the Girl Scouts on their presentation that evening.

“Congratulations on your accomplishment and good luck moving forward,” he said.

Councilor Timothy Ring, an Eagle Scout himself, also offered his congratulations.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “I am very happy that you are doing this.”

Council President Filipe Pedroso said he has four children, including two Girl Scouts, and also offered his compliments.

“We certainly appreciate all the work and community service that Girl Scouts do,” he said.

“It will make people read more,” added Pedroso. “Congratulations on a job well done.”

School board member Steven Singer also praised the Girl Scouts for their work at the April 27 virtual meeting of the Bridgewater-Raritan School Board.

“They spoke well,” Singer said. “It sounds like a great project.”

He added that their project was made for the Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Junior Scout can earn.



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