Bellevue teenager Brett Konen is an avid reader. She wanted to inspire a love of reading in the children by providing four cozy and comfortable “reading corners” for classrooms and the library at First Place, a Seattle organization serving the needs of children living with the risk or reality of homelessness.
Her project earned her the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.
To create the reading corners, Konen designed and painted four large bookshelves, each according to a different theme. She worked with local businesses to provide a finished carpet for each area and also made large colorful floor pillows for the children to sit on.
She conducted a book drive and ended up with more than 1,000 new and gently used donated books, a variety of children’s magazines, recorded audio books and 20 complete sets of math manipulatives to the school.
She sorted every book by age level and divided them among the various classrooms and library accordingly. She installed the project and followed up with a “Storytime Celebration” to inaugurate the new reading spaces.
At the celebration, Konen visited classrooms and the library, talked to students about Girl Scouts and her love of reading.