YOUR HOMETOWN — Harrisonburg: These Cadettes Are Down To Earth

Girl Scouts Use Nature’s Bounty — Sort Of — To Fuel Kids’ Interest In Books

Posted: April 24, 2013

Daily News-Record

Kayla Wright, Asha Harris and Mandi Sherman, members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 3008, organized an “Earth Day at Your Library” event at Massanutten Regional Library on Saturday as part of an effort to get children interested in reading. The event, along with a book drive, serves as the girls’ Silver Award project. The award is the second-highest achievement in Girl Scouts. Photo by Jeremy Hunt / DN-R.
HARRISONBURG — Eating dirt is something most parents discourage their children from doing.

But on Saturday, dozens of kids did just that at Massanutten Regional Library’s main branch in downtown Harrisonburg. And that’s not all. Worms were on the menu as well.

The earthy entrees, though, were a combination of crushed Oreos and candy gummy worms, hardly the stuff of nightmares.

The sweet station was one of several set up at the library by a trio of Friendly City Girl Scouts on a mission to get kids interested in reading.

Mandi Sherman, Kayla Wright and Asha Harris, members of Cadette Troop 3008, put on the event.

Called Earth Day at Your Library, the event featured themed activities to go along with the reading of books related to plants and animals. Earth Day was Monday.

“It’s been fun to see them have fun with all the different things,” said Mandi, an eighth-grader at Skyline Middle School.

In addition to Earth Day at Your Library, the girls are collecting books for local nonprofit organizations as they seek to get their Silver Award, the second highest achievement in Girl Scouts.

Annette Will, a Scout leader and Mandi’s mother, estimated the group put about 55 hours of work into the library event and book drive, which will benefit the nonprofit organizations People Helping People and Second Home.

The idea for Earth Day at Your Library came out of a love of reading that the girls share.

“We decided to do a program about reading, but we decided to do something else with it,” said Kayla, an eighth-grader at Thomas Harrison Middle School.

The girls hope the fun activities will help instill a love of reading in children who participated, and that it continues for the rest of their life.

Asha, an eighth-grader at THMS, said the effort involved in putting on Saturday’s event and the book drive was more than she expected, but well worth it.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said. “You have to do a lot of planning. I thought it would be a lot easier than this, but not quite.”

Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or

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