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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kathleen Otto, Fort Collins, ” A Learning Advantage”

Kathleen Otto

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

My Gold Award involved informing parents and teachers about dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture:  Rethinking Dyslexia” and to lead a panel discussion after. I also created a Little Free Library for my neighborhood with bookmarks from the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association with information about dyslexia.  It is important for parents and teachers to be well informed about dyslexia, because reading gives every child “A Learning Advantage.”

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

55 people attended the movie and panel, including a handful of students who attended with their parents. Of those 55 people 10-12 people were teachers and student-teachers.  Since my Little Free Library was installed I have received numerous comments about the Little Free Library being an asset and a welcome addition to my community. Neighbors from my community have donated books for the Little Free Library.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement? 

My Little Free Library will be kept up by the Willow Springs swim team which consists of 5-18-year-old kids from my neighborhood.  They will maintain the library by making repairs when necessary and making sure it is stocked with books.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

The steps I took to inspire others included posting fliers around my neighborhood and at public libraries. I sent every principal and dean of students in the Poudre School District a copy of my flier for them to then distribute among teachers and parents. I also inspired parents through my presentation of “The Big Picture.” After the movie and panel, several of the parents were inspired to start a support group for parents with dyslexic kids.

What did you learn about yourself?

My Gold Award project has allowed me to gain confidence in myself and my abilities. I can assess problems I encounter and find the best possible route to fix them. I have gained important life and leadership skill thought my Gold Award experience.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

I believe that earning my Gold Award has impacted my future in many ways. I can now face the future with a smile and know that I can walk into the unknown ready to face the challenges.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I feel that earning a Gold Award is important to every Girl Scouts’ experience. Not only does it build extremely important life skills, it teaches girls to be confident in their own abilities. Earning my Gold Award has been a very fulfilling experience. I have gained valuable skill for myself, but more importantly, I have helped my community and hopefully, in the long run a few kids who face the challenges of living with dyslexia.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email



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