Local Girl Scout earns highest award; renovates Credence High School library
For her project, Keith renovated Credence High School’s library. She started the project last spring and worked on it through the summer in order to have it ready for student use at the beginning of the school year.
On Friday, Dec. 12, Keith was recognized for her hard work at a CHS library dedication ceremony. Many of the donors and participants involved with the project were in attendance.
She said the project received overwhelming support from the community and everything she asked for was donated.
“It was a real community effort,” she said.
During the ceremony, Keith gave a speech and thanked everyone who helped with the project. A plaque will be placed in the library listing everyone who donated to the project.
Keith identified her project after discussing the book “Twilight” with a fellow Girl Scout and CHS student. Keith said the girl expressed interest in the book, but when Keith suggested checking it out of the school library, the girl said she didn’t have a real library, rather it was a storage room with a pathetic selection of old books.
Keith visited the library and found her friend was right. The library was nothing more than an uninviting room with a small selection of uninteresting books; one book was a cookbook on how to cook fish.”
An avid reader herself, Keith said she was shocked at the lack of books.
“Every School should have a good, functioning library,” she said.
Determined to improve the quality and selection of books, as well as the overall look of the library, Keith began her project. She first met with Lassen Union High School District Alternative Education Principal Brett Mitchell and Acting Librarian Shirley Wright and implemented a proposal on how to make a warm, inviting room in which students want to linger. She also surveyed the students to see what kind of books they would like to see in the library.
She then started getting community donations by sending out letters and calling local businesses asking them if they could donate resources needed for the project.
Some of the items donated include energy efficient light bulbs and light fixtures, paint, new carpet and decorative banners.
Wood was donated for new shelves and the Susanville Rotary donated funding for screws, stains, glue and cabinet handles. New shelves are currently being built by the inmates at the California Department of Corrections.
Students in Buzz Burt’s Regional Occupation Program class painted and reinstalled the old bookshelves for library use, too.
Her dad, William Keith, who was also an Eagle Scout donated money and time and helped pick out posters and painting supplies.
Keith also had numerous books donated for the renovated library.
In her speech, Keith said, “A library is simply an empty room without books; a library without books is like a book without pages or a dance without music. A book is like a party, a friend, a fight, a counselor, a support system, food, strength and entertainment.”
The Lassen Library, Susanville Sunrise Rotary and Margie’s Book Nook helped Keith collect about 500 books. Keith and Wright cataloged them.
Keith said Susanville Sunrise Rotary helped put in a lot of time working on the library even holding a workday patching walls, painting and cataloging books.
She said, “It’s not a huge library, but its definitely better.”
Having the project completed is a relief, but Keith also said “As hard as it was, it definitely feels good knowing you’ve made something better.”
Keith said she feels if more people her age got involved with projects in the community it would make everything better.
She also said doing the project also showed her how close knit our community is as opposed to a big city.
“It’s nice to see how good a small place can be,” she said.
White House recognition
Keith sent out invitations to people who helped her with the project. She also sent invitations to United States Senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush.
On Thursday, Dec. 11, Keith’s mom, Kim Keith, received a call from a White House aid who said they received the invitation.
According to Keith, the aid said White House staff was so impressed with Keith’s project they forwarded the invitation to Bush so he would write a letter of congratulations.
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