Two Clayton scouts earn Gold Awards
with innovative projects

December 8, 2014

Justinegoldaward_for websiteClayton is fortunate that its culture of “giving back” extends to its younger residents. And nowhere is that as apparent as in prestigious scouting awards. Just recently, two young Clayton girls received their Girl Scout Gold Award for two unique projects.

Combating bullying
Justine Del Monte, a 14-year-old resident of Clayton, combined her love of reading, writing and fighting bullying into a unique project that earned the Athenian School ninth grader the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award.
It started when Justine wrote the book, “Drew’s Dancing Drum” at age 11 as a class project while attending Palmer School.
Artist Brandon Chappell, volunteered to illustrate the book and then created a children’s interactive app. The app is available in three languages: English, Spanish and Mandarin.
Fans of the first book inquired about a second book, which inspired Justine at age 12 to write, “Drew Meets Boo.” Brandon volunteered again to illustrate the second book and created a children’s interactive app for the book that is available in three languages as well.
The first app for “Drew’s Dancing Drum” is free – the second App for “Drew Meets Boo” is $1.99 and all the money goes to charity — food banks, Girl Scouts, an Autistic Children’s Program and an orphanage in Nicaragua.
Justine’s Gold Award consists of Drew’s Books, The apps, and discussion points. The discussion points she wrote to assist educators and parents to create dialogue with the children when addressing bullying, acceptance, friendship, self-esteem, kindness, empowerment, and other life lessons with their children. She feels these issues should be taught and discussed when the children are young instead of waiting until middle school and high school, because the behaviors seem to escalate into more violent and devastating forms of bullying.
Justine’s Gold Award Project is unique because most children’s books do not come with an interactive app and discussion points — tools that can be used to teach children about bullying.
The books teach anti-bullying in a fun and subtle way with rhymes because children love rhymes, Justine says.
Justine has donated 255 books to schools, religious children’s programs, children’s camps and libraries nationally. The discussion points can be downloaded for free at Drewsbooks.com. The apps have been downloaded in 76 countries.
Her work has not gone unnoticed by the national media. Justine and Brandon have been interviewed by KVCR in Los Angeles and also were taped reading the two books for a short story time for KVCR’s televised children’s programming. KVCR has committed to run their interview every year for National Bulling Prevention Month.
Justine has been a Girl Scout for 10 years. She has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards as well. She started at age 4 as a Daisy.
Music is golden for this scout
The tunes of Broadway shows are being sung by young and old in Clayton and Concord these days, as part of Kayla Elwy’s Girl Scout Gold Award project.
Kayla’s love of music since age four has culminated into a community project of 11 singing events that she has been thoroughly enjoying along the way.
“My project is called ‘Bridging the Generation Gap Through Music,’” says Kayla. “Young Girl Scouts ages 6-12 years old have learned popular show songs to sing for the seniors that include, ‘My Favorite Things,’ ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard,’ and ‘Anything Goes.’ I arranged all of the songs myself with the help of my project mentor and voice teacher of 13 years, Loree Capper.”
Kayla has coordinated more than 80 young scouts on her event dates at Diamond Terrace and Montecito assisted living facilities to perform for the seniors. Following their singing performances, Kayla and the scouts help the seniors make music-related crafts. The crafts have varied with rain-stick instruments, musical note banners and Halloween tambourines. Kayla also has put together CDs and song lyrics for the troops that are participating so that they can continue to sing on their own in the future.
“It has been such a joy to see the seniors singing along with us. The songs bring back good memories for them and the young scouts love being involved,” says Kayla. “This is personally very rewarding and I have established wonderful relationships with many people of all ages in my community now.”
As an extra award for their singing, Kayla has presented each of the girls with a music patch to display on their Girl Scout vests.
“Hopefully the girls will remember these fun times with all of us singing together and will do a special community project when they are older, too,” Kayla says.

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