GOLD AWARD SPOTLIGHT: Summer’s “Kinder Garden” transforms one school’s landscape!

Summer Ofrea Gold 2014“I knew from the start that I wanted to work with an elementary school for my Gold Award, it’s where my heart is.” – Summer

The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio would like to congratulate Summer Zofrea, an eleventh-grader at Redlands High School and a Girl Scout Cadette with the San Gorgonio Council,  completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project last year and will soon be honored with her well-deserved Gold Award at the Gold and Silver Awards Gala on April 27, 2014!

“I knew from the start that I wanted to work with an elementary school for my Gold Award, it’s where my heart is,” said Summer. She has had a passion for helping schools for years as part of her Girl Scout pledge to civic service.

photo 2For her Gold Award project, Summer transformed the landscape at Grant Elementary School in Colton by constructing a garden to not only beautify the playground, but provide some much-needed shade for the children during the hot, summer months.

Her journey was not an easy one. The playground had no room for a garden and all the bare earth was covered in a thick layer of black concrete. In order to begin, Summer had to have the blacktop removed. She and a group of volunteers removed the blacktop and personally dug away the rubble and rocks. She gained the support of local businesses, such as Seranos Nursery in Colton, receiving a donation of plants and supplies to complete her project. She installed a sprinkler system and carefully selected fauna that wouldn’t cause students with allergies distress.

Yet, the students of Grant Elementary were not the only group to benefit from Summer’s “Kinder Garden” project; their parents and teachers also enjoy the new green space.

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Before and After

John Ofrea, a teacher at Grant Elementary School, said, ” She’s really made the school a better place. I can’t even begin to describe how proud we all are of Summer. She pooled individuals from all over the city together and managed to make a big impact on the students. I think her biggest contribution was simply being a model for the younger kids, showing them what volunteer work is all about.”

The garden has made such a large impact on Grant Elementary that reports of parents pulling their cars to the side, just to admire the new green space their children will play beside, were abundant.

Summer is Captain of the Redlands High School Mock Trial team and an honors student. She hopes to attend an East Coast school for college and study business or law. “I’m very glad I decided to pursue my Gold Award. I learned a lot about philanthropy and fund raising in the process,” said Summer.  “Skills I know will help me in my future career.”

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