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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 10, 2020

Holmdel Girl Scout Earns Silver Award for Work in Libraries

Upcycled children's book butterfly for Switlik Elementary School Library

Amelia Petretti, a ninth grader at Holmdel High School, has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award. The Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve. It gives girls the chance to show they are a leader who is organized, determined and dedicated to improving the community. To earn this award, Girl Scout Cadettes must contribute at least 50 hours to their project.

Petretti’s project was “Children’s Library Enhancement through Art.” Through research, she found that art for children is linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Her project focused on creating art for two newly renovated libraries: the Holmdel Public Library and Switlik Elementary School in Jackson.

She created an alphabet made on 26 individual canvases to be hung in the children’s department at the public library in Holmdel. In addition, she created two butterflies to be hung in each library made from recycled children’s books donated by the Switlik Elementary Library.

Petretti volunteered her time following the renovation of the Switlik Elementary School Library Media Center last year by helping to re-shelve many books.

“We were so excited that she offered to create an upcycled book butterfly to decorate our new space” said Switlik Elementary School Library Media Specialist Lori Palmé. “

Amelia Petretti presents her Girl Scout Silver Award projects to Holmdel Children’s Librarian Alanah Mellin

A love of reading, a love of books and a love of her community was evident in her project. She did an amazing job, and the kids at Switlik are inspired to read as well as recycle based on her artwork.”

Petretti explained, “It felt great to give back to the children of the community, and overall it was an eye-opening experience I won’t forget. It was amazing to see the process unfold in front of my eyes. My dad was a big help in the construction of both butterflies. I enjoyed working with him on each step of the construction. He’s my hero in so many different ways. All of my hard work paid off when I saw my creations on the wall.”

Petretti’s projects can be seen in the library at Switlik Elementary School as well as the entrance and activity room of the children’s department in the Holmdel Library at Bell Works