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Girl Scouts give inspirational look to NUHS cafeteria

August 5, 2012
By Katie Hansel - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - A Silver Award Project was completed by Girl Scout Troop #30167 members Catherine Jensen, Emma Kearney, and Madison Sunderman. The girls chose to paint the recessed ceiling walls of the New Ulm High School cafeteria with inspiring quotes of character and the Character Counts pillar words.

The award requires that each girl work fifty hours on the project, and their 170 hours far exceeded that requirement. It must be something that they care about and gives back to the community. "We came up with the idea because we knew that Characters Counts is growing in our school," said Catherine Jensen.

Character Counts is a national school program that emphasizes ethical values that everyone can agree on, because they aren't political, religious, or culturally biased. Character Counts consists of educating around six pillars of character: fairness, caring, trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, and citizenship. The program was established at New Ulm High School three years ago.

Article Photos

Photo by Jayne Jensen
Girl Scouts (from left) Catherine Jensen, Madison Sunderman, and Emma Kearney painted the New Ulm High School Cafeteria this past week, adding inspirational quotes, as their Girl Scouts Silber Award project.

All of the girls will be freshmen this coming fall. Catherine is a member of Character Counts. The project was supervised by advisors Bob Apitz, Jayne Jensen, and Karla Hansel.

The girls decided to place the inspirational quotes in the cafeteria because it is the one place that every student in the school spends time in every day. "We figure that if they even get a glimpse of one word it will stick in their head all day," Catherine explained.

After solidifying their idea, they presented their project to New Ulm High School Principal Mark Bergmann for approval. "The project is awesome," said Bergmann.

The process took about five days and involved priming, painting multiple coats and applying the vinyl letters. The letters were transfers that were made by Sid's Signs. Sid DeLeo was very helpful in showing the girls how to work with the transfers. The paint was provided by Puhlman's Lumber.

"Our project cost $650. Character Counts donated $150 for us," said Emma Kearney. However, the rest of the money will come from donations. "We will be raising money by sending out a letter to all of our supporters, asking them to donate money," explained Madison Sunderman.

The girls are hoping that these words and quotes will have an effect inside and outside of school. "We hope that if students see the word 'respect' it will remind them to be respectful to their peers and teachers and at home, too," said Catherine.

Bergmann feels that the project will have a positive effect on the school. "I believe by involving students in the development of the character program, they develop ownership and excitement which will ultimately create the environment we are trying to achieve," he said. "Without leaders, such as these young ladies, our school and community would struggle to see how valuable our students and their voices are. I am very proud of the girls for taking this project on and making a difference in our school."

The girls are excited for their peers to see their project and are hopeful that students will continue to be inspired by the importance of developing a strong character.



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