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Role Model Spotlight: Kayla

Role Model Kayla G. Mackney

Age 13, Grade 8

Burlington, NJ

Over the summer, my girl scout troop of three started our Silver Award Project as a service for the Burlington County Animal Shelter to help socialize cats and make them ready for adoption by being comfortable around children. We started Purrfect Readers which met every Thursday Night (July – September) to engage kids in grades 1-8 with both speech and literacy skills by reading out loud to the shelter cats in a comfortable setting. The kids would interact with the cats by reading to them and petting them which also helped reduce the animal’s stress level keeping them healthier.

My specific role was to promote Purrfect Readers and we had approximately 100 kids attend our program. Many kids signed up for more than one time slot and came back week to week, so we became “ambassadors” to the families by bringing them to the cat cages and cat rooms so they could engage with the animals. The most rewarding part of the project was to actually see the cats (and dogs) getting adopted. Whole families come to the shelter to visit the animals and then they would come back for an adoption. My troops’ personal goal is that one of our reader’s families also adopts a cat by the end of our project; which is why we designed our program so that it could continue to serve our community after our initial completion of it.

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