A Keuka College freshman, Emma Mantione, an alum of Troop 10134 in Baldwinsville, part of the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways (GSNYPENN) Council, completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Music Book Library at Charles W. Baker High School. Her project coupled her affinity for music books with the benefits music has on youth mental health and has earned her the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Since 1916, the Girl Scout Gold Award has stood for excellence and leadership. It is the highest and most prestigious award that Seniors and Ambassadors can earn. Through their work on sustainable Take Action projects, recipients gain tangible skills and prove they are the leaders our community and the world need.
Emma and her three siblings accumulated many music books over the years. After speaking with her area library and learning that donated music books are often tossed away as they are not commonly requested or loaned out to patrons, she decided to help her school district and community by collecting music books for local student use. Emma collected donations during school concerts and community events and posted flyers locally to help with her book drive.
“Through my research, I discovered that music has many benefits for students. Whether playing an instrument or singing, it aids brain development, enhances learning and recall, helps with mathematics and literacy, and reduces stress and anxiety,” she says.
By talking to music ensemble directors, Emma also learned that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 20-30 percent of members stopped taking part or dropped out. Knowing through her research that students have experienced an increase in anxiety and depression due to the pandemic, she surmised that if students could get back to music or start for the first time, it could lead to an increase in ensemble participation, benefit their mental health and improve brain function. As part of her project, she also developed a spreadsheet that includes the list of books in the library to use for lending and replacement purposes.
Emma is a June 2023 graduate of Baker High School. She is currently a freshman at Keuka College, where she plays field hockey and studies elementary education. Her vision and Gold Award project will continue with help from her high school’s Key Club (to continue collecting music books) and Honors Orchestra (to maintain the library).
GSNYPENN serves girls in K-12 across 26 counties: Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates in New York and Bradford and Tioga in Pennsylvania. Annual membership is just $25; financial assistance is available