Stephani Sawicki

Rockford grad’s final Scout project to benefit kids in need

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

Lending Library for youth staying at St. John’s Home by BETH ALTENA Every spring graduates of Rockford High School wrap up a major part of their lives to date: saying goodbye to friends who are off to spend summer elsewhere, leaving for college at different schools, realizing the group they have grown up with for the past 12 years are beginning a new phase of their lives. For Stephani Sawicki, the ending of her high school career coincides with her last days as a Girl Scout, another part of her life that has been so important to her. She will spend this summer making sure the legacy she leaves as a Scout is an excellent one that will improve the lives of kids in this area. Sawicki is working on creating a lending library for St. John’s Home in Grand Rapids—a project that will earn her the  Girl Scout’s highest honor, the Gold Award, which is the equivalent of the Boy Scout’s Eagle Award. Ultimately, it will do much more than that. “I want to have books, chairs, posters, globes, to make a place where kids can go and escape into a world of reading,” she described. St. John’s home is a residential care home for children who have been removed from their family life due to severe neglect or abuse. With separate programs for younger kids, ages 6 to 12, and another for older kids, ages 13 to 17, the residences offer a place as youth either prepare to return to a rehabilitated family or for permanent placement. According to Sawicki, she heard about St. John’s from Candy Lancioni of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company. Lancioni had an uncle, now deceased, who was devoted to helping the boys and girls who found themselves at St. John’s, and would spend every weekend doing chores or spending time with the kids. According to Sawicki, there is little in the way of books there now, just a few on shelves, and no library. St. John’s has offered her a space to recreate with shelving, rugs, comfortable chairs, posters, bean bags, puzzles and games or other amenities to help the kids enjoy their reading time. From Aunt Candy’s she received a selection of books and a bright blue butterfly […]