Virginia Girl Scout councils hosted their annual Legislative Day on Monday, February 20 in Richmond. The day was an opportunity for Girl Scouts to speak to legislators about issues affecting girls and young women. Representatives included chief executive officers from three of the councils: Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth ofVirginia CEOMolly Fuller and Girl Scouts of SkylineVirginia Interim CEO Denise Stewart. The day started with a Cookies andMilk reception, where Girl Scouts met with their local legislators to share information about programs offered by Girl Scouts. They also shared findings from The State of Girls 2017: Emerging Truths and Troubling Trends , a report recently released by the Girl Scout Research Institute about the overall well-being of girls in the United States. According to the report, the well-being of girls in Virginia ranks number 13 in the country, moving up from number 23, as ranked in 2007. Girl Scouts shared that despite an overall growth of well-being for girls in the Commonwealth, there are still issues that need to be addressed, such as the 64 percent of eighth-grade girls who are not proficient in math and the 28 percent of girls ages 10 to 17 who are overweight or obese. Girl Scouts also visited the House and Senate where they were introduced in the Senate by Senator Janet Howell and in the House of Delegates by Delegate Daun Hester, who are both Girl Scout alumnae. A joint resolution was passed to acknowledge the 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program as marking the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts. The highlight for many of the girls who attended was visiting and touring theExecutiveMansion,where theymetGovernorTerryMcAuliffe. The Governor presented them with a Certificate of Recognition for the success of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which has taught girls financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills for 100 years. The CEOs also visited with Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore and discussed the benefits of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and how Girl Scouts help prepare girls for the workforce in many ways. Legislative Day is just one of the ways that Girl Scouts works across party lines to educate and raise awareness about issues important to girls and young women. Through their advocacy efforts, Girl Scouts demonstrates to policymakers that the organization is a resource—and an authority—on issues affecting girls and Girl Scouting. Marcy Germanotta is Communications & Marketing Director for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. V Girl Scout Legislative Day in Richmond By Marcy Germanotta

V irginia C apitol C onnections , S pring 2017


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