For Dylan Faaland, arriving to school safely is important.
The 14-year-old rides her bike to Inglewood Middle School every morning. Faaland has a headlight, tail light and wheel lights to make herself visible to cars, other bicyclists and people. Faaland said it can be frightening — especially on the darker mornings — when she can’t see other people or bicyclists coming her way.
To promote bike safety, Faaland will be hosting an educational workshop on April 25 at her middle school. Her workshop, Light it Up!, will encourage student bicyclists at her school to use their lights. The goal is to make bicycle riding to school safer for her peers and for everyone else. On the day of her workshop, Faaland will give away 22 bicycle lights to students who register and attend the workshop.
“I’m hoping it will inspire others to turn their lights on more often so they don’t get into an accident,” Faaland said about her workshop. “There are a lot more accidents that actually happen (and) hopefully (this) impacts them for the future.”
“It [directly] affects me,” Faaland said. “I’ve almost run into people before and I don’t want to hurt anybody… It’s frightening.”
Faaland’s Light it Up! project is part of her pursuit toward a Silver Award from Girl Scouts of Western Washington. The Silver Award is the second highest award of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the highest award a Girl Scout cadette can earn, according to the Girl Scouts website.
Girl Scout cadettes must identify an issue they care about, develop their project, make a plan and put it into motion. And that is what Faaland is doing.
Faaland has done her research, developed a plan, talked to her school principal, filmed and edited an informational Youtube video, made personalized flyers and even contacted the company that makes her bike lights, who donated 20 bike lights.
According to Falaand’s mother and Girl Scouts troop leader, Faaland began her project more than two years ago. The suggested time for a girl to put in for her Silver Award is 50 hours, and Faaland will most likely be over the required hours once her project is complete.
“I’m very proud of Dylan, and I’m impressed,” Elizabeth Faaland told the Reporter. “ One of the things I love about Girl Scouts is when I guide my girls and then take a step back as they ‘do’ — every single time since first grade, I find myself saying, ‘Wow!’”
Elizabeth Faaland added that when children feel like they’ve made a difference, it boosts their self-esteem and self-trust. When they get older, the amount of change they can make “radiates further.”
“I believe she now has the ability to take on any project,” Elizabeth Faaland said about her daughter. “The best part is, she thinks that too.”
For more information about the project, go online to the Light it Up! Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Light.It.Up.GSWW/.