Meet Rebekah Clark: a talented BSAC lifeguard, Girl Scout, and Blue Wave Swim Team Member who has made a lasting impact right here on our campus. With the help of her family, Rebekah created a mini library called Readbox, inspired by the Redbox video rentals located in popular stores in our area.
“I started this project back when I lived in Maryland because I really wanted to spread literacy and encourage kids to read outside of school,” said Rebekah. “When I was growing up, I was home-schooled. We would go to the library and I’d come home with a stack of books a foot tall and read all of them. It helped me with my schooling later in life.”
Rebekah attributes her excellent vocabulary and writing skills to reading, and she wants to help younger children understand the potential benefits it can bring throughout life. She believes reading will not only help kids in school, but will also help them in the future when it comes time to apply for jobs or go to college.
“I’ve seen how people write through reading, and I’ve been able to see other people’s perspectives on different issues,” said Rebekah. “I can learn about global issues through books people have written, and other historical things.”
Through her role as a lifeguard at BSAC, Rebekah saw an opportunity to make an impact in our after-school program. By building a Readbox, she could encourage children to spend more time in the BSAC homework room, where we have a specialized teacher available for tutoring and help on assignments. They can now find and share new books they like, or contribute to the Readbox and bring books from home.
“Kids look through books, and they can either read while in the homework room and put it back, take it home and bring it back, or they could even switch it out with another book they have at their house and keep the one they found here,” explained Rebekah.
This project originally stemmed from her involvement in Girl Scouts for the past 13 years. The Readbox is her final project, which will help her earn the Gold Award. This project took more than three years to complete, requiring she use all the skills she developed through her time in the organization.
“I’ve looked forward to this project for so long. It’s kind of nostalgic, but I’m also very excited to see it happen. Before now it had been an idea on paper but then getting to build it, paint it and see it, and then putting this first one in, it’s really exciting but also kind of sad because I know it’s all coming to an end,” said Rebekah.
She was first introduced to BSAC through meets when she was a swimmer at Strawberry Crest High. She later joined the BSAC Blue Wave Swim Team and became a lifeguard. Coach Rich Rogers has been a great help to Rebekah in overcoming struggles she faces both in the pool and in everyday life. During practice, it’s common to hear him say: “You have to make sure you push yourself because no one else is going to push you as hard as you can push yourself.”
Her impact doesn’t end with BSAC, she also built Readboxes to be placed at two other locations. One is located at the North Brandon YMCA, and another is at the revolution Ice Cream on 60. Students are encouraged to visit the other locations for more options.
“My grandfather, father, and I have always been woodworkers,” said Rebekah. “It runs in our family to build cabinetry. My great uncle has a C & C milling machine, so I designed the logo with a 3D printing software and we converted the files so it looks clean and chic. We made sure to use the right measurements so that it’s not super high so that the kids can’t reach, but tall enough that older students can comfortably see it.”
If you would like to donate children’s books for Rebekah’s Readbox, please visit Member Services.