North Attleborough native Alex Citrone made it her mission to teach and encourage children to love creative writing, and the Town Council is praising her work.
The 18-year-old Girl Scout of Troop 109 received a special certificate from the council on June 7, congratulating her on winning the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. Citrone earned the award in May for creating and teaching free creative writing classes for children from third to sixth grade at local libraries in Norwood and Dedham.
Council President Justine Pare said Citrone’s work ethic and goal to encourage children to enjoy writing was inspiring and proved she deserved to receive the award.
“To reach her goal, Alex showed determination and perseverance by continuing to be an avid writer who has published her book of poetry,” Pare said. “We are honored to congratulate her for her immense dedication and with this audience, congratulate her for reaching this pinnacle, the echelon of the Gold Award.”
Citrone, who lives in Norwood but was born in North Attleborough, said creative writing has been a passion of hers ever since she was young. She was inspired to create a curriculum and teach students because of the lack of creative writing classes in schools as the basis of her Gold Award project.
“I wanted to teach children that writing can be fun,” Citrone said. “I used to use journaling as a way to ground myself emotionally. Creative writing isn’t taught in the classroom anymore as people don’t see it as a lucrative career.”
Citrone’s project involved creating lesson plans for her classes based on the type of writing the students wanted to learn. She submitted the lesson plans to the libraries for future use and said she plans to continue to teach even as she gets ready to go to college at Worcester Polytech Institute.
“Throughout this project, I met so many brilliant young minds that just needed to be told what they could do in writing,” she said. “I had one student wanting to learn what an acrostic poem was and she wrote about equality and feminism. And she was just in third grade.”
Citrone said she enjoyed teaching creative writing and believed she had helped children find something they will love to do for the rest of their lives.
“I admire my fellow Girl Scouts who get their Gold Awards by going to Africa and helping people there, but sometimes, doing little things can go a long way,” she said. “I envy them, I do, but small things can change the world too.”
As she shook the hands of each councilor, her father, Joe Citrone expressed how proud he was of his daughter.
“She’s just amazing,” he said. “I’m blown away by all of this. Leaders from the town, the State House, and the Girl Scouts are praising her and her program.”