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Learning by lounging: Reading room opens at Girl Scouts office

Girl Scout Danica Brown, 15, reads in one of the cozy corners at Bookmans Low Lounge at the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council Resource Center. The Scouts have transformed an unused room into a colorful, relaxing spot.

Girl Scout Danica Brown, 15, reads in one of the cozy corners at Bookmans Low Lounge at the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council Resource Center. The Scouts have transformed an unused room into a colorful, relaxing spot.

The dusty old room was once filled with outdated textbooks and mounds of stuff no one seemed to care about.

But after a serious makeover, it is now an inviting, comfy spot for girls looking for a place to do homework, read, e-mail friends or just relax.

“I adore this room,” Danica Brown, 15, said of the new Bookmans Low Lounge at the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council, 4300 E. Broadway.

“It’s important for girls to have a place to come and hang out and relax and have fun,” Brown said.

The spacious room was transformed with help from Bookmans, which donated $3,000 to buy furniture and other items and $2,000 in services and books.

It is named after Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in 1912.

The room, stocked with hundreds of books to be loaned out, computers and cozy chairs, is free and open to all girls ages 5-17, not just Scouts.

Danica, who has been a Scout since she was in second grade, hopes the room inspires girls to develop a love of literature.

“It’s a safe place where you can find the joy of reading,” said the Academy of Tucson High School sophomore.

Helping to create the Low Lounge were Kristen Culliney, Katie Gorenflo and Kristen Cure, who work and intern with the Girl Scouts.

Before the transformation, the room held “a whole lot of nothing,” Culliney said.

They developed an idea for an inviting room for girls, perfect for book club meetings, yoga classes and troop sleepovers, as well as a place where girls could hang out after school and during the summer.

“If a girl needs a place where she can check her e-mail or or do her homework or a have a place to go where they won’t get in trouble, they can come here,” Culliney said.

Families are invited to a grand opening celebration Saturday (see box.) The lounge will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. Organizers hope to expand the hours.

Bookmans partnered with the Girl Scouts as part of an effort to promote literacy in the community, said Tamara Jones of Bookmans.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with young girls and share the passion of reading,” she said.

The Girl Scouts are seeking donations of additional items to complete the room. Call 319-3170 for information.

Danica Brown vacuums the floor at Bookmans Low Lounge as she helps the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council prepare for grand opening festivities.

Danica Brown vacuums the floor at Bookmans Low Lounge as she helps the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council prepare for grand opening festivities.

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IF YOU GO

What: Grand opening celebration of Bookmans Low Lounge

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sahuaro Girl Scout Council Resource Center, 4300 E. Broadway

Price: Free and open to all, including those who are not Scouts

Info: 319-3170

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Got cookies?

Can’t wait to get your hands on some Thin Mints?

Girl Scout cookies will be available in Tucson for $4 a box starting Feb. 14. Sales benefit the 13,000 Scouts in the the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council. Call 327-2288 for information on where to buy cookies, or go to www.ilovegirlscoutcookies.org.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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