Briefly Noted: Girl Scouts create Kindness Rock Garden at McAuliffe Elementary

Girl Scout Troop 825 in Lenexa created a Kindness Rock Garden at Christa McAuliffe Elementary. Photo courtesy Girl Scout Troop 825.

Girl Scouts create Kindness Garden at McAuliffe Elementary

Six troop members from Girl Scout Troop 825 in Lenexa just completed their Bronze award project: creation of a Kindness Rock Garden at Christa McAuliffe Elementary in Lenexa.

The participants included Greer Borghardt, Claire Gibbar, Kamea Shuler, Annika Rowcroft, Oliva Travis and Taylor Smith. Troop 825 is led by Nicole Borghardt and Colleen Gibbar

The purpose of the award is to make a difference in the troop’s community and watch how their small actions can make a big impacts.

Nicole Borghardt said her troop did just that.

“The kindness garden has been embraced by the students, the parents and the community,” Borghardt said via email. “You will often see families stopping by the school on weekends to check out the garden or sit on the benches.”

Borghardt said the entire school was included in the project, including remote students. The girls cleared the unused space at the elementary school, installed the garden and then presented to each classroom so they could take a few minutes out of class to check out the garden.

Borghardt said Principal Michael Orr was “so supportive of the girls.”

“I would also be remiss to mention this is the highest award these girls can earn as Junior Girl Scouts and the third highest award as Girl Scouts,” Borghardt added. “And to do it during a pandemic school year was not short of a miracle.”

SM West junior Benjamin Phillips earns perfect ACT score

Benjamin Phillips, a junior at Shawnee Mission West, recently earned a perfect score on his ACT exam.

Shawnee Mission West honored Phillips in an announcement of his accomplishment on social media.

“Less than one-tenth of one-percent of all ACT test-takers earn a perfect composite score on the ACT exam,” the high school reported.

Phillips is considering pursuing higher education in physics.

Jewish Family Services expands home maintenance assistance program

Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City has expanded its Help@Home home maintenance assistance program.

The membership-based program is available to adults age 60 and older or adults with disabilities who live in portions of Johnson County or Jackson County, Missouri. Services are expanded for members who need short-term help transitioning from a rehabilitation center or hospital.

A complete list of services is available at

Merriam Dolphins registration open, practice begins June 1

Registration for Merriam Dolphins, the city’s swim and dive teams, is now open.

Swimmers ages 18 and younger can sign up for one or both of the teams either in pre-competitive swim, for those wanting to improve their skills, and competitive swim for high-level swimmers, according to a city newsletter. Practice begins June 1, and registration can be completed online here.