Emma Lenz knew that she wanted to combine her love of art with her passion for history in her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The best way to do that, she decided, would be to write and illustrate a children’s book about the history of Lynbrook.
“By writing a children’s book, it fulfills a need in the community,” she said, explaining that the Lynbrook School District did not include Lynbrook’s history in its curriculum.
Lenz, a junior at Lynbrook High School, then presented her idea at a Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook meeting, and President Patricia Sympson recommended that she go to the Lynbrook Public Library to look for any resources about the village’s history.
“I was thrilled,” Sympson said about her idea. “The story of our communities is very important to preserve and promote.”
Lenz then decided to use Art Mattson’s book, “History of Lynbrook,” as an inspiration for her book, “Memories of Lynbrook.” The book focuses on a young girl, Georgie, who looks through her Grandma Pearsall’s scrapbook of Lynbrook memories. Throughout the book, Georgie’s grandmother shares facts about the town, including the history of Lynbrook’s schools, important figures and monuments.
The book took about a year and a half for Lenz to finish. She used the self-publishing outlet IngramSpark to publish the book, and received the final version of her work before the holiday season.
Then, to complete her Gold Award project, Lenz spent the past few weeks reading the book to kindergarteners. On Jan. 28, she read the book to Sharon Dunn’s kindergarten class and asked the students if they were in Boys are Girls Scouts. The students then had the opportunity to share their favorite memories of Lynbrook.
Emma’s grandmother, Claire Lenz, got the opportunity to watch her presentation. “She is a delight, very talented and she was so relaxed,” Claire said of her granddaughter. “I thought she did beautifully with the children.”
Copies of Emma’s book are available for purchase at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, or could be borrowed from the Lynbrook Public Library.