In just five weeks, a grade-school girl can learn how to successfully work with others, help her community and start a journey to change the world.

Those are the goals of the new pilot program being offered at the local Jewish Community Center by the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

The two organizations are working together to present a five-week Girl Scout program open to girls from second to fifth grades, especially those who don't have time for the traditional year-round Scout experience because they're doing other activities or because of their families' schedules, said Ann Hughes, executive vice president with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

"The girls will get focused experience of the lessons and activities done for all Girl Scouts," she said. "They will be working with other girls, learn how to set and accomplish goals, identify community issues to solve, develop leadership skills and learn to make a difference in the world."

The Jewish Community Center, at 2000 Hollywood Drive in York Township, has a designated room for the Girl Scouts' sessions, said Holly Metzger, the JCC's youth fitness director.

"This is a great opportunity for us to collaborate with the Girl Scouts on their program," she said. "It makes it easier for families to come to our location at a time that works better for them."

The sessions: The five-week sessions for girls in grades two and three will run at the center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, April 14 through May 19, though there is no class scheduled for April 21.

For girls in grades four and five, session are Tuesdays, from April 22 to May 20, except on April 22 and May 20.

The overall fee is $70 for Girl Scout members and $105 for nonmembers.

By paying their fee, non-members will become official Girl Scouts members, Hughes said. The second- and third-grade girls will become Brownies, while girls in grades fourth and fifth grades will be 4 and 5 will become Junior Girl Scouts, she said.

The fee includes session supply costs, a Girl Scouts T-shirt and pin, access to all the badges and awards that can be earned over the five-week period, immediate and unlimited access to Girl Scouts events and activities, a copy of a Girl Scouts journey book titled "It's Your Planet, Love It!"

Prior to the sessions, free demonstration classes will be held so the girls and their families can meet the instructors and learn how the sessions will run. Those classes are 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday for second- and third-grade girls and on Tuesday for the fourth- and fifth-graders, Metzger said.

Girl Scout team coaches will lead the sessions, which will focus on the environment and how people's decisions affect others. The girls also will do a community service project, Hughes said.

Pilot program: This is the first time Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is running a Scout program through community-based organizations, she said. Besides at the JCC, similar pilot programs also are available in Centre, Cumberland, Lackawanna, Lancaster and Northumberland counties, according to Hughes.

Another five-week session with different topics will be offered in the fall in additional counties, she said. Girls who have participated in the first session can attend the fall program.

"We want to connect more girls with Girl Scouts," she said. "We want girls to know that while they're doing other things, they can still be a Girl Scout."

The Girl Scouts serves 24,500 girls in 30 counties, including 3,500 in York County.

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.

At a Glance

The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is running a five-week program, open to girls from second to fifth grades, at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive in York Township.

The sessions and two free classes run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for all age groups.

he sessions for girls in grades two and three will run on Mondays, April 14 through May 19, though there is no class scheduled for April 21. The free demonstration class is Monday.

For girls in grades four and five, sessions are Tuesdays, from April 22 to May 20, except on April 22 and May 20. The free class is Tuesday..

The overall five-week session fee is $70 for Girl Scout members and $105 for nonmembers. By paying their fee, nonmembers will become official Girl Scouts members.

Registration will be accepted until the first day of the sessions. To register, call the JCC at 843-0918.