Elizabeth Van Winkle of Fairfield has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. She will be a junior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in the coming academic year.

Van Winkle led a summer writing program at the Pequot Library in Southport as part of her requirements to win the award. She designed the program to inspire a love for writing in elementary school students, creating interactive games and writing prompts. She also encouraged the students to work in groups to complete writing activities.

A Fairfield Girl Scout troop will continue the program in the future.

Van Winkle received her Gold Award at an award reception June 1 at the University of New Haven.

In order to earn the Gold Award, senior Girl Scouts must spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community.

Visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php for more information about the Gold Award.