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Our Roots & Shoots group was given a free vendor's space at the Carmel Farmer's Market. We sold GreenBags that were donated by Marsh and Wrap-N-Mats (reusable sandwich wraps). The bags were sold for $1 and the Wrap-N-Mats were sold for $5. We also had recycling bins near our tent for anyone to use. Recycling flyers and informational brochures about R&S were available at our tent as well. We earned about $50 from this activity. We will either donate the money raised to local charities or use it to start new projects in our community.
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The Animals Asia Teen Team is involved in an ongoing effort to raise funds and awareness for the Animals Asia Foundation's Moon Bear Rescue Center in Chengdu, China. At an Earth Day event at the Marin Horizon School in Mill Valley, CA this past April, group members manned an information booth where they told fellow students about the plight of Moon Bears and sold AAF wristbands to raise $125 in "Honey Money" for the bears. Several weeks later, the school listened to a presentation about the Moon Bears given by an AAF staff member. He was accompanied by one our Animals Asia Teen Team members dressed as a Moon Bear Ambassador!
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Students in my fifth grade class at Old County Road School participated in the annual endangered species play that my class performs for our entire school. The play, titled Paws, Feathers, and Fins, combines nonfiction writing, poetry, drama, dance, music, art, and science to emphasize the message that the Earth needs our care and protection. Students choreograph original dances, write poetry about an endangered animal that they have researched, design costumes, set, and props, and memorize lines to perform the play for our K-5 school population. Through this experience students have a great deal of fun learning about what makes our planet so beautiful and what they can do to keep it that way. This message is shared with our audience in hopes that they will take action on behalf of Earth.
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The students and faculty at Old County Road School in Smithfield Road Island worked together to raise money to create a National Wildlife Federation certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat. We sold garden stepping stones to raise money to buy the necessary supplies for our habitat. Classrooms worked to make birdbaths, paint nesting boxes, design the layout of the habitat, and finally plant the selected plants. Our goal was to allow students to understand what needs a habitat has to meet (food, water, shelter, places to raise young), why habitats must be conserved (habitat loss being the number one cause of endangered species), and to provide students a place to interact with nature on the school grounds in a very personal, hands-on manner. We plan to add on to the habitat in the years to come and use it as an outdoor classroom as part of the No Child Left Inside initiative.
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On Saturday July 19th, it was the mayor's Central Area Day of Service in LA. There were many projects all over the city and after, all the volunteers were invited to go to a festival at LACC. We were able to have ten members on our group to attend Casa Libre/ Freedom House to do a re-beautification/clean up of the shelter landscape. We were split up into groups to do different things around the shelter. Some were working on the garden and some were painting the front of the shelter and picking up the trash. We were working with L.A. Conservation Corps and Common Grounds Master Gardener Program on this project. This was a good experience because we were able to meet other groups and get contact information with other organizations that are interested in working together for future projects. It was also an inspiring experience because seeing that a lot of people all over the city were doing something in their neighborhoods.
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We wanted to clean the sidewalk where it was really difficult to walk on. We organized our group members to clean the streets in our neighborhood that we felt should be cleaned up. We achieved this goal by having dedicated volunteers who will come early on a Saturday morning to do labor. We learned that people do notice the trash that we have in our neighborhood but they just needed a motivation to do something about it. This was an inspiring project because we see that people do appreciate having a clean environment. Some of the members found that doing something is better than doing nothing. After doing the street cleanup more members of the club wanted to join future clean ups because it is a good experience. It gave us more ideas to sustain a clean environment in our community.
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School: Nuview Bridge Early College High School Group/Organization: Nuview Roots & Shoots Project Title: From Small Beginnings Come Great Things Our project consisted of partnering our high school with a neighboring elementary school to plant a garden. We contacted the principal, Tom Siegal of Nuview Elementary School and he supported our project idea. We were able to obtain a plot of land in the kindergarten area. Our first step included designing our garden and determining our timeline and project outline. We measured the land and determined that our garden would consist of 6, 8x 10 plots that would be utilized for planting. We were able to secure a tractor that took the grass out of our garden site. Once this was done, we had to spray the plots with Roundup weed killer to insure that the grass would not continue to grow. We then began preparing the plots by rototilling the existing dirt. We framed the garden with wood and secured the boards with metal brackets. We purchased 8 yards of planting soil and put the soil into the planting boxes. Now the fun began! We purchased plants and seeds including yellow squash, zucchini, beets, watermelons, carrots, sunflowers, giant pumpkins, and pickles. We planted our garden and ran sprinkler drip lines to each individual plant. We set the sprinkler drip system up on a timer to insure that the garden would adequately water during the summer months. We did achieve our proposed outcome in that we now have a planted garden that students will be able to maintain and learn about the environment. We also wanted students to learn leadership skills and the opportunity to give back to the community. Finally, we wanted youth to connect with the environment, promote sustainable agriculture, and teach youth to grow food for themselves. The students that participated in the project showed great leadership skills and have continued to be committed to learning about environmental issues.
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Prior to our recycling program at school we needed to make more it sustainable to enable us to educate the school more about the importance of recycling and fund raise money to help us with future projects. We wrote a Recycling Grant so we can purchase educational materials and supplies that will help the program more accessible to students around the campus. We came up with this project because we needed a more efficient way to transport the recyclables at the recycling center and educate new incoming students about this issue. This project was inspiring because many participants learned about the importance of recycling, elements on working on a grant, commitment, and responsibilities. It was inspiring to see that more people are recycling in their own homes and becoming aware of their daily activities that affect our environment. The outcome of this project gave personal growth to each participants and that we are able to educate people more about it. We are also able to recycle more with the recycling bins around the campus.
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When the students began to research ways they could help fight cancer, they discovered that there are a series of walks around L.A. geared towards raising money for cancer research sponsored by the American Cancer Association. Four Bret Harte students fund raised $100.00 apiece to become part of one of these walks. The four Bret Harte students joined forces with four others After-School All-Stars sites located in the valley to fundraise over $5,000.00 for the Walk 4 Life. The students would be participating in 24 hour walk-a-thon where they would take turns walking around the track non-stop for the entire 24 hours, learn information regarding cancer research and listen to keynote speakers and survivors of cancer. The students arrived at 8:30 AM the morning of May 31st at Birmingham High School for registration. From there the students set up camp for the day and evening. The opening ceremony began at 11:00 AM, and then the walk began. Throughout the walk, students walked with banners they created, listened to the DJ and the different speakers talk about their experiences as survivors of the disease or how their lives have somehow been affected by cancer. When it began to get dark around 8:00 PM they had a candlelight vigil for the survivors and it gave a chance for our students and other participants in the walk to speak on the microphone about their experiences with cancer. This section of the evening was very emotional for the students listening to these stories and listening to their peers tell their own experiences with cancer. The night was topped off by a dance with all the participants. Throughout the entire night and into the morning students continued to walk. In the morning, students cleaned up their camping area and listened to the closing ceremony. The After-School All-Stars participants were the second largest group donor for the entire walk-a-thon. The students believed it was an extremely powerful experience.
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The students at Downtown Value School did a cell phone drive for homeless students. When the phones are donated, they are sold and the money goes to Stand Up for Kids. The students advertised for a couple of weeks prior to the the actual drive by making signs and fliers. The students learned about marketing and how to reach a goal. The project was inspiring because the students were able to take a cause, and figure out the best possible way to fundraise at their school. The outcome of the project was that students were able to realize that they could make a difference on their own. The students reicieved over 20 cell phones throughout the drive.

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