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We met at our home and made edible ornaments for the squirrels and birds and decorated a tree in the forest for them. Then we went to hear speakers give a talk about mountain lions at the Journey Museum. We helped to sell reusable shopping bags and tees for the Mountain Lion Foundation.
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We helped the Sacramento Tree Foundation plant native plants and trees alongside the Mather bike trail. It was hard work digging in the rocky soil but great to see all the new life as we walked back. We plan to volunteer on future planting with STF. Everyone felt it was a great first project for us.
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Our project was to help raise money so we could donate to the Jimmy Fund. It consisted of allowing classmates and teachers in the upper and middle school to break the dress code for a fee. As people entered the building we would stamp their hand to acknowledge that our fellow classmate has participated.
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Big jars were placed in each middle and upper school homeroom, and the homeroom's goal was to collect as many pennies as they could. People from other homerooms were allowed to put silver coins and dollar bills into different homerooms' jars; and these coins deducted points from the pennies (each penny equaled one point, thus 10 cents equaled 10 points, etc.). The lower school collected pennies all together, and they brought in the pennies in their weight (so a child that weighed 67 pounds would bring in 67 pennies). Our main goal of this was to raise money for a charity called School on Wheels. We came up with this idea as a whole group (Roots & Shoots), and we brainstormed how we would get all of the things needed to make this happen, and we brainstormed when it would happen and how long it would go until. Penny Wars lasted from November 3rd, 2008 to November 21st, 2008. The final results resulted in 443 dollars and 5 cents. We believe that this was a great opportunity for the whole school to help out School on Wheels, and Penny Wars was a way that each person in our school could feel good about helping, and help the children from School on Wheels directly. Even if people just gave one penny, all of the pennies added up in the end.
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We borrowed the Arizona Game & Fish Dept education box titled Song Bird Blues. We used it to discuss what sorts of challenges song birds face and how we can help them. We then built winter 6 winter roosting boxes, made pine cone bird feeders and bird deflectors out of 2 used Cd's glued together, shiny side out and strung up w/ fishing lines to hang in front to large windows to prevent bird collisions. We had the supplies for the roosting boxes cut out and pre-drilled for participants so they could assemble them at our location.
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We held a food drive for the Covenant House in downtown Houston. Our main goal was to collect as many non-perishable items as possible in the three weeks we held the food drive. We were able to collect over 2,200 items! It was a very successful project.
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Our group baked 50 pumpkin and apple pies with organic ingredients, and distributed them to the Red Cross Homeless Shelter, The Salvation Army, and area food pantries to be served on Thanksgiving. Our local natural food co-op, Greenstar, allowed us to put up a donation box and table for money to buy ingredients. A nearby community center donated use of their kitchen. LittleTree Orchards donated 'drops', apples that otherwise would have gone to waste, and Sacred Seed Farm donated pumpkins. It was exciting for us to be able to bake twice as many pies as our original goal. We discovered that the youth and parents in our multi-aged homeschooling group really enjoy baking and cooking together, and we hope to do more of it in the future!
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The Teen Green Party with a Purpose (TGPP) is an exciting opportunity for young people (ages 12 - 18) to come together for positive, eco-friendly events that empower them to make community change while having fun. The core purpose of the project is to plant hundreds of trees throughout Central Texas through multiple TGPP's. By participating in the planning, party and planting we hope to achieve the following project goals: To introduce teens to the positive impact that community-based activism and activities can have on the environment; To give teens an opportunity to combine recreation with purposeful philanthropy; To empower teens, through training and responsibility, to make systemic change; To accomplish these goals we anticipate meeting the following objectives: Training 75 teens to become ¿Eco-inspiration Coaches¿ who will host a TGPP event in their own community; To involve 650 youth (teens and younger children) throughout Central Texas in TGPP events throughout the 2008-2009 school year; To plant a minimum of 400 trees throughout Central Texas through TGPP events; To encourage individuals and families to use recycled and reusable products by distributing 650 reusable cloth grocery/shopping bags with a green-message; To provide an opportunity for Central Texas youth organizations to participate in events that foster involvement and collaboration. To present an opportunity for teens to be seen as positive role models and influential community members to their public-at-large.
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We sponsored a soccer cleat collection drive at our school for the second time. this collection was opened up to our community. We made posters to advertise our drive and put them up in the library and post offices in our small town. We collected 55 pairs in all. Then we shipped them to Eurosport who in turn will distribute them to kids who cannot afford to buy their own cleats. We had collection 2 years ago for cleats to be sent to Mozambique. In this years' collection we actually collected more. The U.S. Soccer Foundation's Passback program is the group that is organizing this collection throughout the country. They are always looking for people who can collect and send in soccer cleats. The number of hours involved in this project depends on how wide a range you will be collecting in. We collected in our school, but also made posters to advertise to our town. Unfortunately, none of the cleats collected came from outside of the school's community.
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We collected personal products for our town's Food Pantry. Other groups donated non-perishable food, so the director of the Food Pantry suggested that we collect things such as: toothpaste, shampoo, soap,detergent, body cream, etc. We discuss within our group how people are going to have a more difficult time this winter because of the economy. We know that some of the children in our Roots & Shoots group may be part of families that will benefit from this drive, so we had to be particularly careful. We had an overwhelming response from our school community. Most people understood that the idea was personal products, but we still receive a little bit of canned food!! The director told me that some of the products we collected will be placed in gift baskets for the holidays going to families in need. Our town is small but we are very giving.

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