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The Super Bowl is being played in Miami next weekend so there are a variety of programs being conducted preceding the event. We were able to take part in the NFL Environment campaign run by Susan and Jack Groh. Our club participated in the two week campaign to collect gently used sports equipment, board games and books for the local Boys & Girls Club. We collected 100 soccer balls, 400 chapter books and 50 board games. We took the items to the main office of the Boys and Girls Club to be distributed where needed.
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The Falls Church Roots & Shoots planted a small Native Tree Nursery at a local elementary school. We plan to use the white oak, red oak, pin oak, swampt white oak and persimmon tree seedlings this coming spring and fall in a local streamside restoration project. We are also working with our City's urban forester on this project.
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Our Falls Church Root and Shoots group made fifteen bagged lunches for the local homeless shelter
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We decided to study the animals of Africa by focusing on animals inhabiting three specific regions in Africa-- Savannas, Deserts and Rainforests. We learned about various adaptations animals have evolved and the circle of life. Additionally, we learned about threats to these creatures and what we could do to help. We completed our study of these animals with a trip to the Denver Zoo. The trip inspired the kids to raise money for the Jane Goodall Institute's Africa programs. To fundraise, the kids decided to sell drought-tolerant native wildflower seeds to friends at school. With each purchase we included a list of things people could do to help the environment and the African animals.
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We made valentines to send to children at Nicholson Elementary in Picayune, MS, who were displaced by hurricane Katrina. Out of 497 children attending the school, 103 still remain homeless today. All three grades (1, 2, and 3) did a terrific job. The third graders in our group practiced their letter writing skills. We plan to send at least 103 valentines.
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Our group got together and made about 100 cards for orphanages. A Mom in our group had a contact with someone who could help out internationally. The cards were all very warm and caring; the students really took pride in their efforts.
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As part of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network's (CCAN) "Keep Winter Cold" plunge, I jumped - along with 87 other crazy people - into the Chesapeake Bay. Before the "plunge," I emailed friends, family and co-workers to ask for pledges. We jumped into the bay on the beach of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation facility in Annapolis, Maryland. Although my feet stung for a few minutes, it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be!
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Roots & Shoots members created recycling boxes for every classroom in the school. Using boxes saved by the office (paper boxes), the students covered them with nature drawings and put the name of each individual teacher on the box. Volunteers take out the boxes each week to our school's paper recycling dumpster.
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The Roots & Shoots Candy Cane Sale was a success. Our group sold candy canes in order to raise money for two local animal shelters. We began selling the candy canes on December 11th, and raised $400 to be split between the two shelters. Roots & Shoots members met on December 22 to present checks to the animal shelters. Mary Carny, a coordinator from Rescue Village, came with three volunteers and their pets to receive the money. Members were also able to present a check to the Ohio Fuzzy Paws Rescue representatives.
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From building an indoor watershed, participating in World Water Quality Monitoring Month to planting small plants along a stream and learning about the animals in our "Zoo Room", 9 teachers have taken 120 3-5 year olds on an excursion into the world of water. Playing the water cycle game, putting on a concert for parents singing the Water Song by Magpie and creating take home projects on the animals who need good clean water water as we do, our children have learned what we do with our garbage and how we treat our land directly affects the quality of our water. As one little boy said recently "I'm going to have a baby soon and his teeth will be dirty so I turn off the water when I brush my teeth so he can have some to brush his teeth."! We plan to have a fundraiser to raise money for Hurricane Katrina Relief. We will use hairdryers, a pan full of water and small, plastic houses and animals to show the force of water in a hurricane. Right now, we are focusing on the animals.

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