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Students are working to increase public knowledge concerning the superior pollination abilities of the native Orchard Mason Bee, especially for fruit tree crops - common in our farming area. They are also learning the steps of completing research work using the project approach. The students will be continuing this work over the next several months, including production of pamphlets, charts, presentation boards and kiosk flyers. They have created and mounted Mason Bee homes around our school, and will be increasing the numbers of bees for area farmers/orchardists/gardeners. The skit they have created and presented to our school classes will be useful as they work to expand our school's community connections.
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We try to pick a different theme for projects at our school each year. This year our theme was healthcare. This particular project had two goals: 1) To better educate ourselves and the school about homelessness in Albuquerque, NM. and 2) To collect personal hygiene items to distribute to the homeless. To achieve our goals the project had several steps. First we visited with staff members and the homeless at a local Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) site to learn more about the issue. Our findings and other information about healthcare issues around the world were then shared with other students at the school via presentations in computer class. Then we initiated a "drive" to collect as many personal hygiene items (individual use size) as we could from students. To motivate students we had classes compete for weekly ice cream parties and a pizza party at the end (based on the amount of items they collected.) Each class was assigned a different item to collect such as hand-sanitizer, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, shaving cream, razors, and lotions. Over a two-week period we collected approximately $850 worth of personal hygiene items that were distributed to the homeless by HCH.
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This has been an ongoing event that the High School Group has put on in conjunction with the Green Briar Nature Center in East Sandwich. To prepare for this year, we researched three endangered or threatened turtle species found in our region. The turtles were the Red Bellied Turtle, the Diamondbacked Terrapin, and the Kemp-Ridley Sea Turtle. We also made turtle games- Tic Tac Turtle, Turtle bean bag toss, pin the tail on the turtle and turtle activities - make your own turtle, crosswords, word searches, coloring pages. Additionally we made a poster display of Dr. Jane and what Roots & Shoots is all about. Green Briar let us use their education room, turtle artifacts and the red bellied turtles they have at the center. The kids had a great time getting ready for this and really were engaged in the actual day. It did require a lot of planning. We were hampered in our efforts by the weather- we had planned several outdoor things but it was 40 degrees and raining the whole time. We also hit a few snags with meida releases which turned out to be a real learning experience for us. From a fundraising perspective it was not as successful as we had hoped. However, the kids loved it and we impressed several teachers from one of our local elementary schools and we will be bringing turtle day to them in June.
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We made more Happy Socks for the cats at our local Humane Society. We made overall 206 Happy Socks. Some of those were made at a Humane Society fundraiser called Bark In The Park - where we had participants help us by stuffing the socks. Even more cat toys were made in April and earlier this year.
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For the second year in a row, our Roots & Shoots members partnered up with students in fashion class at Warde High School in Fairfield, CT to present a "Trashy Fashion Show" at our town's Earth Day Celebration. At our first meeting we talked about why it's so important to use reusable cloth bags at the store instead of paper or plastic. We discussed how it's also important to reuse things to help save the earth. Students designed costumes out of recyclables to demonstrate creative ways to reuse trash. Before the day of our big show, 2 high school students visited our group to show our students how to walk the catwalk in style. At the Earth Day event we had two runway shows that were well attended and we were a big hit! As students walked the runway, their costumes were described and each student shared a special message, idea, or fact to save the earth. Our plan is to do this every year at our town's Earth Day event.
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As part of our ongoing "Ten Weeks to Change Our World" campaign, a small group of students produced baked goods at home, then sold them at school during lunch hours and a spring concert to raise money for a local Humane Society. The group also accepted donations of pet food for the local shelter. All of the projects in this campaign have grown from student ideas and planning. Our students learned that with a small effort (baking at home) they can make a significant difference for an agency like the Humane Society. Through their research, they also became more aware of the issues around unwanted and abandoned pets in our community.
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Our Roots & Shoots group participated in the Oregon Roots & Shoots Festival on April 23, in Wilsonville. We worked with Tom McCall Roots & Shoots to represent Forest Grove at this event that involved over 600 R&S members from all over the state. As an activity for all participants to do, we taught how to make "Seed Balls." These marble sized balls of clay, compost, and wildflower seeds are used to sow seeds. We also taught the Origami Peace Crane, sharing the story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Project surrounding her story. It was a wonderful day, seeing Jane Goodall and sharing with other Roots & Shoots groups.
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Our group of children keep penny banks at their homes to save money for the Central Virginia Wildlife Care Alliance, a non-profit organization in our area that rescues and rehabilitates injured wildlife. We have a fundraiser planned this summer, which will be held outside a local pet store. Our collections from home will be combined with our fundraising total and then donated to the Wildlife Care Alliance.
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We made cat toys from reused clean socks, fiberfill and catnip which we donated to two area animal shelters. Members brought in clean old socks which we stuffed with polyester fiberfill and catnip. We made about 150 toys which we donated to the Humane Society of Greater Akron and the Medina County Animal Shelter. This is the second year we have completed this project and last year we had guest speakers from both shelters come to a meeting a teach us about careers with animals and how they rescue animals. They brought live animals with them.
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Our Earth Day event included a plastic bag recycling drive, Climate Change Jeopardy game and lots of earth-friendly prizes.The Central Intermediate Roots & Shoots club held a week-long Earth Day Celebration at our school. We had many parts to our event:Club members created a climate change survey on www.surveymonkey.com to learn what students at our school already knew about climate change. We had almost 70 people respond to our survey. We shared the results at a meeting and used those to plan the following events. We held a plastic bag recycling drive and collected over 8,000 plastic bags and delivered them to a recycling center. Students and staff got a ticket for a raffle drawing for every 5 bags they brought in. We held a contest for all students at our school to share creative ways they reduce, reuse and recycle. We made a bulletin board and posted the best ideas on the board. We selected the top three ideas and gave the winners an Earth Day T-shirt (made from 100% recycled material) and will plant 3 trees in their honor. Members of our club taught a Climate Change Jeopardy game (adapted from the Earth Day Network's game) to home room classes throughout the week. Winning team members were given a raffle ticket. On Earth Day, we held the raffle and gave away 50 Earth Day Prize Bags. Each prize was a reusable grocery bag, organic kids' Clif bar and a packet of seeds to grow vegetables or flowers.

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