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Team Leader: Sarah Bennett, Team Members: Riley Heryet, Tierney Eddey, Lizzy Vaughn, Nicole Smart, Andra Meyers, Lacey Johnson. Our main goal: To put together six boxes of Christmas presents for children in poverty all over the world. Did we achieve goal: Yes! What we did: Used money donated from local buisinesses to go shopping at the dollar tree for presents, then wrapped the presents, enclosed letters to the children and dropped them off at the local distributer. What did we learn: It's probably not as convenient or as "successful" planning projects a day in advance, but it is still possible, still fun and still rewarding
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For our project, the members looked around their house and collected slightly used towels that were still in good condition. We wanted to help the dogs, cats and other animals in a Vet Hospital be comfy! The towels also help the vet with cleaning up and drying messes. So, we took a field trip to the vet hospital after one of our meetings to donate 2 HUGE garbage bags of towels. The Vet Hospital was extremely appreciative of them!
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We arranged four projects for a local school's community service day; we included members from other schools. Some of us planted native plants in a burned area at a park in Malibu, some built enclosures for endangered tortoises at American Tortoise Rescue, and others cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for boys from a local correctional facility and served them and others the foods on Thanksgiving Day. We also provided musical entertainment that day. Our goals were to help our community and to involve as many students as possible. It was a marathon of events. It was fun and fulfilling. It was our way of saying thanks for our good fortune.
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Our goal was to learn about the endangered manatees of North America and gather enough money for our group to adopt a manatee for a year, through www.savethemanatee.org. Each child brought $1 of their own money to help pay for the adoption. We watched a video of the Reading Rainbow TV show episode about manatees and then each child voted for the manatee he/she wanted to adopt. They chose Ariel the manatee. We will receive periodical updates through the year from savethemanatee.org.
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This project is our ongoing neighborhood park clean up. The weather was a bit cool, a bit windy, but sunny and a beautiful day to be in the park. We do this clean up the 2nd Saturday of each month. It is very positive and productive to be able to see the park free of liter.
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Roots & Shoots members spent 5 days at Heifer International's Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA in a service-learning program where they worked on the farm, learned about world poverty, global economics and population and food systems. They also spent almost 24 hours living in Heifer's World Village learning about what it is like to be from a different culture with different resources available to them.
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This project was a joint effort between our two youth groups - Roots & Shoots and Junior Ecologists. It began October 13th and ended November 17th. Both groups were charged with a small change fundraising project in which all money would be donated to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC). To assist our youth groups, whose ages range between 5 and 15 years old, a "cheat sheet" was created for them. This sheet included information on the NRDC and the goals of the project so that the kids could better answer questions when asking people to donate their small change. It also included a list of people that they could ask for donations (parents, relatives, neighbors, small businesses, etc). Each youth received a small container that they were able to decorate and use as a collecting jar. In order to encourage the groups to collect small change, they will receive a pizza party in December in which the group that raised the least amount of money will serve the pizza to the other group first and then they will receive thier pizza. Small change fundraisers are suggested in the fundraiser section of the Roots & Shoots binder. I came up with the NRDC as a recipient because I wanted to teach our youth about the larger organizations that help to protect the environment. The NRDC is charged with protecting the planet, including people and plants and animals.
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Two families watched the film "Arctic Tales". This movie follows the lives of a walrus family and polar bear family as they find a way to survive their drastically altered environment due to global warming. Both families live in Alaska where our polar bear and walrus populations are in decline.
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Our group has started taking weekly nature appreciate walks. We meet at different nature sites around town each Monday and spend about an hour exploring. The kids investigate nature, play outside, watch birds and other animals, find animal tracks, look at clouds and trees, distribute bird seed, etc. The families love spending time outside, time together and time appreciating our beautiful outdoors. The kids love being outside and are developing a greater love of nature, the outdoors, a healthy, active lifestyle and time spent with friends and family. This idea was suggested to us by the Perry family of Massachusetts. They are a Roots & Shoots family who visited Alaska this past August/September and who we had the great fortune to become friends with.
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Our family made a donation via a Suzuki music method student and Jewish World Watch to raise money for school children in Darfur, Africa. Suzuki method music students from a studio in California sought families willing to sponsor the student a given sum for each day of music practice. We pledged $2.00 per day to our student for each day he practiced the violin. At the end of a month, we received an e-mail that our student had practiced 18 days during the month of October. We sent a check in the amount of $36.00 to Jewish World Watch to purchase school supplies and backpacks for children in the Darfur region.

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