United States
Roots & Shoots got the entire elementary school involved during Earth Week in collecting plastic bottle tops. The tops came from drinks, shampoo, laundry detergent etc. We teamed up with Aveda. They have a campaign to recycle them so they don't end up in landfills, oceans, & streams!! Each classroom collected them for 2 weeks! The amount of tops we collected was incredible! The kids were so excited to be involved in this. The kids then wrote letters thanking Aveda for recycling the tops. When I turned the tops in they gave me great news. The company is going to be collecting tops forever! So we can do this every day!
Canada
KSA, co-president James Brooks arranged this project to try to let kids in the Democratic Republic of the Congo know that kids in Canada cared about them and their country and to learn more about the D.R.C. James began this also because he wants to save the bonobos and knows that the kids of the D.R.C. are the bonobo caretakers of the future. First, he contacted organizations such as Lola Ya Bonobo and the Canadian Ape Alliance to find out about arranging an exchange. After finding an environmental school through the Canadian Ape Alliance, he got them in touch with his teacher. He researched the D.R.C. and did a presentation to his class and the exchange began. Although the average hours worked was 5 hours, James did many more hours for the exchange. We met our goals somewhat because we did successfully exchange some letters; we learned a lot; and we improved our French since the letters had to be in French. However, because there is no mail delivery in the D.R.C. and sometimes computer access is hard in the eastern D.R.C. the campaign was not as successful as we had hoped. Also, teachers get busy and sometimes have other things to do. James is hoping to arrange a program with the D.R.C next year that will start right in September and arrange it through a school club rather than the classsroom. The project was very inspiring as it was very exciting to get letters back and learn.
United States
Kids Save Apes members James Brooks and Jeremy Peterson-Katz produced a project to inform people about the dangers of palm oil to the planet and particularly to orangutans. They researched palm oil, emailed primatologists, found out what products use palm oil that people might not suspect, produced a presentation on palm oil and orally presented it at school. The goal of the project was to raise awareness of the way in which palm oil producers are destroying valuable natural resources. We wanted to let people know that more and more forest is being destroyed. We learned a great deal, including the fact that 1 in 10 products in the grocery store have palm oil or that oil palm trees are not even native to Indonesia. The project was a success because we informed a lot of people but still a lot needs to change.
United States
Instead of exchanging gifts, the children and teachers elected to gather supplies for the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This is the third year that the group has made these donations. Items ranged from towels and blankets to laundry detergent and food. The NHSPCA lists the items they need and the teachers distribute it to the group so the donations are aligned with the needs. The children learned about the needs of the animals as well as the work the SPCA does. Many of the items (old towels and blankets for example) were recycled items that some might have thought of as trash were actually very desirable and helpful to the shelter.
United States
For the third year in a row, the group learned about children in Picayune, MS at the Nicholson Elementary who are STILL displaces by Hurricane Katrina. Principal Vera Beech confirmed that there were still 75 children at her school who are living in FEMA trailers. The older children (second and third grade) focused on the messages, and the third graders practiced their letter writing skills.
United States
For the 3rd year, the group was visited by a giant peace dove on UN International Day of Peace, and looked at pictures of doves that were displayed around the world last year and found their locations on a world map. The children learned a bit about what the UN does, and how it encourages countries to work out differences peacefully, just as their teachers encourage them to work with each other. The children enjoyed knowing that other children all around the world were also looking at Peace Doves that day and hoping for peace.
United States
On November 3rd two members of the Big MAC R&S group volunteered at Sears to help promote the Kenmore brand to promote energy efficiency in the home. They distributed Roots & Shoots brochures and an informative home energy conservation flyer at their local Sears store. It was a challenging effort because we weren't allowed to approach customers, they had to approach us. We spoke with a few people.
United States
A week before the planting: A group of parents and children plotted out the garden perimeter, cleared out the grass, and amended the soil. Each class made 2 stepping stones out of leftover concrete a parent donated, and each child had the opportunity to insert a treasure. One girl brought in a shell her grandmother had brought her back from Spain on her annual visit home. It was a beautiful shell, the color of saffron. Other children brought in pebbles, shells, marbles, etc. Some children chose to insert shells the teachers had available. We also discussed the benefits a garden provides and the list included a habitat for bugs, which looks pretty, smells good, provides food for animals, provides shelter for animals... and so on! The day of the planting, we gathered up the plants that many children had brought in. Some were divided out of family gardens, which made them extra special. We invited the custodian out to show us where he walks to raise and lower the flag. We used flour to mark the area, and then laid out a path using flagstones one family donated that was left over from a project at their home. Each class took turns planting a segment of the garden, and each segment was demarked using the stepping stones made by the classes. The garden included (but was not limited to): seedum, pansies, tulips, thyme, snow drops, marigolds, violas, iris, various annual and perennial bulbs, a Korean lilac, sweet williams, English daisies, painted daisies, pulmonaria, Montana bachelor buttons and more! The soil was also amended with worm compost. The garden also includes a bird bath for splashing and water supply. It was edged with brick that was reclaimed from a demolition project. The classes continue to tend to and water the garden as the plants are established.
United States
Several times, the second grade class made beautiful and creative art treasures out of what some short-sighted people might think of as trash. On Earth Day, all three classes made treasures.
United States
Our project had many areas and programs but our goals were all achieved. We made a mission statement: Deer Creek Dreamers recognizes and values the inherent curiosity of each child, nurtures compassion, inspires the love of learning and allows children the time and experiences necessary to embrace their intellectual, creative and social potentials. We partnered with local Girl Scouts, schools and Oklahoma Master Naturalists. Our programs always included a service project like paper drives, clothing collection, food collection, planting trees, cleaning up streams and city park and nature reserve. The programs had a guest speaker speaking on topics from ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, hunger, peace and subjects that kids need to hear about. Our outcomes brought in tons of volunteers signing up for long-term projects like Adopt-A-Park or working at the animal shelter and recycling center. I learned to accept help and not do everything myself. It was fun and rewarding!

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