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As a kick off for the school year, Roots & Shoots families gathered at school on a Friday evening for a community building potluck. Families were asked to bring their own reusable utensils and cups in order to reduce waste. Paper plates and napkins were composted.
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During our Fair Trade Gift Sale we also sold popcorn and took donations for Heifer International. The proceeds from the popcorn and donations totaled $103.00.
Sweden
Ing-Marie Persson the Roots & Shoots coordinator Furuvik Sweden criticized Tele2 for their advert using chimpanzees in the main roles. When she saw Tele2's advertising film where confused chimpanzees play with two balls with the writing "Small bill" and "Big bill" on them she was both angry and agitated. Instead of keeping this to herself she wrote a letter to tele2. There she reminded them of the CITES agreement which states that one must not use endangered species for commercial purposes. She received a rather cold reply but as soon as the national press gave coverage to her protest there was reaction from this giant telephone company. They telephoned me today and said that the advertising campaign was going to be withdrawn. I was so delighted and felt that one can in fact influence these large companies. Ing-Marie Persson had a long conversation with Thomas Ekman, the Sales and Marketing manager for tele2 in Sweden. It is a matter of principle that endangered species are not to be used in the interests of commerce. for Ing-Marie Persson it isn't just about the individual chimpanzee in this film but the fact that we must refuse to take any part in this illegal chimpanzee trade. After their discussion Thomas Ekman understood the seriousness of the situation and decided to withdraw this advertising campaign. He also promised to spread his newly found knowledge to other large companies that he was in contact with. He said that it was good thing if they as a firm which advertised a great deal could go out and defend the morals here. He hoped that other large companies would follow this lead. It felt a bit like Davids victory over Goliath
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August - December In cooperation with Breaking Up Walls and a number of other non-profit and for-profit organizations, we gathered donations and assembled care packages for homeless teens and tweens who live under a bridge in a barrio in South Phoenix. The care packages were assembled within pillowcases artfully decorated by our children. In addition to toiletries, snacks, clothes, and comfort items, the care packages included sleeping mats sewn from donated jeans. A few very talented moms and a grandma in our group sewed some and the children decorated them with paint handprints. From gift cards donated from local stores, a bake sale fundraiser at AZ on the Rocks (where Scottsdale's Mayor Manross stopped by), and generous donations in honor of Liam's second birthday, we raised almost $500 - enough to complete 25 care packages! On December 4th, our group went on a "Scavenger Hunt Shopping Spree" to buy the items for the care packages. What a surprise it was for the cashier to ring up three overflowing carts worth over $400 dollars! Luckily, we had 13 R&S youth members to help pack up the purchases in IKEA reusable blue bags from an IKEA grant. Over several days we helped assemble the care package items we and others had collected. In all, Breaking Up Walls assembled 329 pillowcase care packages for homeless youth - what an accomplishment! We look forward to collaborating with Breaking Up Walls on future projects to care for the homeless. (Photos on our website www.resourcesforhealth.org)
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10/5-10/6/07 10th Annual Green Building Expo This year, our second time hosting a table at the annual Green Building Expo in Scottsdale, we were accompanied by members of Liberty Wildlife Roots & Shoots. This outstanding event is as much about living green as it is about building green. At our table, we shared information about Roots & Shoots and offered activities for children including an EcoQuiz Scavenger Hunt, the Lunch Box Game, seed planting in biodegradable paper pots, face painting, building with Magic Noodles, and solar baked cookies. This year's expo included a first annual solar cookoff, and our own youth leader Sammi took second place for her dish of stuffed mushrooms and couscous. Way to go, Sammi! (photos on our website: www.resourcesforhealth.org)
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Ruby, our garden mentor at Superstition Farm, graciously invited us to her home to learn about her permaculture gardening projects and to make seedballs. At its most basic, the purpose of a seedball is to plant seeds out while protecting them from birds and bugs. By incorporating many varieties of seeds, it is also a method to re-vegetate the land. Using the seedball method, you take a risk that not everything will grow, but trust that something will. There may be several varieties of seeds in any particular seedball, but whatever plant is best suited to the location where the seedball ends up is the plant that will grow. Through careful observation, one can then learn about what plants are best matched with what conditions. Seedballs also can be a method of "guerilla gardening" where they are thrown into empty city lots. That sounded like fun to all of us, but for now our seedballs will be used at our own homes and our garden at Superstition Farm. (photos and Ruby's seedball recipe on our website: www.resourcesforhealth.org)
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Lydia Reznik, a local Roots & Shoots group leader and science and biology teacher, gave us a presentation about Global Warming at the New Vision Center for Spiritual Growth. Ms. Reznik is a volunteer with The Climate Project trained by former Vice President Al Gore. Her customized global warming slide presentation included information specific to Arizona and the Southwest as well as more basic science (taking out politics) for students. There were also numerous informative slides on how everyone can take a step to help curb CO2 emissions. After the presentation kids got to decorate their own reusable bags to take home.
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At Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation, we learned about the importance of enrichment toys for rescued wildlife. Youth leader Sammi describes: "We made a bear piñata for the bear with honey, peanut butter and jam. We also sprayed squares of carpet with perfume for the bobcats to smell. It was so much fun for everyone and we learned a lot about the animals." (photos on our website: www.resourcesforhealth.org)
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We used our money from PROJECT BAKE SALE ($187) to buy toys for Kids in Crisis. We bought over 20 toys. After we were done shopping, we delivered the toys to Kids in Crisis. We bought toys for boys and girls of all ages. We received a letter from Kids in Crisis thanking us for our donation.
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We had our first annual South Shore Roots & Shoots weekend retreat in the Catskills of New York. Our main goal was to bond as a group and with nature. We participated in a group obstacle coarse where members had to trust each other and work together to get across cable ropes. We hiked for 2 hours and appreciated nature. We picked apples and made fresh apple cider. We made candles, paper and relaxed with natural facials. We enjoyed bonfires, rock wall climbing, archery and a lesson in astronomy. This was a great end of the year treat and the members really became closer.

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