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Members organized an event to break down the walls that divide our school and mix things up at lunch. We want everyone to feel included at our school and group boundaries are most obvious in school lunchrooms. Roots & Shoots members prepared a nametag for everyone in the school with one of the letters from the phrase "Mix It Up" on each nametag. Students were encouraged to sit somewhere new at lunch by finding a table with the name of the month they were born in on it. Then they could win something from the prize table for spelling out the phrase "Mix It Up" with their new friends at their table. We hope that everyone stepped outside of their comfort zones to make one new friend at Mix It Up At Lunch.
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We went to two restaurants and filled out forms for GotMercury.Org. They are doing a survey to find out which restaurants have posted their Prop. 65 mercury in seafood warning sign. The signs warn pregnant women and children to avoid certain seafoods that have high levels of mercury. The signs are designed to protect babies and kids from high levels of mercury because it can damage their brains. It also serves to alert people to pollution in our oceans.
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Roots & Shoots students,some dressed in Halloween costumes, walked to a local senior citizen's home and visited with residents. We sang several Halloween songs and shared our Halloween candy. We also brought one student's pet dog to visit with the seniors!
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Over 70 people turned out for a Back to School Roots & Shoots Family Potluck on September 15. Food was varied and abundant including salads, main dishes and desserts. In the interests of helping to reduce waste, participants were asked to bring their own eating utensils. Other items were provided such as plates, napkins, and drinking cups and all were fully compostable. Table decorations included arrangements made from flowers and herbs picked from the school garden and placemats colored by the guests while seated at the tables. Families spent over 2 hours socializing and reconnecting and many remarked that we should do this every year because it was so much fun!
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Los Cerritos Elementary hosted its 3rd annual Peace Day Celebration. Students sang songs about peace, were visited by a giant Peace Dove adorned with Cambodian peace bells, and attended an assembly featuring Jane Goodall's hero, Washo Shadowhawk, and animals from Animal Planet. Also attending the festivities were school district dignitaries and parents. The event was sponsored in part by our local cable company, Charter Communications, and the Discovery Channel.
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The children gathered donations for the animal shelter and made cat nip toys out of old socks. Delivering the sock was the most fun!
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Our group made small holiday crafts and will bring them with to the area nursing home when we carol next month. The craft becomes the bridge to start a conversation when the singing is done.
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We collected shoes at the end of the school year and took them to Runners Roost. Then they were sent to the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program. The shoes are used to make tennis courts and athletic fields instead of ending up in a landfill. The kids had a great time encouraging classmates to bring in their smelly torn up shoes.
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Kids decorated cardboard boxes for each classroom to collect paper that was normally thrown in the trash. This project ran from March 2006-May 2006. We collected on average 35-40 pounds of paper each week. We went on a recycling tour at Waste Management to see what types of things can be made from recycled items. Each week we delivered the paper to a Waste Management recycling bin.
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We explored our local river as part of World Water Monitoring Day. We took a water sample and performed various tests including dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and turbidity. We also sampled for benthic macro-invertebrates which was quite exciting. By looking at the results of the water tests and the creatures we found, we were able to discuss the health of the river at our sample location and talk about things that influence the river's health.

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