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After our Roots & Shoots group contacted the assistant to the City Manger of Lone Tree about our reusable bag project, he allowed us to present to the Lone Tree City Council. We conducted a short presentation on the need for reusable bags. At the City Council Meeting, we talked to both council members and homeowners about how paper and plastic bags are damaging to the environment. After our presentation, we were contacted by a local newspaper reporter. She interviewed us about our R&S group for an article that appeared on the front page of our local newspaper, The Lone Tree Voice.
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On two different evenings we hosted a free showing of An Inconvenient Truth as part of the Week of Action. We partnered with Campus Climate to distribute a packet of materials to support the event. Our club gave out hot chocolate for two days to promote the event on campus. We also accepted donations. To inform students, we set up display boards, newspaper stories on global warming and showed the trailer to students passing by. We also had flyers about our Roots & Shoots group. We gained five new members because of this event. A little over 50 people attended the event between the two showings. Afterwards we held a discussion about global warming and passed around a petition to send to congress.
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We held a clothing drive at our middle school to collect winter clothing for a local food pantry. We collected 35 coats, 4 scarves, 17 mittens/gloves, 23 hats, and 1 pair of snowpants.
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The OCRS Roots & Shoots group is participating in a district-wide energy conservation initiative that involves cutting down on the amount of energy we use in our schools. By turning off unused computers, monitoring heat use and using overhead lighting more discriminately in all buildings, we have lowered our KWH usage by about 2,000 watts per month as compared to last year. A report from our district's Energy Manager, Michael Deslauriers, stated that our energy savings thus far "equates to removing 101 cars from the road or planting 210 acres of trees." We will continue to participate in this conservation movement and hope to decrease our energy use even more in the coming months.
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With the Super Bowl in town, NFL Environment is doing what they can to offset the carbon emitted during this large event. We teamed up with this organization to place recycling bins in the media center. We built and distributed 25 sets of recycle bins, one for paper, bottles and cans. The media center will be used by 3500 journalists from around the world. In addition to recycling, we are also going plant trees on local spoil islands to offset the carbon sometime in April. Miami County Day School will be housing 100 native tree seedlings until they are ready to plant.
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In November, the Roots & Shoots club conducted an assembly for the entire midddle and upper school divisions of Miami Country Day School. We presented to a total of 700 students and 60 faculty members. The purpose of the assembly was to educate the students on what a green school is. We spoke for 45 minutes focusing on ozone depletion, carbon emmisions, the importance of greeen spaces and recycling. We explained how each student can make a diffenerence. We also demonstrated what they could do to help reduce carbon, promote healthy ozone levels, and recuce paper use on campus.
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The Super Bowl is being played in Miami next weekend so there are a variety of programs being conducted preceding the event. We were able to take part in the NFL Environment campaign run by Susan and Jack Groh. Our club participated in the two week campaign to collect gently used sports equipment, board games and books for the local Boys & Girls Club. We collected 100 soccer balls, 400 chapter books and 50 board games. We took the items to the main office of the Boys and Girls Club to be distributed where needed.
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The Falls Church Roots & Shoots planted a small Native Tree Nursery at a local elementary school. We plan to use the white oak, red oak, pin oak, swampt white oak and persimmon tree seedlings this coming spring and fall in a local streamside restoration project. We are also working with our City's urban forester on this project.
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Our Falls Church Root and Shoots group made fifteen bagged lunches for the local homeless shelter
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We decided to study the animals of Africa by focusing on animals inhabiting three specific regions in Africa-- Savannas, Deserts and Rainforests. We learned about various adaptations animals have evolved and the circle of life. Additionally, we learned about threats to these creatures and what we could do to help. We completed our study of these animals with a trip to the Denver Zoo. The trip inspired the kids to raise money for the Jane Goodall Institute's Africa programs. To fundraise, the kids decided to sell drought-tolerant native wildflower seeds to friends at school. With each purchase we included a list of things people could do to help the environment and the African animals.

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