The Power of Sacred Places and Music: Students study sacred places in conjunction with orchestral participation. As they move through both they begin to understand what a sacred place is, how different cultures, beliefs and religions or no belief in religion can still find an inner peace through the participation of building the labyrinth and allowing for all people to have a place to contemplate and relax. The orchestral aspect is part of the journey of sacred spaces, is music a sacred space, can all people find commonalities through music and the labyrinth. The culminating aspect of this project is visiting Israel and building a labyrinth with those in an orchestra and the young people they work with, in addition to a performance with everyone from the Houston and the Israel Orchestra. Everyone has the potential to work together peacefully regardless of differences. We can make this world a better place when we decide to learn from each other in a loving and accepting manner.
We have started with one student intern this summer, and have tackled two main projects this summer - 1) Creating an educational book on the colonia of San Angel to be published in both Spanish and English available to students parents, and schools in and outside of Mexico. 2) Make strides for enabling the two greenroof gardens to be attractions and learning tools to guide individuals of how they too can be more active in enabling environmental projects and learning. After projects are completed (these initial two) we will promote the Go Fund Me project even more to gain support for future projects, with those donating having a say in some of the projects we take on!
One of our community's biggest issue is the fact that our community isn't really a community, its a very divided neighborhood where people tend to have their own agenda. Problem with that is people who go to out neighborhood council go with conflicting goals, but that's for another project. In order to put the garden into effect we really need the backing of the council, so step one will be getting a proposal they're willing to approve. When we have permission and the proper paper work done, our local Audubon center is going to help provide native plants for our growing. Our local Home Depot is well known for providing discounts for people who need supplies for a community project so hopefully we can make a deal with them. Neighborhood council will hopefully provide us some funds, but if it doesn't cover it then we'll have to get a community fundraiser going, which wouldn't be too hard, but we're interested in seeing where this goes.
"My Sister Buggy" is an environmentally themed short film about two young, adventurous, fun-loving sisters who love nature and playing outdoors. Lulu, the older 10 year-old sister is concerned about the future of the planet. She questions mankind's ongoing impact and treatment of the environment, nature and all living things. She shares her concerns to her 5 year-old sister, Buggy, but doesn't think Buggy "gets it". Buggy appears unconcerned. Her counter to her older sister: "Don't worry Sister, grownups will do the right thing! Of course, they'll take care of the planet... We're kids! What are we supposed to do? Adult will do the right thing." This short film puts the onus on adults to take responsibility and take appropriate actions to be better guardians and caretakers of the planet; for all the children who will inherit the world.
We have a huge Lower School (K-4) event each year called Capture the Campus and this is a fun event to help students feel comfortable on all parts of our campus. We have a middle school as well, but during this event those students and teachers are away on class trips. Thus, Lower School has the campus to ourselves. For years we have had many exciting and out-of-the-ordinary events during this week, and this year we added a service component because service is really important at our school. Each grade level selected a project that helped our campus or community in some way. We wanted to post the project here because two of our third graders recently went to a talk by Jane Goodall and were inspired to do a Roots and Shoots project. Our third graders selected the campus beautification project and spent a significant amount of time working to clean our campus. Many of them also spread mulch around our landscaping. Our kindergartners spent time picking up trash around our campus. We have about 21 acres of property, including wooded areas and a creek where many native species live. Thus, keeping our property clean and taken care of directly impacts how the native species are doing. First grade developed relationships with our community neighbors. They made signs for them, visited, and even sung a song to help strengthen our relationship with our neighbors. Second grade worked to make signs, letters, and art to welcome students from other schools who will be on our campus this summer for our Horizons Austin Trinity program. Collecting, sorting, and returning lost and found items was a fourth grade projects, and wow does that help our community in more ways than you might think. Plus, we are hoping it help students realized how important it was to be responsible with their own items. Fourth grade also designed and decorated stationary to give to faculty for all the letters they need to write throughout the year. Our Mandarin classes teamed up with our technology classes to write and deliver thank you notes to folks on campus who are instrumental in the daily running of the school, but who the children do not see very often. Gratitude is a trait we are hoping to instill in our students. Singing telegrams were delivered by some of our second graders in music class to staff members who have helped behind the scenes prepare for all of our Lower School musicals.
Understand that the connections that we make with nature affect all things living and nonliving around us. Study Plant Life in our school yard and link the indoor garden with our Outdoor Classroom space. Understand the connection between plant life in our forest and the animals that the forest services, including us. Identify the native and invasive plants and trees. Study the therapeutic uses of our gardens. Understand the forest in terms of foraging and begin to learn about therapeutic gardening and the indigenous plants in the area. Begin to affect changes that are beneficial to people, animals and plants. Learn to create action and give back to others. .
We will raise awareness and funds for people in great need. Our pots will beautify people's homes and the plants will improve air quality.
I want this project to not only be informative but give the children a real chance to connect with water and understand how it is vital to their community. Being surrounded by water means they daily enjoy a range of water activities including the famous jetty jumping, combining the enjoyment they gain from water I want the project to encourage them to create ways we can improve wastage and understand shortages. An important way to involve the children and keep them interested will be to utilise the time we have to conduct the project through hands on activities and exploring as many aspects of water we can. I want to create a mixture of educating through fun activities such as learning how to make different types of bubbles, growing their own plants, scientific experiments, village related activities and so on. By conducting the classes this way I hope that the children will really understand the importance of water and how we can tackle the water wastage especially.
The goal of all exhibits will be to follow the Roots & Shoots mission to make a positive difference to either people, or animals, or the environment.
We will sell and distribute candy grams for Valentine's Day to students and teachers. This is a popular method of fundraising in schools, which we have branded HeartGrams by Roots & Shoots. As we promote the sale of these candy grams, we also promote the work of our club and encourage new students to participate in our work.