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We stopped many on the street to donate and sign our petition. We got 100 signatures in 1 day. The apes will be safe in no time!
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Lucia Kittay-Pierson, a local 11-year-old visited our group to talk about how she raised $3,000 in one year on her own for endangered animals. She made animal buttons and raffled off donated endangered stuffed animals at her school and won a state leadership award for her efforts. She inspired us to also help wildlife. Students decided to put on a reader's theater production of "The Great Kapok Tree" to raise awareness of why endangered animals are becoming extinct. They also decided to have a snack sale during the performance to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund. Students practiced their lines, created simple costumes, and performed for an audience of about 80 students, parents, and staff after school. At the end of the performance, Lucia gave a moving speech about why it's important to save endangered animals. The event was a huge success and in the end we raised $412.29 for the WWF.
Canada
This was the first event in Wallace Roots & Shoots, the "10 Weeks to Change Our World Initiative." Our group has approximately 60 members, working in small teams to complete 10 community-building projects in 10 weeks. Our Easter Party was organized by a group of Grade 4 and 5 students, working with two Grade 8 mentors. Students at our rural school were asked to bring a non-perishable food donation or $2. The Easter Party took place in the school gymnasium during lunch recess. It featured karaoke, a colouring contest, games, snacks and face painting. Close to 150 students attended, donating 109 food items for our local food bank, and $48.15, which will be added to our fundraising account and divided up among local non-profit agencies at the end of our campaign.
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For the third year in a row, the Burr Elementary School Roots & Shoots Club partnered up with the organization Simply Smiles to help families in Oaxaca, Mexico. This year, we focused in on the Lopez family; a family of 5 living in the garbage dump in Oaxaca. Bryan Nurnberger of Simply Smiles visited at our first meeting to share a slide show of the family and talk about their needs. The household ranges in age from a 1-year-old child all the way up to a 105-year-old great-grandmother. The Lopez family resides in a small tin shack with a dirt floor and cardboard roof. They make their living by scavenging usable goods from the dump each day. Our goal was to build the family a solid, weather-proof concrete home to be safe from the elements. Our club members decided to have a walkathon (this is our third year having one to help Simply Smiles) and bake sale to raise funds for a home. We created publicity, wrote letters to the Lopez Family (with help from our local Spanish teacher Mrs. McNeal), bake goods for our sale, and gathered sponsors for the walk. A group of 5th grade students, lead by Roots Member Nick Bloch, performed live music at the walkathon to energize the walkers. There was a wonderful turnout of around 75 walkers, parents, and volunteers at the event. Altogether, we raised approximately $2,000 for a home for the Lopez Family. Bryan Nurnberger returned to our final meeting to receive the donations and thank us for our efforts. The house will be built this spring and Bryan will return in late spring with pictures.
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The Central Intermediate Roots & Shoots group asked us to help them in a campaign to have the spotted salamander named the state amphibian. To help them we collected signatures on postcards and mailed them to the Ohio State Representatives who would be voting on this issue. We also called and made a written request to our local representative, Steve Driehaus, asking him to testify as a proponent for the salamander. Finally, 4 members of our club visited the 4th grade classes to teach them about wetlands and salamanders, and to ask for their signatures on postcards.
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Our Roots & Shoots group made beaded bracelets and Christmas ornaments with animal charms. We sold them at a made local craft fair. At our booth we had information displayed about Roots & Shoots, we played a DVD on a portable player with a Jane Goodall DVD, and made cards to give with the purchases. We did research on endangered species to make a board but did not have time to do so. So we will use it for another project. We also had a gobal warming pledge for people to sign. I thought that the group would raise more money than we actually did, it was the fair's first time, so it was smaller than I thought. Maybe if we did this again, I would have it at a different venue.
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Our Roots & Shoots group sold ice cream candy mixers to students and staff and raised $200, which we donated to One Laptop per Child Foundation to purchase a laptop computer for a child. www.laptop.org states that a donation will "bring the light of learning to a child who would otherwise be left without adequate access to information and education with a donation of one or more XO laptops. A donation of $200 will pay for and deliver one XO laptop to a child in a developing nation." You can watch a "60 Minutes" interview that describes OLPC by going to this web site: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/20/60minutes/main2830058.shtml
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Over the Christmas 2007 season, my group of kids decided they wanted to raise money for education in developing countries. Living in the mountains of Colorado, they had a certain affinity for children in other mountainous areas of the world. I set about researching the best organization to work with and was pleasantly surprised to find a phenomenal organization right in our backyard; The DzI Foundation works in the Himalayan region supporting clean water projects and education, among other work. They graciously collaborated with us in educating the kids on the issues and needs of the region. We purchased Roots & Shoots hemp tote bags and created art that we printed into gift cards that could be purchased as gifts of service, in other words, for every donation to Roots & Shoots/DzI Foundation the donors were given a set of beautiful original cards that the kids had created, we had them printed in color with a thank you note and where the donation was going...this was based on the Heifer International format for giving. A local bank generously donated space to the group to sell our bags and cards on a popular evening in December, it was a great success; we raised $500.00 for the Primary Education Fund sponsored by the DzI Foundation, $75.00 sends one child to school for a year and provides that child with three hot meals and clothing for school, the kids had a glimpse into the lives of children in other parts of the world where education is not as easily accessible. They learned a tremendous amount on a lot of different levels, from how to start a bank account to the reality of poverty in some children's lives, from how to keep track of donations to the luxury of clean drinking water, etc. For more information on the DzI Foundation, please go to http://www.dzifoundation.org/ .
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We made the cats scratching pads form the Roots & Shoots resource guide. We have a local non-kill shelter, Second Chance Humane Society, that accepted the pads. I prepared the cardboard and carpet for the pads as per instructions. The kids assembled the scratching pads with wood glue and we discussed the issues of homeless and unwanted pets, solutions and causes. The kids wrote little notes to the cats on the back of the pads. It was a great project that made the kids think about animals in a little different light than they normally do. The Second Chance Humane Society gave us a thank you in their newsletter.
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www.freerice.com is a website that is an interactive vocabulary game where, with every word a person gets right, World Food Programme will donate 20 grains of Rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. The web site www.freerice.com is posted in our daily school newsletter for teachers and students. I have shared this web site with many of my students and they love to play and help to feed the hungry.

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