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We displayed our ongoing projects at the Day of Peace Festival in Griffith Park. We asked festival visitors to design their own paper peace doves. We displayed all of their creations. Even Dr. Jane made one! We will send the doves on a large banner to the U.N. We wrote peace messages on our displays, including, "Elect leaders who will work to promote peace." Our goal was to help people believe that actions they take can help make the world a more peaceful place.
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On Saturday, September 29, 17 Roots and Shoots members, plus one parent, participated in Adopt-A-Highway. Those members were: Emily Guynn, Barry Huey, Lexi Hernandez, Tevis Spiva, Brittany Tafolla, Nestor Figueroa, Stacey Zermeno, Will Curan, Maria Marquez, Brett Crable, Richard Villa, Maria Romero, Karisia Santana, Bianca Turner, Marissa Lagazo, Joey Cada, and Karissa Lagazo. Ms. Tevis, Tevis Spiva's mom, also took part. Mr. and Mrs. Gish led the group. All members worked hard cleaning up our (Roots and Shoots) mile of Carefree Highway between markers 10 and 11. We enjoyed laughs, good conversion and meaningful physical exercise. Next time you think about not throwing away trash in the proper receptacle, think twice: There are others who give up a Saturday morning to clean up your mess! Keep our environment clean. Mrs. Gish would like to thank all the parents, too, who drove their daughters/son to and from Bourgade Catholic on a non-school day.
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Our very first project is a food drive. Our group learned about global and local hunger issues and designed a donation bin.
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This project is ongoing. We will be holding a fundraiser event. The money raised will go toward benefiting our local YMCA, where our group are all members of, to help it stay open. We will sell tickets to attend, have a bake sale, t-shirt painting reusing old shirts, pumpkin painting (pumpkins are being donated), dance routines, games such as bean bag toss and sack races and our kids are making home made jewelry out of recycled materials. The group will put on a fashion show to display their creations and then the jewelry will be auctioned off.
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Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona raised funds for the Bead for Life organization. There was much enthusiasm from the members as well as those who purchased the awesome beads.
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We planted a butterfly garden at our elementary school. The two group leaders solicited and collected butterfly plants from local nurseries, friends and neighbors. At our first group meeting, the children made stepping stones for the garden; grown-ups mixed cement, poured it into used cardboard ice cream buckets collected from the local ice cream parlor and the children placed ceramic stones and reused glass pieces to decorate. Parents and children planted plants and placed stepping stones. The children made signs (e.g., "Watch for Butterflies", "These plants are for butterflies") to discourage school children from running through the garden during recess. Our second group meeting will focus on the butterfly's lifecycle, butterfly-plant symbiosis and butterfly migration.
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Our R & S members created a decorative and eye catching cardboard box drop off station at the entrance to Spring Hill RECenter. Patrons of the RECenter donated washed and folded used towels for our collection effort. Our R & S members and their parents collected washed and folded used towels from their neighbors, families and friends for two weeks. This project taught us that we all can make a HUGE difference in a small way. By donating towels to the animal shelters/hospitals, we helped animals have the comfort they needed after a bath or surgery. Our R & S members collected in excess of 300 washed and folded towels for our local animal friends. Since we have R & S members from all around the DC, MD and VA areas that helped with this project, we selected 4 animal hospitals/shelters in these areas to benefit from our Got Towels? collection project. It's was important to call local shelters/hospitals to see if they needed towels and how many could they use. We contacted local media to help spread the word that this project was going on, so that our community could get involved and realize that they can give new, meaningful life to an old towel. We plan on making this an ongoing monthly project year around.
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As part of our ongoing efforts to "green" our office here at the JGI-USA Headquarters, we educated colleagues about how to conserve energy with their computers. We created a "How To Conserve with Your Computer" document to show how to change the Power Save settings on their computer so that their monitors turn off and their computers hibernate or go into standby mode after 15 minutes. The how-to document had both written instructions and computer screenshots. We emailed the guide to everyone in the office and then went around tooffer personal tutorials. We walked people through changing their Power Save settings and offered them candy treats for making the change.
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Our group decided to raise money by recycling cans and bottles, this is part of the reduce reuse and recycle campaign. We chose this as our on going project. Our goal is to raise money for our community based group and later decide what organization we will contribute to. This project is age appropriate for 6- to-10 year olds and it raises awareness on reduce, reuse, recycle and earning money. This is a good project for any Roots & Shoots group.
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Two of our members volunteer every week at a transitional homeless shelter for women with children. We play games like basketball, baseball, puzzles, coloring and singing, and we do crafts every week with the kids. Most recently, we made a balloon man with balloons, markers and construction paper and also decorated picture frames for the kids to decorate their apartments with.

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