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Members made pinwheels with messages of peace and displayed them at our local library on Peace Day (5 days actually), we now are sending them to Unite in Peace to be sent and distributed to children in other parts of the world. We discussed peace and shared what makes us feel peaceful. We also learned a song about peace.
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We represented a local pet rescue organization at a community event. Our members handed out literature about the organization and pet care and sold raffle tickets to benefit the rescue. Our members felt good about helping this rescue, whom we have donated our time and funds to in the past. They were able to get out in the community and talk to people about it and about R & S.
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To celebrate UN Peace Day we met at a park to fly our giant peace dove, make origami peace cranes and craft pinwheels for peace. First we heard about the beginnings and reasoning for having and celebrating UN Peace Day. We read Dr. Jane's letter for the occasion (taken from the website.) We then heard the story of "Sadako and the Thousand Cranes" (see www.sadako.org). With this story we thought about the importance of peace and how hard working towards it can be, but that like Sadako, we need courage and perseverance. With this in mind we folded origami peace cranes. One of the children guided small groups through the complex process of folding small pieces of paper into beautiful cranes. At the same time another group of children and adults made pinwheels for peace according to the template supplied by www.pinwheelsforpeace.org. These were decorated with designs and words to express our feelings towards peace and a more peaceful world. A third group flew the giant peace dove, which our Roots and Shoots group had made two years ago. It was a sunny and slightly windy day: perfect conditions for flying the dove. She was paraded with pride along a lake and many a jogger and passer-by stopped to watch her fly. Our message of peace was spread in this way, too. All the children took turns doing the various activities and two hours passed by quickly and very harmoniously. The ideas for the project were taken from posts/blogs to the Roots and Shoots website as well as from links supplied by other Roots and Shoots groups. The project was very inspiring because in a time of active participation in a war, our children need and want to hear about alternatives and solutions. Even if this action was not meant to be political the relevance at this time for us in the US cannot be overlooked!
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We worked at the conservancy which was established at Monkey Jungle in Miami for retired primates. Miami has a semitropical climate and the area where the primates are housed is quite open. The largest population of primates at the conservancy are owl monkeys. We spent the morning cleaning dishes, cutting fruits and vegetables and preparing the supplemental feeding for the 20 owl monkey families that are at the conservancy. We were guided by the director, Dr. Sian Evans. This is a new project which we have adopted for the year and we are truly excited about it. The owl monkeys are well cared for and we look forward to going back each month and learning more about them. We have 40 club members but can take only eight members at a time because of the size of the area we are working in.
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We had a speaker from Arizona Game and Fish Dept give a presentation on Arizona reptiles and how important they are to the ecosystem.
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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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