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Two weeks prior to going to Little Guild of Saint Francis animal shelter, the children collected pet supplies (food, toys and blankets). third, fourth and fifth graders went to the shelter to visit and get to know the dogs and cats. The children had a tour of the shelter. Little Guild is a local non-profit organization that does not believe in euthanasia. Some of the cats have been there for years. The children were broken into groups and able to play with the animals. In the future, our Roots & Shoots group is hoping to continue our relationship with the shelter and possibly help to find homes for the adult cats.
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We collected refundable cans and bottles at our town dump on a Saturday and two more hours on the following Sunday morning. The men that work at the dump were extremely helpful and we learned a lot about recycling and where our town sends its refuse and recycling items. Many people went home and returned with their refundables when they saw that our group was there. The money raised will go with two of our teachers when they go to Ethiopia in June to help at the Mekele Blind School.
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A group of college students volunteered at the Berkeley Public Library to help with their Dia de los Libros/Dia de los Ninos event by serving refreshments, coloring with kids, giving away free books, etc.
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Students from various student organizations on campus worked together in several projects throughout the city. Our project was to pick up trash from the creek running through campus. We collected around 20 garbage bags of items from the creek and surrounding bank, including batteries, water bottles, balloons and even an old CD player. All of the trash would have been carried into storm drains and other creeks during the rainy season.
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The 22nd annual Coastal Cleanup Day drew more than 700 Berkeley students and residents of all ages who spent the morning picking up 11,950 pounds of trash along seven area shorelines and creek beds. Their effort was part of a 57-country project including thousands of volunteers worldwide.
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The Berkeley Project Day was a giant, one-day service event held on Saturday, November 11th. Over 1000 students gathered from all over Cal to work together with our community partners at 43 service project sites all over the City of Berkeley.
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Student organizations sent representatives to auction themselves off for a good cause. Proceeds went to Save the Children, a non-profit organization.
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Eggster is a free event for children ages 3-10 and their families to enjoy a free egg hunt, prizes, performances and educational booths. Approximately 300 children come every year. Roots & Shoots put on a booth to educate children about the importance of trees. Children then guessed the ages of trees and made their own tree branch using recycled materials.
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We run hands-on environmental workshops at Lincoln Elementary School with the Oakland Asian Students Educational Services (OASES), LeConte Elementary School, Washington Elementary School with Youth Impact and the Student Organic Gardening Association (SOGA) and the Children's Hospital of Oakland. We use arts and crafts, fun games, videos, posters, organic food, science experiments, field trips, service projects and guest speakers from the community to teach young students about the importance of protecting our environment and get them interested in addressing issues challenging society today. Additionally, our after-school workshops provide the children in the under served communities of Oakland Chinatown and Southwest Berkeley with a safe environment to learn in. This is a long-term project that we will be continuing throughout summer and into the fall, hopefully for many years to come.
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Roots & Shoots members organized a week-long Earth Day celebration at our school. They visited classrooms throughout the school and led students in a Climate Change Jeopardy game. They created a junk mail tree in the school atrium to raise awareness on the wasted energy and paper associated with junk mail. They manned a table at lunchtime and collected signatures for a petition asking Congress to establish a "Do Not Junk" registry so citizens can opt out of receiving junk mail. The collected about 300 signatures and received a reply from our Congressman. We showed the movie "Happy Feet" as an after-school movie and served free ice cream to the 240 kids who attended. After the movie we presented a short slide show about the effects of climate change on wildlife such as penguins and what all of us can do to stop global warming. Members handed out fliers as kids left the movie with 10 things they can do to help stop global warming. We funded all of these events by selling over 2,000 "Smencils" (scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper) throughout the year. We gave away 100 compact fluorescent light bulbs as prizes for Jeopardy and at the movie, as well as Smencils and 20 seed planting kits.

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