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Children and teens canvassed the neighborhood around our church. We dropped off notes inside grocery bags asking for donations of non-perishable foods. We will pick up the donations this Sunday and they will be delivered to the Hillsboro Family Shelter to stock the shelter's food pantry.
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The Roots & Shoots Medford group is learning about anti-violence issues and organizations in the Boston area, inspired by the murder of a friend's dad. The members have designed and printed Peace Cards to benefit the Louis D. Brown Peace Insitute, an organization that supports the families of homicide victims and provides curriculum to school on peace education. See details and find out how to order a set of cards at http://rootsandshootsma.tripod.com. A speaker came from the Louis D. Brown Institute and the members discussed their feelings around these issues with her. This meeting was videotaped by the local television station and will play in surrounding towns. We plan to put it up on YouTube.
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Several kids in the Moses Y. Beach Roots & Shoots Club wrote grant letters to the National Gardening Association and the Mailorder Gardening Association in the Spring of 2006. In October 2006, the club was notified that they were selected as a winner of 200 Dutch flower bulbs! The club members planted the bulbs in November 2006. Most of the bulbs were planted in a spot where a large conifer had just fallen down, exposing the soil where the roots had been. The group also mulched the spot to avoid further erosion and to help the bulbs retain moisture. The 35 kids in the group are eagerly awaiting springtime blooming season.
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Los Cerritos Roots and Shoots students planted a garden bed full of produce which we plan to donate to a local food bank or homeless shelter. We planted lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, carrots and beets. These crops should be ready for harvest sometime after January 1. Through our school garden and projects such as this the students are becoming aware of the issues of hunger and homelessness in our community.
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Throughout the school year, the Los Cerritos community will be recycling plastic bags at two locations on our school campus. For each 60 gallon bag full of plastic shopping bags, WalMart will give our group $5.00. Last school year we participated in this project for 2 months and earned $50 which we used to fund our project for the animal shelter. We will use this year's proceeds to fund other service projects to be decided upon. We are also promoting reusuable bags (specifically Roots & Shoots bags) but since not everyone has caught on to reusables, we feel that recyling the plastic is a much better solution than letting them decompose in our environment.
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EcoHelpers, part of the National Park Service, taught us about biodiversity, took us on an informative and fun hike, then showed us how to plant, mulch and water native plants. We are helping them plant natives near a trailhead in Zuma Canyon. This was a training session for group leaders and volunteers. In the upcoming months, we will continue working in the same area so that the plants thrive.
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Students in Los Cerritos Elementary Roots & Shoots viewed a video of the work that UNICEF does to help children around the world. They then took their orange containers with them trick or treating or collected donations in any way that they could (parents work places, Halloween parties, etc.). We counted the money at the next Roots & Shoots meeting and were able to donate $327.50 to UNICEF.
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Once a month our Roots & Shoots-Homeschooled Naturally group goes to the local Pets and People organization and walks dogs. Pets and People is an organization that saves cats and dogs on the day they are to be killed and keeps them until they are adopted. Needless to say there are many, many animals at their facility. Our kids love to go and walk, pet, and love the dogs.
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Kids in our group went door to door before Halloween asking for old prescription glasses. We also had a collection box in the office of our school. Once collected the glasses were give to LensCrafters where they will be cleaned, repaired and sent to developing countries.
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This October the kids in our group made pink pins to sell for breast cancer awareness. Some of the boys in our group weren't excited about wearing pink. Then they came up with the slogan, "Are you tough enough to wear pink?" It created a lot of discussion among the male members of our school! We have had several families in our school affected with breast cancer. The kids sold the pins after school for 25 cents each. We donated the money to Sense of Security, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income women (and their families) who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

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