Results of our Read-a-thon

We just completed our third annual read-a-thon!

 

Insha's drawing, which she sent in with her collection for Aschiana

Insha’s drawing, which she sent in with her collection for Aschiana

Insha, Ruby, and Lulu, we missed you at our wrap-up party.  And we’re so proud of your great reading!  Thank you for your contribution to our good work!

Here are some pictures that Aschiana sent to show us how important and helpful our donation to their aid efforts are…

Aschiana's photo of a refugee camp in Afghanistan

Aschiana’s photo of a refugee camp in Afghanistan

Aschiana's photo of some of the displaced children in Afghanistan's camps

Aschiana’s photo of some of the displaced children in Afghanistan’s camps

Aschiana's photo of their aid workers handing out clothing to displaced children in the camps

Aschiana’s photo of their aid workers handing out clothing to displaced children in the camps

For more info about Aschiana’s great work, visit Aschiana Foundation

Click here to see Ina Kozel’s artwork

Love the world!

Spring! Don’t Walk.

The Black Creek Preserve is not only great for hiking, but environmentalists also do research to learn things about the animals that live there and their environment. We went to Black Creek the other day (around Earth Day) and took a hike with our friend, Abi, the environmental educator from Scenic Hudson.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group explore a vernal pool with Scenic Hudson environmental educator, Abi.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group explore a vernal pool with Scenic Hudson environmental educator, Abi.

On our hike, we saw several vernal pools. Vernal pools are pools of water that are only around in spring (vernal means spring). Types of animals, such as frogs and salamanders, come to vernal pools in the spring to lay their eggs.  So vernal pools are an important part of many animals’ reproductive life.  In the vernal pools, we saw two small peepers, one salamander, two big toads, and a lot of salamander eggs!

When we got to the Creek where the environmentalists were studying the eels, some kids put on waterproof suits and went out into the water to help capture the eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help an environmental scientist catch eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help an environmental scientist catch eels.

Then, we counted and weighed the eels. The environmentalists were doing this because they wanted to know how well the eels were doing, how many there were, and to learn more about their development.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help environmental scientists count eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help environmental scientists count eels.

We learned that eels are born in the ocean.  Then they swim to the Creek where they grow up, and then they swim back to the ocean to have their own babies.

Of course, we put the eels back.  We carried them upstream in a bag and then let them go in the water.

– Zoe

Stttuuuuuuuuuufff

Today was the day of our faaaaaaabulous workshop on upcycling!

Zoe made a sock doll, showing the rest of the girls her own secret method, and we introduced them to Sock and Glove which has some wonderful designs (thanks to Jayla and Kerin for introducing it to us). Amber made a beautiful dress for her doll!

People brought in sweaters, and we talked about all the different things you can make from them – some of the best ideas were in Alterknits. Athena got started re-purposing a sleeve right away.

We admired Judith’s crocheted grocery bags and Willow’s refrigerator pockets. And we loved hearing about the handbags Amanda made from jeans.

While the girls were working on their projects, we watched The Story of Stuff, a movie made by native Woodstockers who run Free Range Studios.

In parting, we did a demo of how you can make stylish beads using a straw, glue stick and wrapping paper. Just in time to rethink throwing out your holiday gift wrapping.

Cut a piece of wrapping paper the width of your thumb and the length of a straw.
Coat the back of the paper with glue.
Place the straw at one end of the paper and roll tightly until all the paper is stuck on the straw tube.
Wait a minute for it to dry, then cut the tube into beads.
String the beads on embroidery thread or yarn.
Makes a great necklace, friendship bracelet or keychain!
Thanks to the Recycled Crafts Box for the great idea!

The Woodstock Library has some extra copies of our collection of upcycling patterns. Check it out when you go there next!

Love the world!
-Hillary

DIY: Upcycled Fashion Show

More About Bees!

Here are some of the interesting tidbits we had to cut out of the last bee film (so it wasn’t too much in one sitting) for those of you hungry for more info. In this film, Cindy talks more about using the smoker, her special recipe for bee tea, shows us what bees make and answers kids’ questions about the particulars of queen bees, bee stings and bears! Oh, my!

The Care and Feeding (and Saving) of Bees

The other day, our Roots & Shoots group went to visit the property of an R&S friend, Cindy Joao. Cindy keeps hives of honeybees on her property and helps them prosper. In turn, the honeybees help Cindy and her neighbors pollinate their food. During our visit, we got to see the bees, the things they make, and talk to Cindy. We talked about bees, about bee-keeping and about how the bees are in trouble and need our help.

The visit gave us all a little more to think about when it comes to bees, and a glimpse into perhaps a different relationship we can have with them. This is the hand-out that Cindy gave to us from her bee-keeping teacher, Chris Harp, which tells you how to create a bee sanctuary in your backyard.


And this is the documentary a lot of us watched in preparation for our bee-u-tiful visit.

For younger kids, we recommend watching this short movie instead, to get the jist of the issue.

You can learn a lot from bees. But you may only have until the year 2035. Then the bees could be gone. How old will you be?
-Hillary

International Day of Peace 2012

Every year, HQ encourages all the local Roots & Shoots groups to celebrate International Peace Day by flying a peace dove kite. This was the first year our group participated. We made lots of little peace dove kites and tried our hand at flying them (along with some store bought ones) at the top of Burger Hill in Rhinebeck. We also took the opportunity to talk about peace from a personal perspective and a global perspective. Check it out.

-Hillary

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