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!


Reading for the Kids in Afghanistan

For our Read-a-thon, we decided to raise money for the kids in Afghanistan. These children are in refugee camps because of the ten-year war in their country. But this is not the fun camp you go to in the summer. The refugees live in tents during winter and are freezing. They have hardly any coats, blankets, food or medicine. Many kids die from the cold. In fact, last year at least 100 children died in refugee camps.

Now you may be asking,”Why help the kids in Afghanistan? Why not help the kids in Africa or Haiti, or right here in America?” Well here’s the thing; if we go one step at a time and each help a cause we really want to help, and if you combine all that, then you’ll see we have all made a difference in the world together.  One person’s $20 to support one of our readers might not feel like a lot.  But when you put it with everyone else’s contributions, it can really help.


HVHS Readers 2013_0007s

7 of our 12 readers (+1 baby brother), ready to begin!

Recap from yesterday’s read-a-thon launch meeting from Hillary:

We started with a game to get to know each other better where we had 
to self-edit into groups who either agreed, disagreed or were undecided on
various issues.  Issues were as simple as "I prefer night to day", as 
complex as "It is necessary to get a college degree to lead a happy,
productive life" and as fun as "I would rather be a forest than an ocean." 
We talked about how it felt to make those kinds of value judgements on
the spot and how our minds were sometimes changed based on what we saw 
others in the room choosing.

We discussed the four options people brought to the table: the SPCA (the 
local Dutchess County shelter is a no-kill facility); local wildlife
rehabilitation centers (the one we're going to visit in Saugerties in February); 
Global Giving; and the idea of giving aid to children in the refugee camps 
in Afghanistan.  All the ideas were interesting to the kids, and all the 
organizations are amazingly deserving.  In the end, the vote ended up 5 for 
Afghani kids, 3 for wildlife rehab centers, and 1 for Global Giving.  (It was 
a kids-only vote.)  We also touched upon the ideas of giving locally versus 
nationally/internationally, and giving 100% of your donation to a cause/paying 
organizations' overhead costs. 

We also talked about the calendar and figured out which projects we'd like
to schedule in for the spring.  Just wait and see!


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!

DIY: Upcycled Fashion Show

Take Action for Endangered Animals

Knowing how much the kids care about saving endangered species, I thought I’d post this call for action from the Wildlife Conservation Society:
the current House funding bill included NOTHING for some U.S.
programs that protect wildlife all over the world. It’s an unprecedented and
shocking move that would spell disaster for tigers, elephants, apes, and hundreds of
other species teetering on the brink.

We have one opportunity to reverse this dire situation. Action in the Senate Tuesday
will decide whether or not to put these vital protection programs back in the

Will you email your senators right now and speak up for wildlife?

Here’s the link:

Please don’t wait. By Tuesday afternoon it could be too late.


15 Kids, 600 Hours, Guess How Much We Raised?!

Thank you to all the people who did the read-a-thon, and to the people who sponsored us.  Because we raised almost $1400 for the World Wildlife Fund!  That’s $200 more than last year!  Watch this cool movie to find out more…


P.S. from Hillary: Check back next week to see which endangered animals all this money went to save!

P.P.S. from Hillary:  Please excuse the typos and little blips in the film editing.  There was a lot of late-night editing involved.

ROAR! (Race On! A Read-a-thon)

Read-a-thon no. 2! Remember the last read-a-thon we did for Heifer International? Well, this one is about raising money for the WWF (otherwise known as the World Wildlife Fund). We’re going to adopt endangered animals!  At our meeting, we watched a movie about cute baby pandas, males and females, and I handed out popcorn in a bag. Everybody took their sign-up sheets and left afterward. I hope we really help out the WWF and thank you to everyone who is participating in the read-a-thon!  Please feel free to email me and tell me about the books you’re reading.  I have two sponsors and have already read for at least four or five hours since Friday!  Plus, I really like to read.  Have fun!


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