Wildlife Rescuers!

Last week our Roots & Shoots group went to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. There were lots of awesome birds. I counted them. There were four bard owls, one barn owl, two screech owls, one black vulture, a seagull, a morning dove and a swan. There were a couple of ravens, a small hawk and five other red-tailed hawks, along with two great horned owls. In all, there were twenty birds!

Each animal had its own, amazing story and hardly any animals had the same. One red-tailed hawk had lived as a pet in someone’s living room for two years. You can watch the movie we made to hear a couple of the stories.

I was always sad when I heard that an animal couldn’t be returned into the wild. All these animals belong in nature and when an animal can’t survive it is sad. Luckily, they have Ellen to care for them!

Thank you, Ellen, for taking care of birds, big and small, and for showing us the birds. I also want to thank everybody who came for your cooperation, interest and donation.


Note from Hillary:

Our visit to Ravensbeard was also a fundraiser where each family contributed a little bit and together we were able to donate almost $50 to the center and Ellen for her great work!

Be sure to check out Ellen’s website to learn more about simple things you can do to help wildlife as well as how you can help wildlife in trouble.  You can be a rescuer, too!

Also, contact Ellen for your own group’s educational program or for your child’s next birthday party!

R&S with Ellen


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.


ZoeTV Episode 2: How to Help Your Neighbor Part 1

Check out our new episode of ZoeTV! This is part 1, where we explore what Hurricane Irene meant for our neighbors and learn more about hurricanes!  (We’ll post part 2, where we hear another really amazing Hurricane Irene story and hold a bake sale to help, in the next post.)  Enjoy!

Special thanks to the homeschoolers who participated in this episode: Eugenia and Falcon, and Christina and Sage; and to our schooled friends who participated: Talulah, Evan, the Spiottas (three of whom sat quietly and patiently in the car while we chatted with mom!), and Don Potter, our hurricane expert!

How Much We Raised…

For our read-a-thon, we raised over $1200! And just by reading books! Everyone worked really hard to raise a lot of money, and I mean A LOT! With that money, we picked out two goats, a cow, a water buffalo, two flocks of chicks, two beehives, and a trio of rabbits to donate to Heifer International! They’re going to give it to families in need all over the world.  Then the families are going to use the milk, the honey, the rabbit hair for making clothes, the eggs for eating, keeping warm and selling to their neighbors, so they can have some and the families can make money.  It’s called “passing on the gift” because when those animals have babies, the babies will be donated to their neighbors.  And then when that one has babies…

While we were counting the money we raised,we were making stone soup. If you’ve never heard the story, you should get it from your local library.  I recommend it.  There are many different versions of the story.

-Flash Girl

P.S. from Hillary: At our stone soup party, we learned that we had raised $1,157 for Heifer through our reading.  But when we got home, another family checked in to say that they had raised another $50!  So that brought us up to over $1200 for Heifer!  We’ll get to add a couple more animals to our donation!  Thanks so much to all the kids for your hard work – reading and asking for sponsors!  And thanks to all the sponsors for your generosity!  And thanks to all the parents for making the read-a-thon a big success!

Amazing Recycling Art!

Well, it was amazing!  I went the other day with my family to a museum at a college.

In one show, we were allowed to bounce around in these cool bean bags.  They were humongous!  There were these little glass balls with ecosystems inside.  The artist had planted trees in the show!  This show made me think about the environment.

In the next show, there were recycled masks.  One was made out of a telephone!  They had these photographs of oil fields, and they looked terrible because it looked like a black lake, and some of it was on fire.  And there was a really recycling one: bottles strung together with wire, and there were thousands of empty water and soda bottles.  It was recycling a lot of bottles!  I think this show was good for the entire planet.  I think they used that stuff because that’s what they had access to.  But it made the work better than ever.

In the elevator there were huge light balls, and they changed color when they heard your voice!

-Flash Girl

P.S. from Hillary: We’re talking about this show on our Roots & Shoots group site because in one of our meetings, people said they were interested in creating art made out of recycled materials.  So we thought you might like to know about these shows!

Saratoga is just under 2 hours away, and if you want to splurge on a delicious, locovore lunch while you’re there, you should check out Max London’s, too.  We stumbled upon it, and the grass-fed cheeseburgers  were goooood.  No matter what, don’t miss the bakery next door!

The museum was extremely child-friendly – the security guards were almost like a bunch of grandmas dying to see children… even towards our potentially-destructive toddler.  We learned, too, that they have family programs every Saturday for children ages 5+.  The programs are free and open to the public, and you can call to reserve a spot the week before the program you want to do.  We’ll be going back for the recycled mask project!  Maybe we’ll see you there?

All Animal Review

I want to tell you about some movies and the Museum of Natural History.  I want to tell you guys about it because these things are fun, and because you might like them.

Missing Lynx

This is a very funny story! It all starts out with this lynx that has been to a place where people help animals about 35 times!  If it got stuck in a trap, they would come and heal him.  He had been there so many times because he always got into trouble.  On his 36th time there, he meets a girl lynx, and I think they start to fall in love or something! Then one night, they’re kidnapped by a man who wants to be like Noah of Noah’s  Ark.  He wants to put them on a boat in cages and bring them to an island where they won’t get extinct. Watch the movie to find out what happens next!

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

This is a good story, if I had a Favorite Movies list, this movie would be at the top. It all starts out with three siblings,(who are owlets) and their names are Soran, Clod, and Egglinteen. They had a happy life, living with their parents and their nursemaid (a snake) until one day, they’re kidnapped by two big owls and are brought somewhere! Watch the movie to find out what happens next!

No one under the age of 4 should watch these movies because they might be scary.

American Museum of Natural History in NYC – The Butterfly Conservatory

I went to the Museum of Natural History. There was a Butterfly Conservatory. One flew up and landed on my back.  It walked up my shoulder and kissed me on the cheek. Then it flew away before mom could videotape it.  I guess I was very still.  There was a woman there who was telling the kids about the butterflies.  She told us that you can’t tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly anymore by how it lands.  Because butterflies also land with their wings spread out when they need to get warmed up.  I liked the Butterfly Conservatory because the butterflies were very beautiful and very colorful.  You can see it in this movie:

by Flash Girl

P.S. from Hillary: Another homeschooling mom recommended the latest episode of Nature on PBS for anyone interested in birds.  We’re definitely going to check this out, and it seems like there are lots of cool episodes that you can watch online!  Thanks Beatrix!

P.P.S. from Hillary:  We’re sorry our animal tracking adventure for this week was canceled.  It was very, very, very cold, and we came down with colds.  But we hope to reschedule it for sometime soon!