Share this with everyone you know and show the love! Peace, love, blessings. Tammy
With paperless homework, bookless backpacks, zero waste lunches, plastic-free filtered water and classrooms without walls, today’s parents and teachers are bringing eco-friendly ways to schools and giving students an early appreciation of important environmental health.
Going green goes both ways–home to school and school to home. Alysia Reiner, an actress and eco-advocate from New York’s Harlem neighborhood, became involved with the Bank Street School for Children when her daughter enrolled at age 3. ”I’m green at home, so in my mind her school had to be green, too. With no programs in place, I made suggestions, which got me elected co-chair of the green committee,” says Reiner, with a smile.
“Today, we have a school-wide composting program serving 1,500 students that has reduced previous levels of food waste by 75 percent. To raise awareness and funds to support it, we sold reusable snack sacks, stainless steel water bottles and home composting bags.” An innovative chef focuses on organic food with vegetarian options for school lunches. The next step is a rooftop garden.
When Sheila Hageman, an author, teacher and public speaker living in Milford, Connecticut, first read the memo requesting garbage-free lunches for her three children at the New England School-Montessori, she couldn’t imagine packing food without the use of plastic wrap, sandwich bags or paper napkins, but, “Now, it’s no big deal,” she says. ”I use glass containers and cloth napkins. The kids eat better quality food. It costs less, too, because prepackaged snacks are out.” She notes that the governing rule is one protein, one fruit and one vegetable. The school even has a natural composter–a class guinea pig that loves to eat leftover veggies.
Students often bring the first of their homegrown vegetables each season for show and tell in the classroom, where they normally eat lunch. It’s a neat way to avoid mass-produced food; the school has no cafeteria. ”A little change becomes part of a lifestyle,”remarks Hageman.
Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches, for grades nine through 12, in West Palm Beach, Florida, provides a near-paperless experience for students, all of which are issued computers. Homework is assigned, completed, graded and returned; tests are given and graded; report cards are sent and text-books studied–all online.
“We buy one set of print books, since not all students learn the same way. But e-books can be updated electronically each year, saving the educational costs of outdated materials and financial costs of replacement,” says Teresa Thornton, Ph.D., the science teacher who spearheaded many of the school’s green initiatives. ”By the end of the year, they know how to use software programs to organize and analyze information.”
In Pittsburgh, Chatham University follows the example of eco-pioneer and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, a class of 1929 alumna, to preserve, maintain and restore nature. With the goal to be carbon neutral by 2025, sustainability becomes part of every decision. The Chatham Eastside facility, located in a revitalization area, reclaimed a former manufacturing complex.
“We are the first school in Pennsylvania to have a solar hot water system,” says Mary Whitney, the school’s sustainability coordinator. ”Bottled water was banned in 2011 and filtered water stations provide free refills for stainless steel bottles. The rent-a-bike program is especially popular with international students.” The two campus Zipcar shared by students can be reserved for a fee. Students also ride free on public transportation.
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, students gain knowledge and experience to extend the difference they make beyond greening their school. Anne Vilen, a designer for expeditionary learning schools like Donaldson says, “It’s empowering for students to discover they can make a real impact.”
Information provided by Avery Mack
Connect with Avery Mack via AveryMack@Mindspring.com
The World We All Need
by Kids for Peace
a wish that grows around the world
everyone feeling music in their hearts
everyone having someone to love
everyone knowing they are in
a safe place
everyone knowing they are beautiful
inside and out
making art and sharing it with others
growing a garden, planting a tree
getting Dorothy back home
everyone playing sports instead
of going to war
happiness for all, peace on Earth and
pizza for all people
being kissed goodnight
every child having a family
every child having a ball to play with
at least one hug a day
a warm bed to dream in
the angel in my heart
using your voice for good
treating others as you wish to be treated
sending all soldiers home to their families
people shaking hands
keeping our world safe
knowing anything is possible
having fun and being kind
helping people in need
everyone having an education
everyone having good food
the beauty that surrounds the world
Kids for Peace Pledge
I pledge to use my words to speak
in a kind way.
I pledge to help others as I go
throughout my day.
I pledge to care for our Earth with
my healing heart and hands.
I pledge to respect people in each
and every land.
I pledge to join together as we unite
the big and small.
I pledge to do my part to create peace
for one and all.
Contributions are by children ages 5 to 11. For more information, visit KidsForPeaceGlobal.org
As youngsters head back to the classroom, parents can get their children off to a smart start by giving them key supplements. Here are some experts’ top picks.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because the brain’s nerve cell membranes are made of fat, ingesting a healthy fat–DHA–helps them stay lithe and limber enough to successfully fire off neurotransmitters, sharpening kids’ mental abilities. ”Attention focus, processing efficiency, memory–they’re all dependent on cells working effectively, and DHA will help,” says Randall Neustaedter, a doctor of Oriental medicine and author of The Holistic Baby Guide. A contemporary study published in Clinical Pediatrics found that 4-year-olds that ingested 400 mg a day of DHA for four months showed improvement in listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition skills.
Because finding an effective dose of pure DHA ( at least 300 mg a day) can be difficult, Dr. Robert Rountree, co-author of Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, recommends administering liquid fish oil in a daily child’s dose of 800 to 1,500 mg at a ratio of 60 percent eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to 40 percent DHA. ”Anti-inflammatory EPA can help allergies and inflammation from colds and other viruses kids get,” explains Neustaedter.
Algae can be a vegetarian substitute for fish oil, Neustaedter continues, but it contains only DhA, not EPA. Another vegetarian option, echium oil, internally converts to EPA at a one-to-one level, but not to DHA. Flaxseed oil is mostly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which converts to DHA and EPA at a rate of only 3 to 7 percent.
Phosphatydylserine (PS). This form of fat facilitates communication among brain cells. ”It’s a natural substance your brain makes,” notes Neustaedter. Already highly regarded for its ability to enhance memory performance in older adults, it may also improve attention, concentration, learning, behavior and school performance in youngsters.
PS is found in small amounts in foods like eggs and soy. Therefore, Neustaedter recommends dietary supplementation of 100 mg a day for children that could use a brain booster. The best PS supplements are made from soy.
Vitamin D. “It’s my top immune supplement choice for most children,” says Rountree. The vitamin is crucial for triggering the body’s natural immune system to react to and fight off infections. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that daily 1,200 international unit (IU) supplements of vitamin D, reduced cases of seasonal flu in school children by more than 40 percent. Neustaedter recommends that school-aged children supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day. Unlike D2, D3 is natural and nontoxic, he says.
Probiotics. These “friendly” bacteria help reestablish beneficial intestinal flora to both assist digestion and immunity. ”Eighty percent of the immune system is produced int he small intestine,” says Neustaedter. ”Having a healthy small intestine will lead to a healthy immune system. Probiotics will go a long way to accomplishing that.”
Rountree recommends children receive a mixture of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria–at least 15 billion colony-forming units a day. A study by an international team published in Pediatrics showed that probiotic supplements may reduce the incidence of fevers, coughs, runny noses and other infections in young children.
Elderberry. “If kids get frequent colds, elderberry can be helpful,” notes Neustaedter, who suggests that children take such extracts according to label instructions for acute sickness during the cold and flu season. He considers it a worthy antiviral and immune system stimulant.
Elderberry’s immune-boosting potential may be due to its ability to enhance antioxidant activity. Several studies, including one issued by the National Institutes of Health, have shown that black elderberry extract may shorten the duration of a bout of flu.
Magnesium. “If kids have a hard time turning their minds off and going to sleep, calcium and magnesium will help,” Neustaedter advises. As a calming mineral, magnesium trumps calcium; because kids tend to need more calcium for their bones, the two nutrients are usually given together, adds Rountree. He recommends that children take 100 to 300 mg of magnesium daily, depending on their age and weight.
Lemon balm (melissa officinalis). To soothe anxiety, Rountree points to lemon balm as safe and gentle, yet effective. St Mary’s Hospital, in Madison, Wisconsin, reports that researchers have found that lemon balm, in combination with other herbs like valerian, may ease restlessness, anxiety and sleep disorders. Kids can drink one to two cups of freshly brewed tea daily. For a tasty and convenient option, substitute glycerites, tinctures that use glycerin to extract the active constituents from herbs.
Information in this article brought to you by: Pamela Bond-managing editor of Natural Foods Merchandiser and former editor-in-chief of Delicious Living Magazine.
To little ones, celebrating Fourth of July means one thing, fireworks! Yet, as parents know, by the time the sun goes down and before the sky show even starts, youngsters can be sleepy-eyed and ready for bed. These 10 fun daytime activities will make the most of the holiday for everyone.
Make a Statue of Liberty crown. Transform the entire family into Lady Liberty. Take the patriotic creativity to whatever level the kids like-metallic paint, glue and glitter or just some tinfoil from the kitchen. Construction paper makes great headbands, or try paper plates for sturdier ones. Repurposed empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls make excellent starting points for homemade torch replicas.
Have a patriotic bike parade. Round up all the neighborhood kids and their bikes. Have everyone agree to decorate their own bike at home and then meet for a parade; or hold a bike decorating party at your house; the garage and driveway are suitable spots. Think streamers, painted tin cans on string trailing behind bikes, balloons—anything goes.
Read about America’s birthday. Stop by the library or a neighborhood bookstore to pick up The Story of America’s Birthday, by Patricia Pingry and illustrated by Stacy Venturi-Pickett, or another early American history children’s book. Toddlers on up will enjoy learning why we celebrate American independence.
Make 50 states cookies. A set of cookie cutters for all 50 states is available for a price, but it’s even more creative to hunt up an old map or atlas and use it as a template for cutting out each state. After mixing and baking, let little ones go to town decorating them with red, white and blue toppings. Search online for tips on making healthier cookies that taste yummy.
Watch American Legends. This oldie but goodie video from Walt Disney tells the story of such fabled American figures as Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan. Check out a copy from the library or a favorite move rental source.
Sing a patriotic song. Songs about America don’t have to be the classic versions–pick up a CD of patriotic songs or download some onto a home computer or iPod. The Wee Sing America CD is a hit with all ages.
Start the Fourth of July with a red-white-and-blue-breakfast. Set a festive mood for the whole day with a healthy parfait. In clear glasses, layer blueberries for the blue, strawberries and raspberries for the red and yogurt for the white. Sprinkle some hearty granola in-between the layers for a satisfying crunch.
Make a care package for our armed forces. The Fourth of July is a great time to remember the special men and women that are selflessly serving our country. Have the entire family assemble a care package of itmes or make special cards; even the smallest efforts show the family’s appreciation. Check with a local veterans affairs office or the Internet on how to ship the gift overseas.
Create a flag for the front door. For an easy and fun twist on hanging a flag this year, try making one from crêpe paper for the front door or window. Pick up some red-and-white streamers from the store for the stripes. Use a piece of blue construction paper and draw or paint white stars onto the upper left corner; then fasten it up so that the “flag” hangs downward, with the streamer stripes going from top to bottom. Either leave the stripes flying free toward the bottom or tape them down, like on top.
Celebrate with the East Coast. If staying up late isn’t a good option, but kids are begging to watch the fireworks, they can catch a full fireworks extravaganza from home via the magic of TV and the Internet. Get everyone into pajamas and watch one of the many media specials from the comfort of home. This especially works for families west of the Eastern TIme zone; it may require pushing bedtimes back a bit, but there will be no fireworks crowds to battle en route home to bed afterwards.
This article provided by Katie Kavulla, a mother and a freelance writer in Seattle who regularly contributes to the Red Tricycle, an online city guide that provides fun things for parents to do with their kids (RedTri.com).
Enjoy! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!
Mother’s Day is this Sunday and as a mother myself it is a great honor to remember how thankful I am to be a mom. There are some mom’s out there who work hard, not just at a job, but at home-cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children. Some may have that dream their husbands would just help once in a while.
I was reading Working Mother magazine and on the very last page I saw a little blurb titled: “the last word- What I want (to give up) for Mother’s Day…” The five suggestions listed below were interesting and could work. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I.
1. I want our husbands/significant others to celebrate Mother’s Day 2012 by permanently taking equal responsibility for the house being acceptably clean and organized. It’s not just our house; it’s also their house. We working moms are ready to give up 50 percent of the housework and 50 percent of the “messy house guilt” to our partners. Please take this gift!
2. I want our companies to celebrate Mother’s Day by offering us the tough assignments that come with the big money. We working moms work like crazy at our jobs, and we now want to give up doing the work without the money and promotion because someone believes we don’t/won’t/can’t want them. Give us the chance to say yes or no.
3. I want our bosses and peers to stop doubting us because we leave at 5:15 to pick up our kids from day care three days a week. Working mothers go online at 9 p.m. to complete tasks, we sacrifice school plays when that’s the right choice; and we are the most focused, efficient employees you’ll ever meet. Please give up “face time” as a measure of our commitment.
4. I want our schools to celebrate Mother’s Day by acknowledging that most of their “customers” are working parents who desperately want to be involved in their children’s schools. We’ll gladly give up our evening time if you’ll schedule meetings and activities when we can be there!
5. I want my children to celebrate Mother’s Day by making macaroni necklaces for me. I won’t give up on that! Actually, since my children are 25 and 22, I’ll settle for two nice Hallmark cards.
This “last word” provided by Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Media.
This is a particularly exciting day, at least for me! The first Yoga Festival in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Also the first time that I will be exposing my art to the community. Excited and somewhat nervous.
I send my gratitude to Down To Earth Yoga for opening up their heart and booth space to display the art.
So, let’s move on to the focus of this day. The event took place at the Civic Center where local artists, businesses and yoga instructors gathered together outside surrounding the fountain area. (The specific fountain area is fairly vast and in the center of the front of the building, temporarily off).
As I walked onto the grounds, I noticed everyone was setting up and preparing so they would be ready by 10:00.
I helped Down To Earth set up their booth and then placed my art in its space. We finished early, so I walked around a bit to take a quick glance at everyone who was gathered here. There was a variety for all, from purses to homemade soaps and oils, bags for yoga mats, henna tattoos, homemade chocolates, Pampered Chef, the list goes on and on.
There were some particularly beautiful people who really touched my heart. Party Lite was one and all the women who were representing just had a glow and warmth that was inviting. If you have never heard of Party Lite, they sell candles and create beautiful centerpieces and other items along that line. But it wasn’t just that, on the other side they started “Love Your Neighbor”, an organization to spread love all over St. Lucie County. Plain and simple, neighbors helping neighbors. Every month they strive to serve families with hardships. In simple, yet loving ways they bless families by donating clothing, food, household items, and/or gift cards. Their mission is to show folks in the community that they care about them and their lives. Give them hope. A beacon of light in a time when many neighbors are losing jobs, homes, loved ones, and health. When I heard about this awesome organization, the question popped in my head: “What if all communities worldwide did this?” What a huge blessing!
Now we come to the second beautiful spirit which was Nicole! She and Dottie accompanied the booth directly behind us which displayed Akea Essentials. Akea Essentials is pure whole food power of the World’s Longevity Hot Spots. There are over thirty organic superfoods, probiotics, enzymes and minerals….recipe for Hot Spot Health! Akea’s mission is to have a profound, positive impact on your health, the health of your family and the health of your community by helping you easily incorporate the principles of the world’s healthiest people into your lifestyle. Nicole was nice enough to give me a sample of the whole food supplement, which is in powder form that you can mix with water, coconut water or breakfast smoothie. I decided to mix it with coconut water and it was a clean and energizing way to start the day! www.organicgirl.akealife.com
Wait, there’s more! Nicole had let me know she liked a particular piece of my art. She also had some jewelry pieces she made, one of them were crafted out of a spiral notebook wire, made into a heart shape. At first, I negotiated a price, but then she replied: “want to barter?” I said: “sure!” I was grateful to have met Nicole and to own some of her beautiful work. In addition to those two areas, she has opened the Treasure Coast Reuse Center, which I think is great! A beautiful woman inside and out!
Yoga classes were about to begin, which were being held in the grass. There were a variety of instructors who shared mediation, breathing techniques, hot yoga, anusara and power yoga. All the classes were free and everyone joined, even the kids!
It is now 2:00, time to shut down and head home. One last announcement from the woman who put the event together, thanked everyone for coming and what a great turnout.
I was noticing that everyone started to rush to get things put away and to their vehicles, thinking why? Someone told me that the huge fountain I talked about earlier came on at 3:00 and the water spray was wide enough to give us all a bath and then some! To many pictures in my head to explain.
A great event for everyone to come together and share their gifts. Most of all to have fun!
Coloring Easter Eggs the Natural Way
From toddlers to tweens, many children eagerly anticipate one of spring’s most pleasurable rituals: coloring Easter eggs. This shared family activity allows kids to be hands-on artists, as they choose from a palette of cheerful hues to fashion little edible treasures. But youngsters that dip their hands into synthetic dyes can absorb chemicals through their skin which may be linked with allergic reactions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with ADHD and hyperactivity, per a 2011 report by Science News. Keep their creations healthy and chemical-free by avoiding commercial food coloring and using easy-to-make, fruit-and-veggie-based dyes instead.
The simplest way to use Earth-friendly shades is to add natural materials when boiling the eggs. Some suggestions: purple grape juice or crushed blueberries, for blue; liquid chlorophyll or spinach, for green, organic orange peels or ground turmeric, for yellow; cranberries, pickled beets, cherries or pomegranate juice, for pink and red; and yellow onion skins, cooked carrots, chili powder or paprika, for orange.
Then, follow these directions: Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan and add water to cover. Add one teaspoon of white vinegar (this helps the eggshells absorb color) and the natural dye material; use more material for more eggs or a more intense color. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the eggs for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs and refrigerate them.
These naturally colored treats, more beautiful than their artificially enhanced cousins, will mimic Mother Nature’s softer, gentler tints. For a shiny appearance, rub some cooking oil on the eggs when they are dry. Also remember that hard-cooked eggs are more perishable than raw ones, and should stay outside the refrigerator no more than two hours ( so the one possibly found the day after Easter needs to hit the compost pile) and be consumed within one week.
I found this information useful for keeping children healthy and away from hazardous chemicals.
Hope you all have a beautiful and blessed Easter!
LET”S GO COLOR SOME EGGS!!!!!
Does anyone remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? If you don’t, here’s a little moment of childhood.
The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post. And smiling at the thought of the look on the tortoise’s face when it saw the hare speed by, he fell fast asleep and was soon snoring happily. The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leapt and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him.
“Slowly does it every time!” he said. (illustrated by Arthur Rackam)
You may be wondering why I decided to use the tortoise and the hare analogy. My son, his wife and I met for breakfast this morning. We only live about ten minutes apart. I love my son a lot and it is such a blessing every time I see him. His wife is an angel and she is a beautiful person.
After we had our meal and were walking out to the vehicles, my son had brought up that the last time we were together was December, yes Christmas! Since April is right around the corner (actually tomorrow), that is a four month time lapse. When that came from his lips, my mouth dropped and I just said: “no way!” Sadly, it was true.
We stood in the parking lot and talked for a while (a life conversation summed up in the matter of minutes). It was awesome to find out what is going on in their life, but I was still kind of getting over the shock of how much time had passed and the things I missed in his life.
It’s as if my son and his wife are celebrities, and we get together at the summer house. All kidding aside, they both have great careers and are doing well for being a young couple. I have to say that I am a very proud mom!
So, what is the point? It is just this, we all have busy schedules and that may seem at times to take the gold star in your life. But the most important and priceless things in life are family and spending time with them, sharing the good and the bad, and hearing about what is going on in their world.
Moving at a fast pace to win the race of life award is not necessarily the better option. There are times when it is better to stop, take a breath and drink in all of your treasures, because families are the gem of life.
If you move too fast, you may miss out on the slow precious moments in between.
This isn't the norm...
For the rest of us there can be 'Continuing Ed' in the evenings or on weekends. Hope springs eternal! :)
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