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Vanessa Bullwinkle from Channel 7 news published an excellent blog on the American Forest Foundation's website about our work with Green Schools and Project Learning Tree.  She said she has received very positive responses from across the nation.  Check out the wonderful blog at: http://www.forestfoundation.org/blog-plt-abc-tv-profile-of-aplt-greenschool-in-dc

 
 
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After watching this video it is hard not to have complete faith in a brighter future, led by a generation of loving, caring, passionate individuals.  Channel 7 News came out to film the amazing work students have done over the years painting a huge environmentally themed mural, creating a beautiful pollinator garden, and building an outdoor classroom consistent of a greenhouse, raised bed garden, and composters.  Check out the link below to watch the video and read the accompanying article.  One of my favorite sound bytes by Eleni that is also quoted in the article,“We really care about each other and the environment, we're like family trying to change everything.” 
That pretty much sums up our year, and I hope it is a testament of the work the kids will continue to do in the future.

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/06/paul-public-charter-school-helps-student-earn-their-green-thumbs-90019.html#ixzz2W3HmzYuQ 


 
 
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This photo is a perfect metaphor for who we are.  Each individual puzzle piece is unique and beautiful, but together we are breathtaking.  We all are so different in so many ways- age, grade, culture, religion, language, personality, but we all fit together perfectly this year.  We are a family and we will always have these memories.  They are now a part of who we are, and that can never be taken away from us.  Everyone coming out and celebrating for our farewell last night was a testament for how much love we have for each other.  I hope that all of our creative energy, compassion, and caring will continue throughout the years as we support each other, new friends, and ourselves in reaching our goals and making more miracles happen.

 
 
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We had the pleasure of hosting 2 government officials from Bolivia today.  They had seen our work with the tortilla art project and writing and delivering letters of our immigration stories to the "Gang of 8" senators working on immigration reform before our participation in the "Time is Now" march.  The purpose of the visit was to see how schools engage students with work in the community.  After introductions we presented one of the news reports done on our work by univision.  Then we showed some photos from the event, and afterwards students shared some of the content of the letters that had been delivered to the senators.  We also presented our anti-bullying music video and had a long discussion afterwards about the challenges faced in the teenage years.  Finally, we did a tour of the work we have done improving Paul's environment which included the huge mural we painted and the pollinator garden we created this year.  We made some very good friends from Boliva today and we wish them the best of luck in their travels!

 
 
Check out this glowing blog post by the American Forest Foundation about our Green Team leaders!
http://www.forestfoundation.org/blog-plt-next-generation-conservation-leaders
 
 
We had so much fun making this video! It was another creative collaboration on the part of my 7/8 grade students! What do you get when you put together the Harlem Shake and Shakespeare? The Harlem Shake(speare)! We were feeling very smart and creative, until we searched it on You Tube and found out a few thousand other people thought of it first! Still, it is an awesome video and great idea! :) 
 
 
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It is a bit difficult to see the signs, but students created this "our trip in 3 words" video to thank Calleva for another awesome service learning experience! The first clip is at the eco mural we painted 3 years ago.  The signs say, "We give hope." We chose this phrasing and to shoot in front of the mural because when we did this mural project many members of the community told us we gave them hope, knowing that the younger generation cared about the environment and their community.  At Calleva, we did a service learning project and worked hard to tend to its lovely garden.  The second message says, "Digging our dreams." We chose to shoot this near the pollinator garden we just created during Earth Day 2013 because we had a dream and made it happen.  Likewise at Calleva, on the zip line, we had to dig deep down inside of ourselves to conquer or fear and try something new.  The final clip is at the raised bed garden we have maintained for the past 3 years.  The signs read, "Together we grow." On the rails course at Calleva we worked on our communication and problem solving skills with each other.  Thank you Calleva for this wonderful experience!!!

 

Calleva

05/16/2013

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We had a FANTASTIC 
time at Calleva today! It was the perfect way to spend our last field trip of the year together after so many wonderful memories.  Calleva staff were so welcoming, leading us in a service learning project, rails challenge, and zip line experience.  Some of our best qualities came out including team work, problem solving, communication, positivity, and determination. We wish that everyone at our school could share in such an incredible experience.  This is definitely a trip we will never forget! 

 
 
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What a beautiful day! We had perfect weather to lead a Green Schools/
Project Learning Tree tour for representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Forest Foundation, Nature Watch Program, and many other government organizations and NGOs. Everyone was impressed by the students' work throughout the years serving as a Green Team for Paul PCS.  Initiatives included our raised bed blacktop garden, huge eco mural, recycling program, pollinator garden, greenhouse, and outdoor classroom.  Student docents were able to interact with government officials and prepare a lunch with our bounty from the garden, under the guidance of world renowned chef, Mark Haskell.  Thank you Roxana, Pedro, Karen, Vanessa, Eleni, Nanci, and Maati for being such positive Paul PCS representatives for these government environmental leaders.  They were very impressed and inspired by the work that you and your peers have done!


 
 
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After creating tableaux statues of the main scenes from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and comparing the characters and plot to A Midsummer Night's Dream, it was great to see all of the action play out on the stage at the Folger, where we not so long ago performed! Favorites included the opening scene where the lights and sound effects simulated a storm and sinking ship, Feste's music and hat tricks, Malvolio's yellow stockings, and Viola's strength of character.  The cast did a great job interacting with the audience, and we learned a lot by the talk back after the show.