Recycling on Earth Day with BR Nature Roots & Shoots and Howglobal

    On Earth Day, April 22, Rachael Paulson, children's author and founder of HOWGlobal (Hands on the World global), and I, did an event on recycling at my former school in Newark, NJ called Oliver Sreet School. The event was a presentation where Rachael discussed the inspiration behind her first book (which was followed by a sequel) called "Sir Johny's Recycling Adventure". After, she showed the kids how to recycle paper by hand. I never thought that recycling would lift the spirits of so many kids, but let me tell you, they all adored it! There were two sessions, each with about 200 kids. The first session began around 9:45 a.m., ending around 10:15, and the next started immediately after, ending around 10:50. The kids from the school all created a huge and beautiful mural for Rachael to bring to Africa and give to the underprivledged children there. Rachael donates all the uses from her books to install water in places in Africa, particularly villages, where there is none. So far, she has done so in five! 
    The Luso-Americano (the Portuguese-American newspaper directed towards the Portuguese community) is the largest newspaper of the Portuguese language in North America. It covered the event, and soon, BR Nature Roots & Shoots' work, along with that of HOWGlobal, was known throughout all Portugese (and even other communities which speak the language) communities on the North American continent. Luso-Americano is perhaps the most widely-distributed and read newspaper in Newark, NJ.
    Rachael's books were indeed sold, and a total of $500 was raised, far more than what I had anticipated.
    Racahel gave two wonderful gifts, a HOWGlobal t-shirt, and a filtration straw to which filters water from even the filthiest pools of water.
    An amazing twist of it all was when i find out, as so did Rachael, that her father, who had passed away about 5 years earlier, was good friends with my former principal, and the current principal at Oliver, Mrs. Golden. So, it was like it was destined to be (as corny as that may sound!)!

Save the Whales: BR Nature Roots & Shoots Fundraisor for the ACS (American Cetacean Society)

    On April 17, at Hillside School's annual Forest Fest in Bridgewater, NJ, my Roots & Shoots partner, Sarah H., and I, did a fundraiser for the ACS (American Cetacean Society). I have always been passionate about wildlife. In fact, the animal that I find the most majestic, although all are incredible, is the Blue whale. So, this was a perfect opportunity to help out. Sarah made beautiful bracelets, and I made necklaces (made from clay) with the ACS logo on them. We also sold other items such as t-shirts. Everyone loved the necklaces, and bracelets. the biggest sellers, above all, however, were the necklaces (I was thrilled!!!) We also handed out fliers and free bookmarks with whale information on them, given to us by the ACS. After four hours, we raised $92. I was happy, and so was Sarah. We worked hard. The ACS was the first organization created in the world to protect cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). This was the first time they worked with Roots & Shoots, and were truly grateful. BR Nature Roots & Shoots' work will be featured in the next newsletter of the ACS. It took hard work, but it was worth it. In the end, we raised a good chunk of money (especially with this economy!). We still have a couple of more items to sell. Remember, we can all shape the world!!! :)

         Peace Day 2008 in New York City, New York

    On September 21, 2008, Roots & Shoots Peace Day was celebrated all over the world. From Tanzania to Japan, all celebrated the idea that peace in our world is possible. This year, Dr. Jane Goodall celebrated Peace Day in New York City. I attended a lecture she gave, and was inspired. This one lady alone managed to do so much. She is still spreading her message of conservation all over the globe. If anyone is a true hero, then it is definitely her. 
       The Story: Well, I woke up extremely eager and early to arrive at the Peace Day celebration in New York City. I was all excited and jumping up and down with excitement (kind of scary really). Finally, my dad, brother, step mother and I departed to the Big Apple. Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic. It was horrible. About one hour worth of traffic. I slept, and undoubtedly snored.  Finally, about an hour later, we arrived in New York. This, however, was only the beginning of minor misfortunes. We couldn't find Saint Catherine's park! It was nerve wrecking! After yet another hour of driving, we finally arrived at the park but guess what? No one was there! We had missed the Peace Dove Parade. Still, I remained confident. We then drove to Hunter College, where Dr. Jane Goodall would be giving her lecture on peace. Seeing my idol: I entered the building, and went to the room where Goodall would be giving her lecture. I looked around at others who came here to celebrate for the same exact reason as I did: the idea that peace is possible. As I looked around, there she was: my idol; the person who inspired me to make a difference. Dr. Jane Goodall. The most nerve-wrecking moment of my entire life: As we were all seated in the college auditorium, Chelsea Grosse, the Roots and Shoots Youth Fellow in charge of coordinating and planning Roots and Shoots events in NYC, asked if anyone wanted to come up and say a few words before Dr. Goodall began her lecture. Hesitating, I raised my hand. I walked to the front of the auditorium. And so I began. "I grew up in Newark."  It ended with, "We are gathered here to celebrate that different people from different backgrounds and different cultures can come together to celebrate that peace in our world is possible."The Applause and the sense of Pride: After I spoke everyone applauded, and I was amazed. I truly felt like I was part of something big; something unique; something important. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful lady. I will never forget this day.

The Famous "Pant Hoot"