~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS8 student Lauren Woody. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Lauren is from Viroqua, Wisconsin where she attends Youth Initiative High School.~
A Day to Give Back to the Earth and Others
Conserve School Learning Goal: After successfully completing a Conserve School semester, a student demonstrates a commitment and responsibility to community, and is inspired to value and take part in service to others.
Earth Day is a day to celebrate the earth; a day to appreciate and give back to mother nature what she has given to us–life. It is a time to be thankful and think about your actions. Reflect on the details and the little acts of kindness you may have done because those details are vitally important. Here is a quote that has a great deal of wisdom in it and touches me because it has helped me realize that anyone who sets their mind to it or has a passion can make a difference in the world. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” by Margaret Mead. We can all talk about changing and making a difference in the world, but all the talking will never change it, it is the actions that make a difference. Earth Day is a day to look back on the past year and think about instances where you might have littered or you saw a piece of trash laying there and thought about picking it up but thought better of it. It is a day to go out and make a difference, pick up the cigarette butt that someone threw out their window or the pop can that lays stranded on the ground. Every effort and action makes a difference and in this case, yours does too. Celebrate the earth with blessings and good thoughts and surround it in light and love giving it a protective aura.
One person can make a difference in the world and one action can have a huge impact upon everyone. During Earth Day we all chose three different workshops to participate in and it gave us a chance to try something new and unfold a passion within us. I took part in paper mache which used recycled materials, cheese making, and paper bead making. As a community we all gathered together to listen to the speakers that were here for us and they were talking about reptiles and raptors. Then we gussied ourselves up and gathered together for a feast and a dance. “Swing your partner round and round” her voice rang through the shrieks of laughter and stumbling of feet as we all spun around each other. The dancing filled my body with life and appreciation for what an amazing experience I am having here at Conserve. The rhythmic beats caught my feet: hypnotizing them to the beautiful dance of the violin, an intricate rhythm of vibrations and melodies moving through the vast hallways. At the end of the day, I was left with a bubbling happiness radiating from my being shedding light upon the earth and our community. The day brought everybody together in a beautiful way; connecting everyone back to the earth and their true selves.
Together we all took hands and danced around as we thought back on the days events and joined in on the laughter and love. Every part of the experience of Earth Day was wonderful, but there was one workshop that really caught my attention and left a lasting imprint upon me– the paper bead making. It struck me so deeply because I was making a difference in someone’s life in the world by crafting these paper beads. They are made out of simple materials: long strips of recycled paper, glue, and thin straws to craft the bead upon. It is a simple process simply making a couple lines of glue down the center of the paper and then tightly rolling it up and rubbing the excess glue over the entire bead to prevent it from unraveling. The reason why these beads are so important is because for every 20 beads that are made and sent in one person in Tanzania has access to clean water. The Benzos family matches the beads with the money to make it possible for people in Tanzania to build and maintain wells that provide clean drinkable water for the community. By making these beads we are saving people’s lives and making a huge difference in them. The bead project was started by Students Rebuild to “inspire young people worldwide to connect, learn and take collective action on critical global issues.”
This workshop touched me because I could make a difference and save someone’s life and it opened me to the possibilities and opportunities to help others. Earth Day helped me achieve my learning goal by inspiring me to go out there and make an impact and see that there is no such thing as impossible there is only people that are unwilling to go after their hopes and dreams and make them come true. You have to be the change you want to see. Earth Day brought together the community and their passions. It shed light on new possibilities and helped us find more of our own passions to follow in life. We ended the night as a community that loved our earth deeply and cared about its health and beauty; we surrounded it in light and love and sent it blessings and good thoughts.
If you would like to learn more about the Paper Bead Project you can learn more at www.studentsrebuild.org.
~Lauren Woody, Conserve School Semester 8
A few photos from Lauren’s time at Conserve School
Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.