Hello! Adrian (and my mom) here – it’s been a very long time since we posted anything. It’s great to be back! Unless you were hiding under a rock, you heard the crazy storm we had tonight. Well, I went to the source and checked things out for myself and I’m here to report that while the enormous flash flood took over much of Robert McWilliams park, fondly known by locals as the “Dinosaur Park,” the playground is still standing! The basketball courts look alright, the field was partly flooded and, as you can see from the pictures, the bridge was almost underwater! Other kids were there checking things out too. I’ve climbed trees, played baseball, splashed in the creek with my brother, and enjoyed popsicles with my first grade class all at this very park! I care about what happens to our land and water and I was happy to see other kids checking things out too. Getting involved in our community helps us stay informed! Did you go outside during the storm? What was it like for you?
Yesterday, America’s children were the leaders in what has become the most significant youth effort to prioritize safety and end gun violence – ever. This is no longer a youth protest against violence – it is now a full-fledged youth-led MOVEMENT. These kids and all of their supporters have not only captured the attention of people in every state in our nation, but all over the world!
On March 24, 2018, America’s children led and participated in a march on our nation’s capital. These amazing youth were able to organize an absolutely HUMONGOUS effort that included students, teachers, principals, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and more importantly – voters and future voters.
What does it mean to be a voter anyway? A voter is someone with the legal right to vote. It is the legal right to participate in the decision about who we pick and choose to become President and Vice President of our country and also who we choose to make the laws in our country. This is very important because we want to make sure that the people in charge are doing things the right way. We want to make sure that they care about the right things. We want to make sure that they are doing what is best for all of us – the people of America – like they are supposed to. Have you ever had the chance to pick your reading partner? Or, a teammate at a game of dodge-ball? Or what about who should be the leader of your grade? You might look for special qualities and skills, right? For example, for your reading partner, you might pick someone who is an excellent reader so that they can motivate you to improve your reading. And for your dodge-ball game, you might pick someone who is really fast or who you know is really great at playing the game. And for the leader of your grade, you might want someone who is kind. Someone who listens to everyone. Someone who cares about everyone. Someone who is smart and friendly. Maybe you have a friend in mind. Or maybe that person is you!
So, why did they organize this march and how did they accomplish something SOOOOO BIG? They organized the march because they have had ENOUGH. They say “NO MORE GUN VIOLENCE!” And they want the people who are making it easy for violence to keep happening to hear what they want and that they want it to stop.
Even though organizing such a big event was hard to do, they did it. They helped each other, they chose their own best leaders, they knew what they wanted to say and they said it loud and clear. They were nice, but they were firm. They did not let fear of failing or fear of speaking out, stop them.
Do you know anyone who went to the march? What did they say about it? What did it feel like to be a part of something so big and important? How do you show your support when you believe in something? How do you show your objection when you disagree? What are some ways to share how you feel and how can you make sure people will listen? Send us your answers and we will publish them on our blog!
What amazing thing will you do today?
Yes. It’s true. The LEGO company is doing something amazing! The company, headquartered in Billund, Denmark (a twelve hour plane ride from Colorado, USA), is going to begin producing LEGO pieces that are better for nature, the environment, our precious one-and-only planet earth, and as a result, better for all of us.
No, you cannot eat these new LEGO pieces so don’t even think about it. And yes, they will still hurt your feet if you step on them. Ouch! The best way to avoid that is to clean up when you’re done playing! I bet you’ve heard that before.
So, how in the world will these LEGO pieces be made from sugar? Well, sugar comes from sugarcane. And sugarcane looks like this:
The sugarcane will serve as the base for the plastic that the LEGO pieces will be made of instead of what is being used right now, which is petroleum. Petroleum looks like this:
Petroleum is not a renewable source like plants are. The more we can use renewable sources like plants (in this case, sugarcane), the healthier our planet, plants, animals, and people will be!
The first plant-based LEGO pieces to go on sale in stores will be trees, bushes, and leaves that you can use to landscape your LEGO creations! So, keep your eye out for the new 2018 “sustainable” LEGO boxes out later this year. Check out the video below for an exciting peek for yourself!
If you want to learn a bit more about renewable sources and how plant-based plastics are made, check this out and do some research at your local library:
Can you find Denmark on a map? Here’s a view of Denmark, where the LEGO Group is headquartered:
The 2018 Winter Olympics have come to an end. Competitors from all over the world were in Pyeongchang, South Korea competing in a wide variety of winter sports. There was an impressive number of young competitors and one of them was a 17-year-old girl from California. Her name is Chloe Kim. She started snowboarding at 4-years-old and has been snowboarding ever since! Her parents are South Korean immigrants which means they were born in South Korea and moved here to the United States of America.
For Chloe, taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics was a dream come true but what made it even more special was that this year the Olympics took place in South Korea, her family’s home country! Chloe’s family watched and cheered her on as she gave the best snowboarding performance of her life!
Chloe says she loves snowboarding and has been dedicated to the sport for almost her entire life! Not only is Chloe an amazing athlete, but she is also kind, funny, and really fun to be around! That makes her a star!
Did you watch any of the 2018 Winter Olympics? What was your favorite sport to watch? Do you play any sports? What do you love to do? Keep up the great work and don’t forget to have fun!
On February 10, 2018, Red Gerard, only 17 years old, won a USA Olympic Gold Medal. Red lives right up the road from us here at The Scoop and we are so proud of him! The athletes who are currently competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea are the best in the world. Many of these athletes (called “Olympians”) have been asked what it feels like to be competing at the Olympic Games – the highest achievement a person can attain in the world of sports! While most of the competitors talk about wanting to do their personal best and wanting to win a medal, one message from these athletes has been repeated over and over again: The experience alone is a dream come true. Just being at the Olympic Games and competing with all the other athletes is an amazing feeling for which they are grateful.
What do these competitors have in common? First of all, they are all committed to doing their best through hard work and determination. They practice. And they practice. And they practice some more. When they fall, they pick themselves up. And then, they try harder. They study and they train and they spend many, many hours focused on whatever it is they want to achieve. They work well with others and also do whatever it takes to become the best they can be.
Guess what? You don’t have to be competing at the Olympics to do your personal best and to be whatever it is you want to be. Be yourself. Practice. Focus. Recognize the things you need to improve and then work to improve them. Recognize the things you do well and be proud of them. Congratulate others for their efforts and for their successes. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the ride. Because the ride is what it’s all about!
Do you know?
- Where South Korea is? Can you find it on a map? What time is it there right now?
- Have you ever worked really hard at something and achieved your goal? What was it? How did you do it?
- Have you ever worked really hard at something and did not achieve your goal? What was it? Did you reach your goal yet? If so, how? If not, what other things can you try to get closer to your goal?
- Has anybody ever told you what a great job you did at something? How did that make you feel?
- Try telling more people what a great job they did at something or if they need some support, what can you say to make them smile? Is this something you can do for someone every day? Try it and see what happens!
It is one year after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. For the second time since then, women and men (and girls and boys) marched in the streets in what is called “The Women’s March” to express their disapproval of the Trump Administration and its policies affecting women and girls.
The first Women’s March (in 2017) attracted millions of people around the world and was likely the largest single-day march and demonstration in American history! Do you know anyone that went to it? What can they tell you about it? How did they feel being part of it?
The Women’s March last week, one year after the first, showed that Women’s March demonstrators are still here and still object to the Trump Administration’s policies. The 2018 march attracted between 1.6 and 2.5 million people! The Women’s March has become only one way that people who disagree with the President on a variety issues, let him and his Administration know. It is a way for groups of people who have been treated unequally or unfairly to object to this unfair and unequal treatment.
Marching and demonstrating is a powerful way for our voices to be heard and recognized and is a peaceful way to show how we feel. Some people hold up signs to be heard, some people chant meaningful words, some people march, and others simply show up to support the cause.
Things to ponder:
- What are some ways to express your feelings?
- How can you express yourself when you want others to listen?
- How can you challenge something that needs to be changed?
- Why is it important to express your opinion?
- How can you show you are listening when someone tells you how they feel?
- How are boys and girls the same?
- Is it important to treat both girls and boys with respect? Why?
- How are all people the same?
- Can you make a sign about something you feel strongly about to express your opinion?
Mohammed Hussein is standing outside in the cold, staring through the window of a gym in Adiyaman, a city in Turkey. His family doesn’t have much money and so Mohammed works to help his family earn the money they need. Swung around his shoulder is a box that he uses when he shines people’s shoes – this is how he earns money for his family.
Mohammed is a Syrian Refugee which means he had to leave his home and his country, Syria, because it is no longer safe to live there. Mohammed and his family must build a new life, and now they live in Turkey. Becoming a refugee is not easy but Mohammed and his family are safer now and are working hard to have a better life.
Mohammed is looking through the window of the gym because he is dreaming about one day, being able to have enough money so he can exercise at a gym just like this one. He wants to be strong and healthy, like the people inside. But his family has a difficult time paying for food and a place to live, so paying for the gym is not really a possibility for the family.
Then, it happened. Someone took Mohammed’s picture as he was staring through the window. The picture tells the story of a boy who dreams of being on the other side of the window.
The person who took Mohammed’s picture posted it on the internet. Some people saw the picture and then they posted the picture on the internet too. And then more people saw the picture. And then those people posted the picture on the internet. And so on.
Many, many people saw the picture-including the owner of the gym! When the owner of the gym saw the picture of Mohammed dreaming of being on the other side of the window, he started a search for the boy. Once people learned of the search, it wasn’t long before someone recognized the boy and spotted him in town, shining shoes, not far from the gym.
The owner got word, found the boy, and explained to him that he saw his picture and he wanted to help make his wish come true. So, the owner gave Mohammed a lifetime membership to the gym! Now, he can use the gym whenever he wants – forever!
More people heard about Mohammed and his family trying to make a new life and they have sent gifts to him and his family.
Mohammed is enjoying being on the other side of the window! So, now you know, when you take notice of the people around you and care enough to pay attention to how they are feeling, you are being kind and could be helping someone more than you ever imagined. You might even help make someone’s dream come true!
Did you know:
- Flying in an airplane from Denver to Turkey would take about fourteen hours.
- There are thousands of refugees living in Colorado.
- Many refugees don’t know English because they speak another language.
- Even if you only speak one language, you can communicate with someone without words! Smiling is a great way to communicate and showing kindness with your actions is understood by everyone, no matter what language they speak!
January 15th is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and we celebrate his life on the national holiday known as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King Jr. and his family were forced to live, eat, travel, and work separate and apart from people who had different skin color. Their opinion didn’t count. It was not right. It was not fair.
Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to help ALL of the people who were being mistreated. He spoke out against hate, racism, and the separation of people based on their skin color (separating people based on skin color is known as “segregation”).
Americans recognize and honor Martin Luther King Jr. because he was KIND and BRAVE and DID NOT GIVE UP. He dedicated his life to SPEAKING UP for what is RIGHT and GOOD and SPEAKING AGAINST what is WRONG and UNKIND.
He spoke to crowds of people. He organized numerous peaceful protests, marches, and boycotts. It was not easy. It was hard. But he kept doing it anyway. He did not give up.
Many people didn’t want to listen to Martin Luther King Jr. But many other people did. Many people got mad about what he was saying. But many other people agreed with him. Some people resorted to violence to try and silence him. But Martin Luther King Jr. REFUSED to be bullied, mistreated, and silenced. He stayed STRONG. And so did his family and friends and all of the people who agreed with him and believed in his rightful cause. Those people were brave too and they all stood together.
So many people, of all shapes and sizes and all beautiful colors and shades of black, brown, and white fought for this cause. It is known as the Civil Rights Movement and is one of the most important movements in American history.
Treating everyone with kindness and respect is not only the right thing to do, but it is something that makes the world a better place. We make more friends, we learn about new things, we have more fun, and we make others feel good inside which is always a great feeling. If you ever see someone mistreating another person because of their skin color, what do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would do? What else do you know about Martin Luther King Jr.? What do you know about his wife, Coretta Scott King? Did you know she was a school teacher and an important leader in the Civil Rights Movement? What can you learn about the King children? What do you think about the Civil Rights Movement? How is it important today? Feel free to send us your answers and we will publish them on our blog!
The people of Ennis, County Clare, Ireland have a really fun way of recycling their Christmas Trees. They don’t simply drop them off at a collection site or set them on the curb for pick up. No, what they do each year, and what they did over the weekend, is have a contest to see who can throw their tree the farthest!
Hundreds of people, including moms, dads, kids, and others took part in the fun which is meant to encourage responsible tree disposal.
Hurling, flinging, flipping, and launching are some of the throwing techniques you will see at the contest. The winner gets a trophy (and bragging rights) but everyone has a blast!
The Christmas Tree Throwing World Championship took place today in Weidenthal, Germany. Similar contests are popular in the Scandinavian countries as well.
What a fun way to end their Christmas holiday and start the new year, don’t you think?! Maybe you can think of some fun ways to dispose of or carefully store away your holiday treasures from now on — no matter what holiday you and your family celebrate!
Photo by Eamon Ward
Photo by Eamon Ward