|Explore a place. Discover your world.|
|Posted by Debi Duke|
|on March 20, 2012|
Like every other season, spring is a great time to explore the Hudson Valley. Some upcoming national events provide great hooks for mobilizing your classroom, community group, or family.
And, THV is sweetening the pot further by offering you and your students a chance to submit drawings, stories, photos, poems, or other expressions of places you explore between now and the end of the school year. (See the end for details on submitting student work.)
Screen-Free Week, April 30-May 6
Thousands of schools, libraries, and community groups around the country are turning off televisions, computers, and video games and turning on the world around them. If you and your students are going screen-free, let us know what you do with that new-found time.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has a 75-page booklet featuring loads of fact sheets, ideas for parents and teachers, as well as backgrounders. I especially like the tips on making it last and "101 screen-free activities" with sections including "Around Town," "In Your Community," "Outdoors," and "On the Move."
Templates and ready-to-print items include a press release, pledge cards, a flier, an activity log to help kids keep track of their "new" activities," and certificates to recognize participants. Download the booklet or selected components at www.screenfree.org.
National Park Week, April 21-29
Experience the national park system for FREE. Visit any national park. Enjoy free admission all week long! Take this opportunity to come out and discover national parks in the Hudson Valley including:
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook, Columbia County,
St. Paul's Church NHS, Mount Vernon, Westchester County,
Saratoga National Historic Park,
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Waterford, Saratoga, and
Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, Hyde Park, Dutchess.
Depending on where you live in the Valley other national parks may be a short drive including a dozen in greater the New York City area plus more in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Use your zip code and desired mileage to search for nearby national parks. Search for special activities.
Click here to see a 50-second YouTube film promoting National Park Week.
National Environmental Education Week, April 15-21
This year's theme is, "Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning." In addition to print resources, there is research on the benefits of environmental education, videos, webinars, and more. For details visit the National Environmental Education Foundation.
You Are Who You Eat With, Spring Writing Competition
Yes! Magazine is encouraging students in grades 6-12 to write on this topic. The registration deadline is April 13. Essays are due by May 18. Details here including registration and release forms and the scoring rubric.
Students read YES! Magazine's, "You are Who You Eat With," by Katherine Gustafson who explores the impact a regular group meal can have on one's life. She points out that fewer than half of Americans eat meals daily with their families. Students then write in response to this prompt:
"Eating together is more than an act of consumption. The shared dinner table also allows for communication of emotions, ideas, and daily experiences. Reflect on “family” dinners in your household, and how important they are to you. Does it matter who you eat with and how often you eat together?"
You may want to refer back to the screen-free week booklet, which includes "Family Meals: Let's Bring Them Back," a one page essay. Or, refer to THV's free Farms & Food Resource Guide for more ideas and places to visit.
Photo above courtesy of Two Angry Moms.