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2019-03-29

Religious Education News: Sun Mar 31

Last Sunday was Environmental Practice Sunday in RE and, with great planning and dedication, the Environmental Practices Group (EPG) took this opportunity to celebrate Earth Day! As the morning unfolded, Janet Bear selected an excellent book to read to the children and youth, none other than The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The message conveyed in the author’s inimitable style wonderfully touches on the dangers of pollution and the potential for ruining our planet. The group was genuinely mesmerized by the story. The students then divided into three groups and began their fun rotation of activities in the RE classrooms. Room 24 housed the Carbon Footprint Game where the children spun the wheel that stopped and pointed to subjects such as plants, food, and transportation. Then they picked up a matching card that described the topic and designated the points they had won. For example a card labeled food could describe a farmer’s market, which meant local and eliminated the need for planes and trucks. Hence, less pollution! The kids loved spinning the wheel and they were having so much fun I think they may have forgotten they were learning a great deal. The next activity room was room 22, which was the Recycling Game. On the floor was a diverse collection of recyclable products strewn on our “imaginary beach.” On the table were boxes labeled for each category of products and the students had to select where the items should be deposited. What a great exercise in really examining the items and their make up and stimulating the students to closely study these items that people just toss away without any thought to our environment. Last but not least in room 41 was a genuine hands-on activity in composting with worms. There was dirt embedded with itty, bitty crawly worms who were a bit asleep but soon awakened when their bed of a handful of dirt was held by the kids. The students were totally in awe as they chopped up left over food and newspaper and collectively as a team built an indoor townhouse of bacteria, fungus, dirt, and pumice for the earthworms. They were happy campers, the earthworms, that is, but then again, so were the students. Most of the kids were thrilled to handle these little guys, although a few thought it was “gross.” I was utterly amazed at the thought, preparation, and amount of work put behind this Earth Day celebration. It was a classic example of how learning and science can not only be fun, but really encourage and inspire students to continue furthering their knowledge. A round of applause and deepest respect and admiration for all the committee members; Janet Bear, Laura Goodspeed, Laura Sehdeva, Rhonda Miller, Ann Norum, Cynthia Roberts, Yvonne Lynn, and Anthony Russell. On behalf of the congregation, students, and families, our sincere thanks for an excellent program.

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

RE This Sunday, March 31
Grades K-7 start in the sanctuary. Grades 8-12 start in their classrooms.

Upcoming Youth Cons
The Metro NY Social cons (conferences) provide a safe space for UU youth from NY, CT, and NJ to meet, bond, and explore their religious identities together through worship, workshops, and fun! (They are also a great place for adult advisors to connect and support one another!)

Metro NY Spring Junior High Youth Conference, April 6-7, CUUC
Registration is open! This 24-hour event for youth in grades 6-8 is a fun opportunity to connect with other UU youth. Information and registration links HERE. Questions about programming? Contact Denice Tomlinson (denice1uu@yahoo.com). Questions about registration? Contact Charlie Neiss(cneiss@aol.com).

2019 Variety Show Fundraiser, Sat May 4, 5:00pm
Help us get ready for the fun! PERFORMERS (adults AND kids) sign up in the RE lobby; BAKE SALE sign-ups: Contact Benetta Barnett (benettabarnett@hotmail.com); RAFFLE PRIZE DONATIONS: Contact Liz Suvanto (elizabethsuvanto@hotmail.com).

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