Saturday, May 28, 2011

Noor's Art Show

A few months ago, Noor was invited to show her art at a local coffee shop/art gallery.  Around the same time, she had become increasingly aware of the existence of homeless people in our community, especially that there are homeless children.  When we'd stop to give the homeless man on the side of the road a few dollars, Noor was always upset that we couldn't give more.  When she saw a homeless couple with pictures of their children, she asked how she could make money to help.

After much conversation, Noor decided she would sell prints of her drawings to raise money.  Her objective was to give money to children so they could buy toys. I spoke to the director of the Community Youth and Women's Alliance Gateway Shelter and she suggested that Noor use whatever money she earned to buy Toys R Us gift cards, that way, the kids would be able to buy whatever they wanted.

The art show was a lot of fun.  Noor gave interviews, talked to folks about her drawings and played mad games of hide and seek with her friends.  She raised $200, which she used to buy 10 $20 gift cards. We also collected clothing and diapers for the shelter. The most challenging aspect was going through hundreds of drawings and choosing 25, but luckily, Grandma Penny, Poppa and Shama were there to help.

Giving an interview to the Chadds Ford local Paper

Telling the story 

Roman brought her roses

Proud grandparents

Taking a break from being a serious artist

Meeting Cecilia, the director of the Gateway Shelter

Cecilia's lovely thank-you letter to Noor

Life cycle of a frog

It is so wonderful to get to watch all the stages of development from tadpole to frog. Noor collects a bucket of creek water, brings it up to the house, and then returns it (and all the life in it) a day or two later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Wetlands

The stream is teaming with life: tadpoles, froglets, striped bass and a few of these beauties: Lithobates Clamitans (Green Frog).


We've identified three kinds of Poison Ivy, looked at the difference between snapping and box turtles talked about precautions on stream beds, and re-instituted tick checks.

Open Connections April-May

Wednesday Open Program

This is an update for the Wednesday Open Program. Look for e-mails about every five weeks sharing what is occurring during your young person's days at Open Connections.

We've had so many highlights this spring I hardly know where to begin! It is fabulous to see how many ways we have become such a positive, energetic and cohesive group:

- Emily Simkovich, who competes in Marble Shooting brought her set up to OC Tournaments and demonstrated how to hold your thumb to make a shot with special marbles called "shooters". We wish Emily the best of luck in her upcoming June competition in Wildwood, New Jersey.

- With the help of a covered box, young people tested their observation skills while drawing "blind".

- We spent at least three weeks creating sea creatures and environments in our ocean boxes during our Oceans Unit.

- As always, many chose to work with clay.

- One science experiment consisted of dry ice mixed with liquid soap. We then enjoyed pitchers of fruit juice cooled with a piece of dry ice, creating a bubbling juice brew which many enjoyed.

- Our nature hikes along and in the creek have been many. Young people often shared a pair of clippers along the way to cut down thorns across the paths. We've seen the woods come alive with skunk cabbage, wild flowers, jewel weed, poison ivy, and stinging nettle.

- Our Science Unit this past month has focused on Biology. There have been many seeds planted and lots of them still growing. We enjoyed many books at group time, a favorite being The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle.

- We are currently exploring mold growth and have grown our own Shitake Mushrooms.

- Our pet tadpole has recently sprouted it's tiny hind legs. We will watch it's tail disappear over the next couple of weeks.