I hope all of you are having a great Spring exploring your local parks! This month I’m happy to tell you about some of my friends who were invited to the White House! Did you know the White House is part of a national park? It’s true! President's Park is managed by the National Park Service. It is just one of thousands of local, state and national parks across the country! I hope you get the chance to visit one soon. Remind your parents that admission to every national park is free during April 21st-29th to celebrate National Park Week.
Both students were invited to participate in the Centennial Tree Planting Ceremony, which honored the 100th anniversary of the planting of the first two of 3,000 cherry blossom trees given to the United States as a gift from the city of Tokyo, Japan. The cherry blossom trees are in full bloom in March, and thousands of people from across the country travel to our nation’s capital to see them! I want to thank both Chellseas and Etni for bringing me along on their special day. See if you can spot me in the picture below! (Group photo credits: above - White House; below - Tami Heilemann, DOI)
Hunting for Easter Eggs on the White House Lawn
Even the President of the United States likes to take a break from running the country and hunt for Easter eggs in his backyard! Earlier this month, four of our Buddy Bison schools – St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, KIPP DC: WILL Academy, Jefferson Houston, and Harmony Hills – participated in the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll. Approximately 30,000 people came to the south lawn of the White House for the event which had a theme of "Let's Go, Let's Play, Let's Move," based on the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. I would like to thank the National Park Foundation for gifting us these tickets that benefited our students!
Here are some things my friends said about their trip to the White House:
"Over my Easter break, I went to the White House Easter Egg Roll. I played basketball, took amazing pictures, and I bought a model of the Washington, DC buildings. I ate delicious food and had a great time with my friends. It was so much fun!" - Jared (St. Ignatius Loyola)
"One of the last things we did was enjoy different fruits from Mrs. Obama’s garden. I tried their apples, and tangerines and they were all delicious! I cannot believe we were able to have so much fun at our President’s house. I am so thankful for the opportunity and hope to become a successful person like the President." - Kierra (KIPP DC)
"I will always remember this experience even when I am 100 years old! This is also a meaningful experience for me because at my school we are taught that if we work hard we earn good things like going to the White House!" - Nanette (KIPP DC)
Get to Know your Wild Neighbors!
On April 30th, third and sixth grade Buddy Bison students from Washington, DC metro-area public, public charter and private schools will take a trek through the wilds of the U.S. Botanic Garden for the DC launch of the international Get to Know contest. Kids across the country will be participating in the contest by spending more time outdoors and creating art, photography and music inspired by the natural world!
Students who attend the Washington, DC event will take part in a scavenger hunt as they discover six exciting and informative stations that will teach them about the outdoors, environmental science and the importance of conserving our parks! All students across the country are invited to enter the contest which runs until July 16th.
Beauvoir, Buddy and a Bunch of Sharks!
Last month, I visited the National Aquarium in Washington, DC with the Pre-K Penguins from Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. The students and I had a great time learning all about sharks and other sea creatures like seahorses, alligators, and snakes. We were excited to return to Beauvoir and share all that we learned on the trip!
Buddy Bison's Adventurer of the Month – Taylor from Longfellow Elementary in Council Bluffs, IA
Congratulations to Taylor, my Adventurer of the Month from Longfellow Elementary School in Council Bluffs, IA! Taylor visited the Lewis and Clark Monument Park in Council Bluffs where she learned the history of America’s most famous explorers. Here is what she had to say about the trip:
"When I went to Lewis and Clark Monument I learned a lot of things. One thing I learned about was where Lewis and Clark traveled. I also found out that President Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark on a journey in the year of 1803. I learned a lot of new things from the monument. It was really fun and I saw a lot of interesting things and also took some pictures with the bison."
Thanks for telling me about your adventure! I hope you continue to explore outdoors at our nation’s parks!
Parent / Teacher Corner
Save the Date: National Kids to Parks Day is May 19th!
New Civil War Website from the National Park Service
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the National Park Service has launched a brand new website where you can find a Civil War battlefield or other historic site near you! NPT board member takes Buddy Bison on the road
Our thanks to NPT board member Wayne Hill for snapping these great pictures with Buddy Bison!