Elsie Whitlow Stokes

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MAY 2013

National Kids to Parks Day Harper's Ferry (FLOC)

cr2_3068On May 18th, Students at Elise Whitlow Stokes went to Harper's Ferry to learn about the environment, healthy outdor recreation and park stewardship. Everyone participated in four activities. The first activity, teambuilding taught them how to work together in order to achieve a common goal. The second activity was a hike to a scenic location where they learned about heath and exercising and along the way about the locl flora and fauna. Thirdly the students learned about the park's Leave No Trace Intiative. Lastly the students terked to a creek where they learned about invertebrates and how to identify the health of a body of water based on what animals lived in it.




All Hooves on Deck for DC Canoeing Adventures!

In October, my friends from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School traveled the Anacostia River in 24-foot canoes brought all the way from Minnesota! Here is what my buddy Jonas said about the trip:

On October 25th, Mrs. Hill’s third grade class canoed on the Anacostia River...In my canoe, I saw one chickadee, one hawk, two cardinals (one male and one female), and many other birds. All of the canoes stopped at the entrance of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens…On the way there, we saw a beaver named Dillon looking at us, then on the way back, he was sleeping. We came back and took our life jackets off, put them away with our paddles and left quickly. We had a great time canoeing and learned and saw a lot!

APRIL 2012

Planting Cherry Blossom Trees with the First Lady

Last month,  my friend Etni from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School helped First Lady Michelle Obama plant Cherry Blossom trees along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC!

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 Etni for bringing me along on their special day. 


Paddling Down the Anacostia River with Buddy Bison 

Students from Elsie Whitlow Stokes took a field trip to canoe the Anacostia River which runs through our nation’s capital. The students quickly learned how to safely paddle down the river, and along their journey saw all kinds of wildlife – great blue heron, hawks, cormorants, egrets, turtles, and beavers. The students also helped to keep the river clean by picking up litter that was floating by. Click here to see more pictures, and also, you can check out photos featured in The Washington Post!

Two of my friends, Bernard and Jose wrote about their amazing experience:

Thank you National Park Trust for giving us the chance to go canoeing. Although we were doing a fun activity we were also learning. I had a really great time and I think that canoeing is an activity that more city kids should experience.” - Bernard

“This field trip will help my classmates and me change our way of life by showing us the example of what happens when you throw trash any place other than where it is supposed to go. We also need to recycle and hold on to these lessons through high school.” - Jose


Fun on Fossil Day

On October 12th, Students from Elsie Whitlow Stokes PCS joined Buddy Bison on the National Mall for the 2nd Annual Fossil Day as part of Earth Science Week. In the shadow of the Washington Monument , these students rummaged through rocks looking for all kinds of fossils, from shells to shark teeth!

Park rangers and volunteers taught the students how to identify their findings and helped them analyze the skeletons of alligators and birds. They even had the chance to create their own miniature bird feeders by covering pinecones with nuts and honey. When it started to rain, the students escaped into the Museum of Natural History where they studied more skeletons and other ancient artifacts.

Click here to see more photos from the 2nd Annual National Fossil Day.


Buddy Bison Students Invited for White House Announcement

Satiya, third-grader from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Charter School , was lucky enough to be invited for a big “ America ’s Great Outdoors” announcement this month at the White House!

She got to be right there to see President Obama announce the Administration’s plan to connect all Americans—but especially kids—with our parks and public lands. The president especially wants communities to become involved in keeping local land and water clean.

Cecily and Satiya also met Senator John Warner (photo bottom left) and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (photo bottom center), and even spent some time sharing their environmental views with Administrator Lisa Jackson from the Environmental Protection Agency! You also can watch a video of the announcement yourself and hear about how the President needs your help to continue protecting our parks and public lands


E.W. Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School Hit the Trails

The North Face’s Planet Explore invited kids and families out to hike Maryland and Virginia Trails last month—and the hike taken by many of our Buddy Bison students was featured on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move blog!

All E.W. Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School students and their families hiked a beautiful trail at Seneca Creek State Park. As one E.W. Stokes parent said, “the weekend was awesome! Beautiful location, beautiful lake, beautiful Stokes scholars, parents, siblings, extended family, staff, and board members. This is what it should all be about.”


Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter Schooland Buddy Bison Ring in the New School Year

The first day of school typically includes excited kids shouldering backpacks brimming with new notebooks and pencil boxes stocked with sharp #2’s. Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School had that and then some, welcoming back their students this week with balloons, steel drums, and a fire truck-led parade. Buddy Bison greeted students, teachers and parents, and even charmed his way onto the fire truck to help lead the students’ parade. Visit Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School’s gallery to see more photos from the day!

JUNE 2010

Stokes Scholars Adopt Trees!

Recently 2nd and 3rd graders at DC's Elsie Stokes School took Buddy Bison on a field trip. Here's what they said about it. "It was fun! We got to suck honeysuckle!" says Stokes School scholar, Aidan about his May 14th field trip to Bunker Hill Park. 

Students from second and third grade teamed up with several community partners, including the National Park Service. NPS, which cares for almost 400 national parks around the country, provided a ranger to guide students through the park to teach them how to care for the earth and identify different trees. 

"Helping the earth makes it a better place," says second grader, Bunitha Johnson.

Students rubbed tree bark, measured the circumference of the trunks, and even adopted their own trees. "I named mine 'Stephanie,' after one of my old friends," says Aidan.

"Mine is called 'Destiny,'" adds Bunitha. "It's an oak tree."

Students will receive an official certificate of adoption from the National Park Service. The park visit was a capstone to the second grade trimester theme, "All Around Town" and was organized by the National Park Trust as part of their Where's Buddy Bison Been? program at Stokes. As part of the program, students were recently sworn in a Junior Park Rangers at their career day assembly.