A grand day for an Earth Day Challenge!

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We’re all looking to “change the world”…the funny thing is we don’t realize that every day our actions, big and small make a difference in our families’ lives, our schools, our jobs and our communities.

Kids are often told they are too young, that they must wait to “change the world.” But at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center kids are changing the world every day – by learning, by growing and by caring about God’s great creation.

At Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge April 17, children teamed up with their grandparents to make crafts, take a “How well do you know me?” quiz, plant bulbs and had old-fashioned fun with bubbles, made paper airplanes and shared a Frosty Boy ice cream treat. Every child who attended the challenge received a prize – a “Change the World” wristband!

In celebration of Earth Day, families also learned how their home can be a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and about the importance of sustainability in protecting the planet.

Those attending cast their votes for the winning T-Shirt Design for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1 at New Palestine High School.

Events like Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge are only possible through the generous donations of Southern Hancock families, businesses and community members who support innovative education activities for our children.

Sign up now to register for the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, donate or become a business sponsor by clicking here!

Change The World – One moment at a time! Start today…

Today’s the day for old-fashioned fun and learning at Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge April 17, 3:30 p.m.

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Support innovative STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) education projects for grades K-8 by donating to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Next school year alone Dani’s Dreams will be expanding the Butterfly Garden with a pavilion and a campaign to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly, opening our solar power exhibit at the Go Green Center and starting an internship program for area college students.

You can donate today to support Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s innovative projects and register for the Aug. 1 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run here. Help kids “Change the World with your donation. Dani’s Dreams does not charge for special events, activities and teacher resources and relies solely on donations and grants for funding.

Email dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information.


How does a paper airplane fly? Find out Friday at Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge!

Grandparents and grandkids  – the challenge is on this Friday at Dani’s Dreams! Kids, get your grandparents and have some old-fashioned fun from 3:30-5 p.m. on April 17. Crafts, activities and fun are planned. One stop on the challenge is the “How Far Can It Fly? station. Here are some tips on how to soar above the rest!


imgresWhat makes a paper airplane fly? Air — the stuff that’s all around you. Hold your hand in front of your body with your palm facing sideways so that your thumb is on top and your pinkie is facing the floor. Swing your hand back and forth. Do you feel the air? Now turn your palm so it is parallel to the ground and swing it back and forth again, like you’re slicing it through the air. You can still feel the air, but your hand is able to move through it more smoothly than when your hand was turned up at a right angle. How easily an airplane moves through the air, or its aerodynamics, is the first consideration in making an airplane fly for a long distance.

Join in the fun for Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge!

Come to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center April 17, 3:30-5 p.m. for the Earth Day Grandparents/Grandkids “Change the World” Challenge.
Area children will team up with their grandparents to make crafts, take a “How well do you know me?” quiz, plant bulbs and just have old-fashioned fun with bubbles, by making a paper airplane and sharing a Frosty Boy ice cream treat. Every team that completes the challenge will receive a prize!
In celebration of Earth Day, families will also learn about Dani’s Dreams upcoming Butterfly Project, how their home can be a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and about the importance of sustainability to protecting the planet.
Those attending will also be able to cast their vote for the winning T-Shirt Design for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1 at New Palestine High School.
All Southern Hancock Children are invited to take on the Earth Day Grandparents/Grandkids Change the World Challenge. For more information, log onto http://www.danisdreamsoutdooreducationcenter.com, Like us on Facebook or email dgriffins96@gmail.com

Change the World at Dani’s Dreams!

1useDSC_0496Set up a recycling bin at your house…turn off lights that you are not using…find out about your world and share that with others – each action will Change the World!

Enter the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s annual T-shirt design and essay contest.
The theme for this year’s event is “Change The World” and all Hancock County classrooms, Scout and youth groups are invited to environmental educational activities and crafts at Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Dedication Event April 17, 3:30-5 p.m. located at Zion Lutheran School in New Palestine.

There are now TWO WAYS for you to show your talents.

1. DRAW A PICTURE using the theme for the front of T-shirts. Your drawing could bring Dani’s Dreams to life on T-shirts for the eighth annual memorial walk/run Aug. 1. If your picture is chosen, you will receive a free T-shirt and $50 and your name will be on every shirt. You will be introduced Aug. 1 at the beginning of the walk/run at New Palestine High School.

2. WRITE AN ESSAY based on the theme “Change the World!” Entries from all ages will be accepted. The winner will receive a free T-shirt and $25. Money raised at this event will go to fund the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, open to all students in Hancock County.
Turn in your drawing or essay to your teacher by April 10 or bring it to Dani’s Dreams April 17, 3:30-5.
Entries will be picked up at each school April 10 or they can be dropped off at Zion Lutheran School. The best of the T-shirt designs and essays will be on display for voting during the Earth Day Dedication Event at Dani’s Dream Outdoor Education Center April 17 3:30-5 p.m. Keep up with all the Dani’s Dreams news at http://www.danisdreamsoutdooredcenter.com. Email dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information.Here’s the entry form for the T-shirt design and essay contest:

Dani’s Dreams Scholarship open to 2015 seniors in Hancock County

The first recipient of the Dani's Dreams Scholarship, Anna Lewer, won the women's division in the 2013 Dani's Dreams Memorial Walk/Run. Lewer graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The first recipient of the Dani’s Dreams Scholarship, Anna Lewer, won the women’s division in the 2013 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run. Lewer graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Memorial Fund Committee of Zion Lutheran School in New Palestine announces its annual college scholarship.
For the eighth year, The Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Scholarship will award a $500 one-year scholarship to a high school senior with a 3.0 grade point average or above who attended Zion Lutheran School (in any grade, preschool through eighth) or is a confirmed Zion Lutheran Church member or is a Southern Hancock resident and plans to attend a university and major in education or the sciences.
Deadline is April 17, 2015. The winner will be announced in early May and will also be recognized at the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1.
Please contact Committee Chairperson Donna Griffin at 640-4430 or email dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information.
Applications are available in area high school guidance offices, at Zion Lutheran School or can be obtained by emailing dgriffins96@gmail.com or downloading this PDF file:
scholarship app

Dani’s Dreams takes students on ‘Flight Adventures’

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For the fifth year, Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center sponsored family activities for Southern Hancock children by bringing the Children’s Museum to Zion Lutheran School Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m.
Special activities and exhibits allowed students to discover the physics of flight. Families worked together to create a model aircraft, test flight dynamics, and explore air using a wind tunnel.

This event kicked off the year’s activities for Dani’s Dreams…get ready to Change the World in 2015!

Dani’s Dreams is the only outdoor education center in Hancock County – if you would like to be involved through financial support or volunteering, email dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 317-640-4430.

Ready for Takeoff?

childrensmuseumflyer2015Flight Adventures

Fly away with us on a flight adventure! Discover the physics of flight, create your own model aircraft, test flight dynamics, and explore air using a wind tunnel.

These are a few of the activities for families at Children’s Museum Night at Zion Lutheran School, sponsored by Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center.

Join us Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. – concessions will be available by the Zion PTL.

Empowering kids for the future…


In its eighth year, Dani’s Dreams will be providing students throughout Hancock County the chance to “Change the World.” The center’s mission is to empower kids to take responsibility for the environment and its creatures through innovative programs, projects and events. We can tailor your visit and/or your classroom, troop or group project to your educational needs. Support Dani’s Dreams through donations and sponsorships of events and projects. Our membership campaign will begin soon – look for ways you can join Dani’s Dreams Team!

Here are some more highlights from 2014:


useDSC_0247Girl Scouts ‘dig’ Dani’s Dreams adventure

Girl Scout Troop 1134 from St. Michael’s School in Greenfield took a whirlwind tour of Dani’s Dreams in Oct. 21, learning about local birds and their songs, checking out the fossils and then going on their own archaeological dig for authentic fossils of their own. Troop 1134 leaders are Maura Hutchinson and Stephanie Capen.






Dani’s Dreams Kids Share Tree Knowledge

useDSC_0173Trees top the list of wonderful parts of God’s creation and Oct. 14, nearly 30 Southern Hancock students explored the wide variety of trees at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Randy Caster, owner of Hillcrest Tree Farm explained that trees are really the first solar energy machine, taking in sun, water and carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen and sugar for the tree’s food.


photosynthesis_1PHOTOSYNTHESIS: Carbon Dioxide + Water + Light —- Sugar + Oxygen

Students divided into groups, and went on a tree exploration, compiling reports on how trees help humans and animals.

Thanks to Mr. Caster, each student took home their own Norway Spruce tree seedling for fall planting!

Dani’s Dreams reporter Anna Caster, Zion Lutheran student, gives you the fun facts about our towering tree friends.

By Anna Caster

Trees are very beautiful! There are many kinds of trees, such as Norway Spruce, White Pine, Juniper, Tulip Poplar, Maple and Cherry. Trees are useful for many different things in many different ways, such as shade, protection and shelter for animals, paper and wood products, and many other things.

Sam Adam, Audra Bloomer, Bailey Bonham, Danielle Taylor, Lucas Day, Alexandra Miano

Sam Adam, Audra Bloomer, Bailey Bonham, Danielle Taylor, Lucas Day, Alexandra Miano

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Humans are the exact opposite, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out

carbon dioxide. Trees are helpful in making gum, picnic tables, cutting boards, doors, and trees help keep the soil on the ground from having erosion. Trees are wonderful plants that God made for the enjoyment of humans and animals.

Trees can do so many different things in so many different ways. I love trees and you should too! Get a tree today! The best place to get any kind of tree is Hillcrest Tree Farm.


Dig It A Day of Discovery at Dani’s Dreams

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It was boys versus girls Sept. 23 when kids grabbed their tools and headed for an expedition in the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s archaeological dig to find authentic fossils that are hundreds of years old. The children also filed their reports, identified the fossils they uncovered, and created informational booklets on dinosaurs for future Dani’s Dreams visitors.


10425357_10205306225160421_9167101570285832916_n“Twelve Days of Christmas in Indiana” benefits Dani’s Dreams

Dani’s Dreams Director, Donna Griffin reached a long-held dream in October when her children’s book, “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Indiana” was published. Griffin shared and signed the book during a McDonald’s Fundraising Night in New Palestine with proceeds going to support Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education’s Center’s mission to support innovation and STEM education in and outside of the classroom.


Expanding Our Reach….


With innovative environmental education events and activities, more children than ever took advantage of the chance to make a difference in the world around them at Dani’s Dreams in 2014. Girl Scouts, daycare kids and elementary, middle and high school students and teachers created, learned and discovered during Dani’s Dreams events, sharing their knowledge with others on Dani’s Dreams website, Facebook page and in video reports, stories and posters.


How does Dani’s Dreams gardens grow?

useIMG_5510Quite well, thanks to Zion Lutheran Daycare children who provided the necessary TLC through planting, watering and weeding throughout the growing season. Dani’s Dreams provides children with hands-on learning experiences while developing responsibility and appreciation for the environment.







useDSCN7271VBS Weird Animals

Dani’s Dreams brought Weird Animals activities and a Family Educational Presentation to Zion Lutheran Vacation Bible School in June 2014. Students planted and took their seeds home to “Watch ‘Em Grow!” and made tree badges with their names or pictures and words that showed how they can take care of God’s world.


useDSC_0626Ooey, gooey Ooblick!

Zion Lutheran students took a moment to get in the goo at the Dani’s Dreams table during registration in August 2014. Donations to Dani’s Dreams makes learning moments like this possible. Dani’s Dreams will design a unique learning opportunity for your class, preschool, Scout Troop, daycare or other community group. Email dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 317-640-4430.


Our walk/run is all about growing dreams…

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Dani’s Dreams is all about the little things – seeds, children and moments that remind us all what’s really important. Our run walk is unique – we really do have the “coolest T-shirts on the planet”, designed for the eighth year by a Zion Lutheran student, Audrey Poole, but the walk/run day is a family celebration as well as an athletic event. We’re celebrating how one person’s life and dreams can continue to have a positive impact even after she leaves this earthly world. Children learn how truly powerful they are and what they can accomplish – whether it’s running around the track just one more time, and crossing the finish line with their great grandfather, seeing hundreds of people wearing your design, knowing your drawing is on the door of an educational facility, and above all, discovering and appreciating your small role in God’s awesome creation.

We so grateful for the opportunity to share Dani’s Dreams with the Zion Lutheran Church and School she loved so much and all of the support over these last eight years. We really believe we are just beginning to take root, and are so grateful for the New Palestine community who supported Dani’s Dreams through either signing up and attending the Run/Walk, or donating and volunteering. Thanks to all who signed up and came to walk, to run (even a few feet) to enjoy and to celebrate seeing children reach their dreams!


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