Remembering Our Roots in the moments of 2014

Celebrating our roots both in our family and nature, allowed Dani’s Dreams to strengthen its mission and expand its reach in 2014 throughout Hancock County, in both big and little moments.

useDSC_0807Hancock County families found the real treasure by shaking off the winter doldrums Feb. 26, 2014 at Children’s Museum Night, sponsored by Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School’s gymnasium. The evening included free, educational and entertaining activities designed for families to learn and interact together when the Children Museum’s, National Geographic’s “Treasures of the Earth” came to New Palestine. Zion’s PTL  provided concessions for sale.

Children and their families:

•Examined and identified authentic tools in an archeologist’s pack;

•Assembled a take-home science experiment to observe and learn about what happens to metal objects in saltwater environments;

•Created their own “Terra Cotta Warriors” in Emperor Qin’s tomb

•This entertaining and educational science program kicked off the year’s activities at Hancock County’s only outdoor education center.


Discovery, learning, growing and hands-on activities were the order of the day at the sixth annual Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Dedication Event April 10 at the outdoor education useDSC_0149center at Zion Lutheran School in New Palestine.

The warmest day of the year so far was prime time for children and their parents and grandparents to enjoy several outdoor activities and each other’s company, including a Nature Detective hunt, where children gathered information on butterflies, birds, dinosaurs, weather and photosynthesis. All winning names were placed in a random drawing for an I Spy birdhouse. The Day family won the birdhouse!

All kids took home Mini Greenhouses with dirt and seeds to “Watch ‘Em Grow!”


troop 924 members with endangered animal postersDani’s Dreams partnered with Hancock County Girl Scout Troop 924 for a special Badge Day event May 18. The Junior Troop of Megan Brinley, Lyssie Davenport, Alaina Davis, Lyndsay Diefenderfer, Cassie Moch and Sarah Warner earned their Animal Habitat badge and the Brownie Troop members Sarah Stonerock and Lilly Warner completed the requirements for Bird and Bug badges.

Cassie Moch reported about parrots in the rainforest:

“It is important so there is more animals around and to save them. Kids can help by doing research about the animals and what can help them.”

Lyssie Davenport reported on endangered animals in the Amazon, specifically the scarlet macaw:

“This is important because we need these animals in the eco-system or more animals will go extinct. Kids can help by spreading the word. Sometimes the only things that adults listen to are children.”

Sarah Stonerock found out that the ladybug is found all over the world. It can play dead when it is threatened. Its favorite thing to eat is aphids.


Audrey Poole of Zion Lutheran School won Dani’s Dreams county-wide T-shirt design contest with her drawing that became the design for the “coolest T-shirt on the planet.” Audrey’s design was the favorite of those attending the Earth Day Dedication Event April 10. Katie Taylor was the second place winner and Eli Boyd’s design took third place.

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Dani’s Dreams Scholarship Winner Sees Science at Work

Bryce Kleiman, New Palestine High School graduate, is the 2014 winner of the Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Scholarship.

The son of Marcy and Brian Kleiman, Bryce will attend Purdue University in the fall to major in Ag Systems Management with an eye to continue in the family business.

“We raise boer goats, but I also show pigs and sheep. You may not think that there is a lot of science that goes into raising livestock, but you would be wrong,” Kleiman said in his scholarship essay. “You have to know the workings of genetics. . . The animals are just like humans; they need their nutrition to keep them in good health. That is science at work and that is why I have chosen it for my future.”

Bryce is the seventh recipient of the Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Scholarship. He attended Zion Lutheran School for 10 years. Donations to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center will help support Bryce and other ambitious, focused, intelligent young people to reach their dreams. Look for opportunities to be a part of Dani’s Dreams team in the coming weeks!

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