Category Archives: Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run

Spreading our wings…the journey is just beginning!

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Photos by Elise Sombke

Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run once again gave the New Palestine area community a chance to “Spread Their Wings” and support innovative educational projects in Southern Hancock Schools.

At the heart of the event is giving children a chance to create, explore and discover this amazing planet we all call home – our common ground.

The Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run is also about celebrating the energy, spirit and accomplishments of our young people: Our T-shirt design contest winner, Paige Taylor, and second place winners, Kate Taylor and Danielle Taylor, and our scholarship winner Tara Morey.
The youth theme continued with the walk/run winners – Michael Morris (a record 8 out of 9) took the men’s division and Amanda Stewart won the women’s division in a photo finish with Paige Taylor and Emily Adam was a close third.

Thanks to all our community sponsors and volunteers who participated and made this special event possible.

If you missed the walk/run, you can still purchase a shirt ($10) or donate online at www.danisdreamsoutdooredcenter.com. All proceeds will go to support the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Township Park and our Eco Lessons in Southern Hancock classrooms this school year!

Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp. is a 501c3 organization with a mission to provide innovative, hands-on educational projects for grades preschool through 12 and to connect and empower children in their community.

Contact President and CEO Donna Griffin at (email) dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 317-640-4430.

‘Spread Your Wings’ and join Dani’s Dreams’ Walk/Run Aug. 6!

danisdreams2016tshirtdesignJoin Dani’s Dreams as we “Spread Our Wings” with the 9th annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 6, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School.

Registration is only $25 for an individual and a family of 4 is only $50! Groups of 10 or more can register for only $10 each. With each registration, you also get the Coolest T-shirt on the Planet! See the design above.)

SIGN UP HERE TODAY! T-shirts are not guaranteed the day of the event

Proceeds will go to fund the development of the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park and ECOFEST Lessons for Southern Hancock County students.

The walk/run is Dani’s Dreams major fundraiser and your registration or donation can give our children a chance to gain valuable reading, writing, science and technology skills and provide paid internships for high school and college students to be leaders in their communities. If you can’t come, you can still donate and receive a T-shirt!

Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp. is now a full-fledged 501c3 tax exempt organization with a mission to provide innovative, hands-on STEM and Literacy education activities for schools and organizations throughout Central Indiana.

Want to join our team as we “Change the World”? Contact President and CEO Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com or 317-640-4430.

 

 

 

Get the Coolest T-shirt on the Planet and ‘Change the World’

danisdreams2016tshirtdesignCongratulations to Paige Taylor, Zion Lutheran School whose design (left) won the 2016 Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs contest. Her design will appear on hundreds of T-shirts for the Aug. 6 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run to support the new Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park!

danisdreamssecondplace2016tooKeeping it in the Taylor family, second place design goes to both Kate Taylor and Danielle Taylor, both Zion Lutheran students.

Register HERE to purchase your shirt and register for the walk/run!

danisdreams 2016second place drawing

 

 

‘Hibe and sleep’…

Drawing by Sarah Adam, 7th grade, Doe Creek Middle School

By Christina Harkleroad, intern coordinator

Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center
Now in the midst of winter, some animals are in a stage called hibernation. This is a state of inactivity where their body temperature decreases and their heartbeat and breathing slow down. Their bodies go through this to conserve energy that the animals spent all fall saving up. During fall time, the animals eat an increased amount of food to increase their overall body fat. This allows them to be insulated and they will use it throughout their hibernation period for energy.
Many animals hibernate. Some animals in our area that hibernate are skunks, chipmunks, some squirrels, and some bats. Also, bears hibernate but those are not in our area. They are mainly in mountain regions to our south and east. These animals hibernate to conserve energy in the winter months when food is hard to find. As animals prepare for hibernation, they eat enough food to last them through the upcoming winter months. Their bodies produce special fat tissues around their brain, heart, and lungs to provide extra insulation in those areas.
Animals who use lots of energy throughout the winter days, but do not hibernate, become dormant during parts of the day. This is similar to hibernating however instead of sleeping throughout winter, they sleep for a major part of the day in order to conserve energy. Hummingbirds and some small bats are examples of animals that are dormant for parts of winter.
During winter you see less squirrels, chipmunks, and skunks, now you know that they’re just in hibernation and once spring rolls around, they’ll be back to their playful ways. In my next column, I will be exploring what germination is as spring time grows closer and the flowers begin to bloom.

Check out the Dani’s Dreams Facebook Page to see the Top 10 Coolest Hibernators! Become a Dani’s Dreams Team Member here and find out how to track animals with our winter newsmat! You’ll get a wristband and a certificate, too!

 

Dani’s Dreams Changes the World in 2015…

The seeds of Dani’s Dreams, planted more than eight years ago, have been carefully and lovingly tended by family, friends, Zion Lutheran Church and School and the Southern Hancock community. With your support, Dani’s Dreams is “Spreading Our Wings” and empowering young people of all ages to create, explore and discover! Join Dani’s Dreams team by volunteering – come to the Jan. 22 “Sharing Meeting” to find out how.

Our membership campaign begins Feb. 3, 2016 with the Children’s Museum Night at the Zion Lutheran School gym. More information to come.

Take a look back at 2015 and how our kids change the world every day…

1. Spreading our wings – Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park

Dani’s DreamDSC_0226s Outdoor Education Center is joining forces with the Sugar Creek Township Park Board, New Palestine High School teacher Brittany Bennett and her AP Environmental Science class and Donna Rogler, Indiana DNR Project Learning Tree specialist, to develop a second education trail/activities for Southern Hancock students, teachers, families and community members, to be named, Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education
Trail at Sugar Creek Park.
NPHS AP environmental science (APES) students under the direction of Ms. Bennett will research, write and design signage as well as plan and lead activities for the trail. Ms. Rogler will provide curriculum, training and activities through Project Learning Tree.
Initial plans were announced Nov. 4 at the Dani’s Dreams Family Tree Day event at Sugar Creek Park.
“The trail would have an overall theme of sustainability and should be a place the whole community can enjoy at any time to learn about the nature around them,” said Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center director Donna Griffin.
Dani’s Dreams has been working with New Palestine High’s APES students on the plan for
the trail.DSC_0216

Four stations are under development, focusing on:

Sustainability
Native trees/plants
Wildlife
Water/Hoosier Riverwatch.

 

2. Family Tree Day at Sugar Creek Park – Celebrating Our Common Ground

DSC_0217New Palestine High School AP environmental science students shared the beauty of fall and innovative plans for outdoor education at Family Tree Day at Sugar Creek Park Wednesday, Nov. 4, 4-5:30 p.m. They led community members of all ages in fun, outdoor education activities unveiled plans for “Our Common Ground.” Contact Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information. Stay connected here and the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Facebook Page for more details.

 

3. Zion Lutheran School Second Graders take the lead with Butterflies UPCLOSE!

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They flitted, they flew, and they soared – Monarchs and kids alike – at the Butterflies UPCLOSE event at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School. More than 100 kids, parents and butterflies celebrated the joy of nature and God’s creation, led by teacher Brenda Kreutz and her second graders who were the tour guides for the butterfly house. The 14 students spent the last six weeks learning about the life cycle of a Monarch by growing close to 30-40 caterpillars, observing and recording the process in reports they shared with those in attendance. They worked with Betty Bemis of Backyard Butterflies who provided the caterpillars and her expert advice. The New Palestine community joined forces to support this innovative STEM educational event for area children. Willing Hands Entertainment provided face painting, New Palestine High School environmental education students and teacher Brittany Bennett helped with Monarch tagging and event organization. Dani’s Dreams thanks all those who attended for making the day so special and being active participants in creating, exploring and discovering!

 

4. We’re racing to Change the World in Southern Hancock County!

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The Southern Hancock Community showed up in force Aug. 1 to “Change the World!” at the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run at New Palestine High School. Nearly 150 walkers/runners of all ages took to the track/course, and more than $2,800 was raised to support Dani’s Dreams events.
Thanks to all those who attended and supported Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, including our sponsors, Noll Landscape Group, Inc., Hillcrest Tree Farm – Randy Caster, Team Image Screenprint and Embroidery, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – DeLane W. Sayler, Dr. Sharon Paluga – New Palestine Gentle Dentist, K&K Fence, McDonald’s of New Palestine, Greenfield Walmart, Mama Nita’s Pizza, Auto Air and Heating, Dr. Colleen Pool Family Dentistry, C.D.’s Music Factory, Rose Ivy, LLC; Hancock Family Physicians – New Palestine Family Medicine, Backyard Butterflies and Frady’s Lawn & Landscape; our race participant groups: NP Sole Sisters, the NPHS Girls Soccer Team, the NPHS Volleyball Team, members of Zion Lutheran Church and School and Dani Griffin’s family.
The 2015 winner of the Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run was Rick Sica with a time of 18:55. The women’s winner was Grace Voelz with a time of 22:00. T-shirt design contest winners were honored at a pre-race ceremony: Kate Taylor, first place; Katie McKinley, second place and Paige Taylor, third place. 

 

5. Benton Turner 2015 Scholarship Winner

The 2015 Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Scholarship winner is Benton Turner, 2015 graduate and valedictorian of Lutheran High School, but he was not chosen for his impressive academic accomplishments, but for the power and passion that drives him in his future career path.

Benton, the son of Tracy and James Turner, Greenfield received an Indiana Core 40 Academic Honors Diploma. At Lutheran High School, he was involved in the Academic Super Bowl, Spell Bowl, National Honor Society, Indiana State House Ambassador, varsity golf, Voice of Democracy State Finalist, United States Senate Youth Program State Finalist, Spanish Club and Student Council.

He worked in the community for Zion Lutheran Church and School, of which he is a member, and as special projects coordinator at The Sharing Place of Greater Indianapolis. He will attend DePauw University and major in biology.

 

6. Grandkids, grandparents step up to the Earth Day Challenge at Dani’s Dreams!

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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.

 

7. 2015 began with “Flight Adventures” at Children’s Museum Night

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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…and Changed the World in 2015!

What a Wonderful World! Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run 2015

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PHOTOS BY ELYSE SOMBKE
The Southern Hancock Community showed up in force Aug. 1 to “Change the World!” at the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run at New Palestine High School. Nearly 150 walkers/runners of all ages took to the track/course, and more than $2,800 was raised to support Dani’s Dreams events.
Thanks to all those who attended and supported Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, including our sponsors, Noll Landscape Group, Inc., Hillcrest Tree Farm – Randy Caster, Team Image Screenprint and Embroidery, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – DeLane W. Sayler, Dr. Sharon Paluga – New Palestine Gentle Dentist, K&K Fence, McDonald’s of New Palestine, Greenfield Walmart, Mama Nita’s Pizza, Auto Air and Heating, Dr. Colleen Pool Family Dentistry, C.D.’s Music Factory, Rose Ivy, LLC; Hancock Family Physicians – New Palestine Family Medicine, Backyard Butterflies and Frady’s Lawn & Landscape; our race participant groups: NP Sole Sisters, the NPHS Girls Soccer Team, the NPHS Volleyball Team, members of Zion Lutheran Church and School and Dani Griffin’s family.
The 2015 winner of the Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run was Rick Sica with a time of 18:55. The women’s winner was Grace Voelz with a time of 22:00. T-shirt design contest winners were honored at a pre-race ceremony: Kate Taylor, first place; Katie McKinley, second place and Paige Taylor, third place. Benton Turner is the 2015 Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Scholarship Winner.
This is only the beginning of our year to “Change the World!” The Butterflies Up Close” project will begin soon and if your class/Scout Troop, etc. would like to be involved, email dgriffins96@gmail.com.

Only a week left to ‘Change the World!’

danis dreams poster 2015Southern Hancock families can “Change the World” Aug. 1, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School at the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run.

Register for the 5K or the 1-mile family walk/run and kids of all ages are encouraged to run and participate in the fun activities (bubbles and paper airplanes) and meet Ralph Sean Green, the coolest caterpillar/butterfly you’ve ever seen!

Each registration for the Aug. 1 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run supports another innovative, exciting and education year at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center with lessons and special projects that give Southern Hancock children, grades K-8 unique science activities focusing on environmental education.

Register for this year’s Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School and help us grow Dani’s Dreams and “Change the World.” Even if individuals cannot attend the actual race event, they can still register and receive a T-shirt.

Everyone can register or donate online NOW click the link above!

 

Scholarship winner to join fight against Alzheimer’s

Third Place Paige Taylor
Third Place Paige Taylor

The 2015 Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Scholarship winner is Benton Turner, 2015 graduate and valedictorian of Lutheran High School, but he was not chosen for his impressive academic accomplishments, but for the power and passion that drives him in his future career path.

Benton, the son of Tracy and James Turner, Greenfield received an Indiana Core 40 Academic Honors Diploma. At Lutheran High School, he was involved in the Academic Super Bowl, Spell Bowl, National Honor Society, Indiana State House Ambassador, varsity golf, Voice of Democracy State Finalist, United States Senate Youth Program State Finalist, Spanish Club and Student Council.

He worked in the community for Zion Lutheran Church and School, of which he is a member, and as special projects coordinator at The Sharing Place of Greater Indianapolis. He will attend DePauw University and major in biology.

Benton will be recognized at the Aug. 1 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run at New Palestine High School.

In the seven years of the Dani’s Dreams scholarship program, more than $3,500 has been awarded to deserving young people in area high schools. They are all changing the world in positive ways through their academic and creative efforts. You can help them by donating or registering for the Aug. 1 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run on this website.

Following is Benton’s essay which everyone should read:

 

By Benton E.N. Turner

It is the blank, foreboding stare. I do not think there is fear, sadness or pain. Rather, there is nothing, and that is the worst part. One can quickly learn to cope with the forgetfulness, misplaced objects, forgotten names, and confused faces. I think that is the easy part; at least I do now. So many people seem to think this disease is only the forgetfulness. However, it is a forgetfulness that invades all aspects of one’s life. It starts with names, events, faces, but it does not stop there. It is a relentless forgetfulness that leaves nothing. It erodes emotions, erases histories, infect simplicity. It steals loved ones. It stole my grandmother.

To some, choosing a career path at 18 may seem like a daunting task. However, I know what I need to do. Having watched Alzheimer’s steal my grandmother’s memories, independence, and livelihood, I feel called to pursue a career in medicine and research. I plan to major in the biological sciences at DePauw University, attending medical school, and eventually specializing in neurology. I am not so naive as to think one person can cure Alzheimer’s Disease. This war will take many soldiers, tirelessly working together to find a cure. I want to join this fight. I have witnessed how unforgiving Alzheimer’s Disease is, and as a physician, I would be able to provide a unique perspective, understanding what patients and their families go through. That is, the perpetual loss, piece by piece, of a family member.

Why do I wish to pursue a career in the sciences? Simply put, it is the nothing that drives me. There is nothing that can be done for Alzheimer’s patients. There is no pill to temporarily alleviate symptoms, no treatment regimen, and no path to remission; there is nothing. It is the nothing that ceaselessly invades my grandmother’s life, forcing her to forget the life she lived, the family she loved, and the memories she had accumulated. But most importantly, it is the nothing I see in her tired eyes; the lack of energy, personality, and liveliness that once dominated her life.

They are gone.

Help Dani’s Dreams ‘Change the World!’

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Three young artists focused their talents and will help Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center “Change the World” at the eighth annual Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School.

Kate Taylor, seventh grader at Zion Lutheran School, took first place in the T-shirt design contest. Her design will appear on hundreds of T-shirts for race participants.

Katie McKinley won second place design and Paige Taylor received third place; both are also students at Zion Lutheran School. Their designs will be on posters to promote the race.

Events like Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge, “Dig It” day, “Remember Our Roots” tree day, Children’s Museum Nights, Weird Animals presentations at VBS, and Girl Scouts Badge Days are only possible through the generous donations of Southern Hancock families, businesses and community members who support innovative education activities for our children.

Click here to register for the walk/run or just to donate to help keep these events free to ALL Hancock County students.

Next up, Dani’s Dreams will be developing the Butterfly Garden and adding a pavilion for the “Butterflies Up Close” project this August. Teachers and Scout Leaders who would like more information on how to be a part of the project (at no cost), email director Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 640-4430.

Even if you can’t be there Aug. 1 for the walk/run, you can still register or donate and get a one-of-a-kind T-shirt. Groups of 10 or more who sign up can get their name on the back of the race T-shirts.

Step up to the ‘Change the World’ Challenge – Support Dani’s Dreams

useDSC_0674We’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.

Events like Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge, “Dig It” day, “Remember Our Roots” tree day, Children’s Museum Nights, Weird Animals presentations at VBS, and Girl Scouts Badge Days are only possible through the generous donations of Southern Hancock families, businesses and community members who support innovative education activities for our children.

Next up, Dani’s Dreams will be developing the Butterfly Garden and adding a pavilion for the “Butterflies Up Close” project this August. Teachers and Scout Leaders who would like more information on how to be a part of the project (at no cost), email director Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 640-4430.

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP  to register for the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, donate or become a business sponsor .

Even if you can’t be there Aug. 1 for the walk/run, you can still register or donate and get a one-of-a-kind T-shirt. Groups of 10 or more who sign up can get their name on the back of the race T-shirts.

Download registration forms for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run:

danisdreamswalkrunbrochure2015side2

danisdreamswalkrunbrochure2015