Tag Archives: teacher resources

Families Get Creative at Children’s Museum Night

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For the third year, Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center sponsored Children’s Museum Night at Zion Lutheran School. Creativity was the theme of the day with students learning about the art of blown glass and the artist Dale Chihuly who created the sculpture that greets visitors at the Children’s Museum. Families collaborated to create a replica that now graces the halls of Zion. Students and their parents also created paintings and simulated “glass-blown” art.

Go Green Discovery Center Update

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Work is continuing on the Dani’s Dreams Go Green Discovery Center. The outside is nearly completed and inside the walls are going up and soon activities will begin. Remember there are seven learning centers available for area classes, preschools, scout troops and other community groups – Dani’s Dreams is FREE! We will design a lesson and activities around your class or group needs. Special activities will be held each month after school involving environmental education. Be a part of Dani’s Dreams team! For more information, email Donna Griffin, director, at dgriffins@netzero.com.

Celebrate the Start of School and Help Dani’s Dreams

Join us Aug. 1, 5-8 p.m. at the New Palestine McDonald’s to sign up for Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 4, 8 a.m. at NPHS and have dinner to raise funds for the new Go Green Discovery Center. Get details of all the fun activities on the way!

The Go Green Center is Growing – Check It Out!

Watch our Go Green Center Grow and enjoy exhibits, music, demonstrations, snacks and crafts from 12-2 at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center following the Memorial Walk/Run at 8 a.m. that morning at New Palestine High School. Find out about solar and wind energy, how to protect our planet and what you can do to make a difference in your world!
If you have a band or are a musician and would like to perform for the Dani’s Dreams Open House and Music Festival Aug. 4, 12-2, email dgriffins@netzero.com.
Thanks to Dave Griffin, Austin Pope, Mike Dirr, Randy and Mark Caster, the Go Green Center is taking shape and will soon be under roof (see more pictures on the “Watch Us Grow!” page) – anyone who would like to help or donate materials, email dgriffins@netzero.com.
Teachers, Scout leaders, preschools and community groups come to the Go Green Open House Aug. 4 and see how Dani’s Dreams can help you with hands-on science education for this fall!

Ongrowing Challenge. . .

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Sixth graders at Zion Lutheran School are the winners of the first “Watch ‘Em Grow” Seed Starting Challenge at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Students from Zion brought their seedlings and participated in crafts, took a nature quiz and planted flowers and vegetables in the center’s Community Garden May 5.
Those attending the event also voted on designs and essays for the fifth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 4 at New Palestine High School.
Plans were revealed for the Go Green Discovery Center, funded in part by a Community Development Grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation. Construction on the facility begins in June. The Go Green Discovery Center will open on Aug. 4 with a music festival celebration following the walk/run.
If you would like to be a sponsor and have permanent recognition, donate $100 and you will be listed on the sponsor’s plaque at the Go Green Center. Email dgriffins@netzero.com for more information.

Watch ‘Em Grow!

Hancock County classes grades K-6
Sign up for the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Seed Starter Challenge
DOWNLOAD A REGISTRATION FORM from http://www.danisdreamsoutdooredcenter.wordpress.com or
email dgriffins@netzero.com by March 23
BRING THEM TO DANI’S DREAMS Outdoor Education Center MAY 5, 12-2 p.m. and PLANT THEM in our Community Garden.
THE CLASS WITH THE MOST SEEDLINGS WINS free Dani’s Dreams T-shirts, a plaque and a class pizza party!
KEEP UP ON WHO’S AHEAD by logging onto to:
http://www.danisdreamsoutdooredcenter.wordpress.com – let us know how it’s going!


Dani’s Dreams – Indiana’s Outstanding Outdoor Lab of the Year Winner

Thanks to all students, teachers, parents, Scout and everyone in the community who has had a hand in keeping Dani’s Dreams alive! The best is yet to come – be a part of it! Here is the official news release from Donna Rogler, Project Learning Tree Coordinator, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry:

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center in New Palestine, Indiana at Zion Lutheran School has been awarded the Outstanding Outdoor Lab of the Year for 2011 by the Indiana Tree Farm Committee.
There are numerous opportunities for hands-on exploration, engaging learning and community service through a visit and participation in the activities of Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Features of the outdoor lab include: the Discovery Center containing a weather station, experiment tables, shelter with tables for classroom observation, recording and discussion; a tree seedling nursery; a butterfly garden/wildflower area; an archaeological dig area; bird feeders and houses; Indiana native plants and a vegetable garden.
The Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Fund at Zion Lutheran School began in fall 2007 in celebration of 150 years of Christian education in Hancock County and in response to a need for hands-on science experiences for the 100-plus preschool through eighth grade students at Zion. Currently, the center is free and also open to all area schools and community groups.
For thirty-four years, the Indiana Tree Farm Committee has selected an outdoor lab from throughout the state to be recognized as outstanding. The criteria used by the judges to bestow this award included: having a well-balanced program that goes beyond simple awareness and identification and including consideration of soils, water, wildlife, energy and, of course, forestry, and how these resources can be managed for production, recreation, aesthetics and other benefits. The facility should be used in many different subject areas and at many different grade levels.

Zion Lutheran School will receive two solid walnut plaques, a $500.00 check from the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association (IHLA) and a letter of appreciation from Senator Richard Lugar. The first plaque will be engraved with the name of the school and the second plaque is reserved for the person who has been most responsible for guiding the outdoor lab’s development. The State award will be presented at the annual IHLA convention in February.
For more information on this, please contact Donna Rogler, Project Learning Tree Coordinator, Indiana DNR Division of Forestry, Natural Resources Education Center, 5785 Glenn Road, Indianapolis, IN, 46216 317-549-0354, drogler@dnr.in.gov

Hancock County Students and Teachers: Think Outside the Classroom!

Construction of the Go Green Discovery Center at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center will begin in spring 2012. But before then, area students have a chance to make a difference in a variety of ways:
• Design The Facility: High School students can submit architectural/design plans to dgriffins@netzero.com or mail to: 6513 W. 300S, New Palestine, IN 46163.
Here are the specifications:
Go Green Center Specifications
The entries will be judged by local professionals and Dani’s Dreams Committee members. Deadline is March 1. The winner will be announced in March and will have recognition in news releases and publicity for the Go Green Center and with a plaque in the facility to be unveiled at the dedication August 4, 2012.

•Be a Dani’s Dreams Ambassador: High school students/cadet teachers:
Volunteer as a tour guide or visit classrooms and create and conduct classroom presentations.

• Hancock County teachers can sign up their students as reporters and anchors for Dani’s Dreams TV, conducting research and compiling multimedia reports on environmental issues answering the questions “What Can I Do?” “How is It Made?” and “How Does It Work?”. The reports will be shown on a solar-powered TV in the Discovery Center and on this website.

•Be a designer/graphic artist: Every aspect of the Outdoor Education Center will be explained inside and outside with signs explaining the irrigation system, solar and wind power, identifying plants and trees.
Inside the Go Green Center will be interactive solar and wind energy experiments – powered by solar/wind energy and rotating exhibits on seed growth (germination), farming, ecology, water conservation, soil erosion and photosynthesis explanation and displays written and designed by Hancock County journalism/desktop publishing students.

EMAIL Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Director Donna Griffin at dgriffins@netzero.com or call her at 317-640-4430 for more information or to schedule a presentation to your school district, Chamber of Commerce or organization.

The Go Green Discovery Center is a 2011 Recipient of a Community Development Grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation and is also sponsored by the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District.