Green Holiday!

December 2013

Up-cycle, recycle and conserve energy during the holiday season!

The 6th Annual Green Holiday event was fun and educational! We set up booths for TCHS students to create ornaments and holiday decorations out of aluminum soda cans, plastic bottles and paper from magazines. We showed fellow students how to up-cycle maps, paper bags and newspaper to wrap gifts. We also had displays that taught about recycling aluminum, conserving energy with LED lights, how to compute your ecological footprint, and how to make ornaments from aluminum, paper, and plastic items like drinking straws, water bottles and spoons.

During December service learning students made ornaments from magazines, Capri Sun pouches, plastic products, cardboard, bottle caps and more. We sponsored a contest to see who could make the most creative and appealing ornament or decoration from up-cycled materials. Students made reindeer from cork stoppers and wire; gifts bags from woven plastic coke bottle labels; paper stars from magazines; and snow globes from glass jars and up-cycled decorations.

A gift bag made from up-cycled  plastic Coke labels and
a reindeer from corks and wire.
We updated our life-size board game that teaches how to have an environmentally friendly holiday. What's the best way to recycle a Christmas tree? What are the most environmentally friendly holiday lights? What can you up-cycle to make holiday decorations, gift tags, wrapping paper and presents?

The American Sign Language students added to the festivities by signing holiday songs. The SGA provided the sound system and DJ attracting more students to the event.

ASL students signed holiday songs.
What's Your Ecological Footprint?
During our studies, as service learning students we got to determine our ecological footprints. An ecological footprint determines your individual impact on the environment. How much land and sea do you use to sustain your life style? How does your waste impact the environment? You can find out by taking the Ecological Footprint Quiz at

Service Learning Council students analyzed their ecological footprints and created a plan to reduce them. We will be car pooling more, developing recycling plans for our households, bicycling instead of driving, and making a conscious effort to turn off lights and reduce water consumption. A few of us are even starting small gardens. Every week we will be logging our environmental efforts and activities. On Earth Day in April 2014, we will retake the ecological footprint quiz to see if our efforts had an impact on reducing our footprints. We invite you to join us in this activity!

Farm Worker Advocates Bring Life to Curriculum

November 2013

Students created this paper quilt after seeing the Apopka Farmworker's quilt.
The service learning classes were selected to pilot the curriculum created by the  Farmworker Association of Apopka and their Americorps Vista workers. Students took a look at farmworker issues studying Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Worker's union and current issues impacting migrant farmworkers. We were surprised to learn that the people who put food on our tables do not have enough to eat.

To conclude our unit, for two amazing days we had several farm worker advocates share interactive lessons to teach the plight and issues of Central Florida's farmworkers. The lessons were overseen by Jeannie Economos who is involved in social justice aspects of the farmworkers, as well as, the impact of pesticides on farm workers. Caroline St. Clair from the Farmworker Association of Apopka led the first day of lessons.

We learned that chemicals and pesticides not only poisoned Lake Apopka, but harmed many of the farmworkers who were exposed to them. We learned how low the wages are too low for the difficult work that farmworkers do. Minimum wage and child labor laws do not apply to the agricultural industry. We also got to experience first hand how difficult it is to pick oranges. Ms. Economos brought a sack that holds 135 pounds of oranges. Try to carry that on a ladder!

The Service Learning Council thanks all of the great teachers and advocates who came to share their curriculum with us. It was educational and fun!

SLC students look at the beautiful memorial quilt that was
created by Apopka farmworkers to tell their story.
Learn more at the
Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilt site.

Posing with the quilt.

Ms. Economos, Caroline St. Clair and Mrs. D.
look at student surveys.

Food Drives

November 2013

Nancy Martinez loads some of the food collected
for the Health Care Center for the Homeless.

Hunger is an issue that service learning students address throughout the year. This year we studied hunger in Central Florida and then sponsored a food drive to replenish the TCHS Food Pantry, which was empty at the beginning of the year. Parents and students donated over 2,500 nonperishable food items.

The H.O.P.E. Team from the Health Care Center for the Homeless contacted the Service Learning Council to request that we collect Ensure, Boost, Gatorade and easy open canned food for homeless cancer patients. Once again students and parents stepped up to donate boxes upon boxes of drinks and food.

In October Ms. Schall told the Service Learning Council that the food pantry was almost empty again. Once again, the service learning students held a food drive to fill the pantry. Some of the food that we collected was used to make Thanksgiving baskets for needy families. We also adopted a family to provide a food basket for Thanksgiving.

In February we will be sponsoring CANtastic, a school-wide food drive and can sculpturing contest to collect food for the pantry and for the Health Care Center for the Homeless. We hope you'll donate so that no family goes hungry!

SLC Sponsors Red Ribbon Events

October 2013

SLC students pose at the Red Ribbon Day event

Service learning students sponsored a host of activities in October to promote a safe and drug free school. Students worked in team to create dozens of bulletin boards to post around the campus. They also wrote 20 public service announcements for the Grim Reaper to read to Wolf TV. The announcements warned of the dangers of using drugs including cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs and Molly.

The Service Learning Council sponsored Celebrate My Drive, an initiative by State Farm Insurance aimed at teaching students safe driving habits. Letters home to parents and a school-wide call by Mr. Bolyard got more parents and students to participate. The Grim Reaper also announced Celebrate My Drive on WOLF TV.

Guest speakers,including Melissa Hall from M.A.D.D. spoke to students about the dangers of drinking and driving. She also set up a booth at Red Ribbon Day and handed out bracelets and pamphlets to students.

Red Ribbon Day featured the drunk driving simulation. Over 160 service learning students made buildings to scale to create a mock city. Students drove remote control cars through the city with and without drunk driving goggles to see how difficult it is to drive under the influence.

Students also set up displays to teach about cigarette and tobacco use and other drugs.

A celebrity cemetery featured tombstones of celebrities who died from drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Teachers and classes were invited to participate in a door decorating contest to teach the dangers of drug use. Ms. Cestero's art class took first place!

Ms. Cestero' students pose by the door that they decorated.

Students set up a tables of informational displays and invited
students to sign drug-free pledges.

The celebrity cemetery 
Melissa Hall and Jesus manned the M.A.D.D. booth
The Grim Reaper promotes
Celebrate My Drive

Students take turns driving with drunk simulation goggles

SLC Students Take Top Awards in OCPS Red Ribbon Contests

October 2013

Seven service learning students won top prizes in the county-wide Red Ribbon Day Contest!

Poster Contest:   Jocelyn Moreno –first place, Sarah Marriott- second place, Andrea Lazzo - third place. The students' posters will be included in next year's drug-free calendar.

Essay Contest: Brandon Salazar –first place.

Pubic Service Announcement Contest: – Nhu Duong, Elina Chinfatt, and Paula Campensino – first place. The three students who won the PSA contest will be recording their public service announcement in the Clear Channel radio studio for broadcast in Orlando.

The winning students received trophies, certificates from Mayor Jacobs, Target gift certificates and other prizes. Mrs. Sharon Warner and Ms. Eileen Bond came to TCHS to present the prizes to the winners.

Nhu with Ms,. Warner (left) and Mrs, Bond
Congratulations to the students for spreading the drug-free message to the student body and community!

Green School Award

Mrs. D. ,Jesus M. and Jessica G. received the Green School Award for the class division at the October 2013 Banquet in Orlando. They received a beautiful plaque and $500.

The Service Learning Council promotes environmental stewardship throughout the year at TCHS, feeder schools and across the district. From the program:
"The Service Learning Council of Timber Creek High School's goals were to expand their green curriculum to encourage recycling and up-cycling, and to promote a culture of environmental sustainability. Students sponsored a life-size board game, school-wide telephone book recycling drive, taught up-cycling to students and community members, organized a Trash-In Fashion Show, sold up-cycled products, created 24 k-12 activities for the Orange County Public Schools Green Day event, collected funds to build a well in the Sudan, partnered with the global Peace Film Festival and educated nearly 1,00o students about water scarcity in Florida and the U.S."
The Service Learning Council is proud to be affiliated with the Florida Green School Network.

It Can Wait -Don't Text and Drive!

September 2013

Chris hold up one of the bulletin boards created to discourage texting and driving.

The Service Learning Council promoted AT&T's It Can Wait campaign at TCHS. Service learning students participated in a series of lessons about texting and driving then brought  the message of the dangers to the student body through bulletin boards and an event in the courtyard.

Students signed the It Can Wait Pledge and received stickers to place on their dashboards to remind them not to text and drive.

SLC students pose with our deputy by the It Can Wait pledge table.

Students try to bounce a balloon while texting to
demonstrate how difficult it is to text and drive.
Learn more about the dangers of texting and driving at It Can Wait!

Family Day

September 2013

Over 400 TCHS Service learning students, their parents and family members participated in Family Day 2013. The theme was "stand up for sitting down to dinner."

Family Day is sponsored by Florida's Informed Families. "A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children is a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce substance abuse among children and teens."

Students brought home flyers from Informed Families and took photos of themselves eating dinner with their families to make a poster with all of the photos.

TCHS Students and Teachers Shine at COMPACT Banquet

September 2013

Sarah Marriott receives the COMPACT Student of the Year Award
TCHS COMPACT students, mentors, teachers and alumni were honored at the 19th Annual COMPACT Awards Banquet held at the Rosen Centre. The six students who were selected for the June Washington, DC Trip were among the honorees. They were Sarah Marriott, Justin Higgins, Timmon Herzberg, Tayler Herzberg, Connor Atkinson,  and Jessica Velazquez.

TCHS COMPACT student, Sarah Marriott was named COMPACT Student of the Year and received a $1,000 check from Mayor Bill Frederick.

Jo Lynn and Dana with COMPACT Executive Director A. George Fuller

JoLynn Schall and Dana Ahmad received the Providing the Light mentor awards for their outstanding contributions to the TCHS COMPACT Program.

Kari Bina, a 2000 COMPACT alumni, attended the banquet and met her former teacher, Mrs. Doromal.

U.N. International Day of Peace 2013

September 2013

The Service Learning Council and Engaged Citizenship classes sponsored U.N. International Day of Peace as a day to reflect upon peace and to promote friendship and tolerance at TCHS.

Students sponsored team-building activities and a Peace T-shirt contest in the courtyard and teams of students created 36 peace-themed bulletin boards for the school.

The Global Peace Film Festival provided a film and speaker for the student body. GPFF artistic director Kelly Devine spoke and answered questions about the film. The SLC vice president, Shamik Shah, spoke about the significance of the U.N. International Day of Peace and this year's theme, "Education for Peace."