Reading, Writing, Memory

  • Reading Readiness Game
    • Benefits: improves communication skills, reading skills, writing skills, and memory
    • Duration time: 15-20 minutes
    • Who can play: People of all ages.
    • Where to play: anywhere
    • Materials needed: one book, papers and pencils
    • Goal: For each team to have sentence(s) written down exactly as it appears in the book, with correct grammer, spelling, punctuation.
    • How to play: Pair players with a partner. Open a book to a page. Read the page aloud (start with a simple sentence). Within each partner group, one person will be the reader/reporter and the other person is the scribe. Only the reader is allowed to see the sentence in the book. Readers race to view the sentence, while running back to their scribe. The scribe writes down what is reported(while trying to get correct spelling and punctuation). The goal is for each team to write the sentence identically as it appears in the book.

Collecting Grocery Bags for Homeless

Click the photo to view the project!

The Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College is making sleeping pads for the Homeless made out of recycled grocery bags! It takes about 500-700 bags to make this light weight and comfy padding. Drop off used grocery bags at the Environmental Center, located in the Student Union of Fort Lewis College! or shoot me an email. (:

Earth Art

Recently, before the snow fall, the kids began building houses for fairies. It was incredible how descriptive and well-thought out each and every house was.  Seeing their creative minds run, inspired me to research earth art, which is when finding beauty in anything you find outside (leaves, trash, sticks, etc) and transforming it into an art piece. Here are some ideas to get you excited for

Why is earth art cool? 

  • no materials are needed, except for the free and natural right outside your door
  • gives you a reason to go outside
  • stretches your creative mind, in a new way
  • a way to connect with the plants and trees around you

How to incorporate earth art…

Street Art & Slinkachu’s Snails

There are many forms of art that surround us while we walk down the street, maybe not as much in Durango compared to the inner city. But all around us there are sculptures, graffiti, murals, stencil art, sticker art, 3D chalk paintings, etc. Street art is an exciting and innovative way for the every day citizen to express themselves.

One of the most interesting forms of street art, in my opinion, are instillations. Instillations use three dimensional spaces in which objects are set in an urban environment. Slinkachu, one of London’s most famous street artist, is known for his Little People Project. 9717404_orig

The Little People Project was created to encourage street dwellers to be more aware of their environment and for them to find joy in the small things. As a result, Slinkachu modified tiny human figurines from model train sets and places them in real urban situations, capturing them sight-seeing, camping, grocery shopping, and fighting.


In addition to  the Little People Project, Slinkachu also did the Inner City Snail Art. He would find live snails in the street and paint their shells with non-toxic acrylic paint. Then set them free in the street, with a hint of art.

Art Project

What you need: shells from walmart, acrylic/tempera paint.

How to do it:

  • Introduce Slinkachu
    • Where is he from?
    • What type of art did he do?
    • What were his two most popular projects?
    • What was his goal in these projects?
    • Has anyone ever noticed an interesting art form on the street?
    • Show photos 🙂
  • And then PAINT. Hand out the shells and let their little minds go.

The video below, SHOULD NOT be shown to kids, but a resource for you all to understand who Slinkachu is.


The Art of Kindness

Everyone loves a message to brighten the day. A Love Rock Project and Kindness Banner are two different art projects that offer a way to “pay it forward.”

Make it radiant and shine!

click photo to view article.

The Love Rock Project

Children write inspiring messages on a rock and leave them in fun places for the next person to find, hoping to shine a little light to the one who finds it.

Click photo to read more.

450Kindness Banner

Children draw pictures and write words on banner that will inspire kindness! Hang it up in a place where many will see.

click photo for more information.

Mindful Listening

Just last week, I attended a Mindful Communication Workshop, at Fort Lewis College, in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. At the workshop we utilized the practice of mindfulness to learn to listen more deeply to others and to develop greater clarity and confidence about how to respond to conflict. We did a love and kindness meditation, compassion practice, and mindful listening practice. All three practices can be done at any age and at anytime.

Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. Stephen M Covey

Mindful Listening would especially align with Unit three in that it offers a way to practice listening, helps recognize those who are struggling, and builds empathy.

Mindful Listening

The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent.’ Alfred Brendel

Everyone finds a partner. One person speaks; the other listens. The listener listens as carefully as possible, legging go of interpretations, judgments, and reactions. When the speaker finishes, the listener repeats as closely as possible what the speaker said, until the speaker feels truly heard. The following instructions are for the person who leads:

  1. To both partners:One partner will spend three to five minutes speaking [with kids 1 – 2 minutes] about a subject: what they liked about their weekend, how they celebrated a holiday, what was their best and worst part of the day, etc.
  2. To the speaker:This time is yours. If you run out of things to say, you may sit in silence and whenever you have something to say you may continue speaking again.
  3. To the listener: “Your job is to listen in silence. When you listen give your full attention to the speaker. Be curious, but don’t ask questions while listening. You may acknowledge with facial expressions or by nodding your head. Try not to over acknowledge, or you may end up leading the speaker. You may feel the urge to interrupt, coach, chime in: this is normal. Just notice when this occurs, resist the temptation to act and refocus your attention on your partner. Listen with kindness. When thought or emotions come into your mind, simply notice them and gently return your full attention to the speaker. If the speaker runs out of things to say, give him or her the space for silence, and then be available to listen when he or she speaks again.”
  4. To the listener: “After your partner has finished telling the story, repeat what you have been told; don’t worry about memorizing – paraphrase. Have your partner correct you if you misunderstood the story. Ask questions to be sure you understand, as closely as possible, what your partner intended to say.”
  5. To both partners: “When the speaker is satisfied that he or she has been heard and comprehended, switch roles. Now it is the listener’s turn to tell a story until he or she feels heard.”
  6. To both partners: ” Reflect on how it feels to be listened to so closely and what it felt like to listen deeply to another. Remember to listen to the words but also the tone, the emotion undercurrent. This is an important way to stay connected at times where it may be difficult to connect to the ideas or perspective being expressed.”
  7. To both partners: End by thanking each other for listening.

Just for fun and for the sake of loving beyonce…

Steampunk WIPEOUT

Snowdown Poster 2015 final (1) Join us for a super rockin’ family friendly event at Buckley Park on January 31, 2015 – 12:20 – 3:30

Steampunk Wipeout is a wild and challenging obstacle course designed for youth ages 8-18. Teams of two will race through the stations to compete for the fastest time. Prizes will be awarded on site for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and best costume for two age categories.

For those younger than 8, a Tot Lot will be available with separate, age appropriate activities. Registration begins at 12:30 with 8-11 year olds racing at 12:45 and 12-18 year olds racing at 2:30. All participants under 18 years old must bring a parent signature to participate. The release form is available in the Snowdown brochure or at the event registration booth.steampunk

  •  A free, gourmet hot chocolate bar will be provided by Durango Coffee Company
  • A youth band from Stillwater Foundation will be joining us from 1pm – 3 pm.
  • The first 50 to register will receive a Zia Taqueria gift certificate.

This family-friendly event is brought to you by the Celebrating Healthy Communities Coalition and its many youth-serving partners. A huge thank you to our youth serving organizations at Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County, La Plata Youth Services, 4-H, Animas POW, The Unitarian Church, RSAPP,  & La Plata Family Centers Coalition. Also a HUGE thanks to all volunteers!

Hope to see you there! 

For more information, contact Chayse Romero, or at 337.789.4768.