Hello, beautiful readers! Today is Day 29 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! I can't believe I've almost completed it. Only one more day to go!
I didn't win the lottery, and I owe, I owe, so off to work I go! 😉 Last night, I stopped by my local food store to pick up bakery items they have to discard every night. Did you know that stores have to throw away bakery items when they reach their sale date? The food is still good for another week or so, but they are not legally allowed to sell them. There are a few local organizations that pick up the food to take to the homeless or nursing homes but not nearly enough, so good food is trashed every day. 😢
Luckily, my local food store manager allows me to pick up some of the bakery items on a day when he has no other organization scheduled so I can use it to reward my students for reading. I mentioned earlier that I have competitions between my classes to encourage them to read and learn vocabulary. At the end of the nine week period, the class who has read the most words (on average) gets a desserts party. For this past nine weeks, it was my 8th period.
We have a food pantry in our school for some of our students who are homeless or whose families are struggling. I always leave some of the food at the pantry before going to my classroom. There is always more than enough to share.
My students were so excited today when they saw the amount of food I brought them. They swore to me they could eat it all, but as always happens, there was food left over. I will share the leftovers with my classes tomorrow so they can have motivation to strive to win for the new nine weeks.
After classes ended, I watched our first middle school boys' flag football team play their first game. It was so fun to watch them, especially since my son is one of their coaches. They tied 7-7, but it was a fun game to watch. Afterward, we went home. I cooked dinner, and we watched a show together. Then, I responded to other author blogs.
So, I've taken you all around the United States on my trips, but today I wanted to talk about exploring the state in which you live. So many people don't even know how awesome their home state is, and it really doesn't cost a lot to wander a little bit. I have seen a LOT of my home state, Florida, and I'm nowhere near done exploring!
My sister and I love to go camping with the kids. We have gone to the following campsites: Fish Eating Creek, Lion Country Safari Campgrounds, Port Canaveral Campsites, Westgate River Ranch, Peace River, John Dickinson Park, Highland Hammocks State Park, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. When choosing where to go, we go to the Florida State Parks Camping site. Then, we look for sites that have hiking and biking trails because that is what we enjoy doing most. If they have kayaking as well, that's a bonus. We also look at how far the location is from us, especially if it's just for a weekend trip.
We also enjoy visiting the Florida springs. We have gone to Rainbow Springs, Silver Springs, Wekiwa Springs, Ginnie Springs, Silver Glen Springs, Rock Springs Kelly Park, Alexander Springs, and Blue Spring State Park. We are still exploring. We also enjoy biking riding in our local area and have started using All Trails to find new places to visit.
I enjoy visiting local state parks as well, such as Oleta State Park, Everglades National Park, Tree Tops Park, and others. I've visited our local zoo, science museums, ice skating rinks, Jungle Island, the Miami Seaquarium, Vizcaya, Wynwood, and many other local spots. And of course, I've visited our beautiful beaches on both coasts.
I have taken my son to Sea World, Disney World, Busch Gardens - Tampa, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Legoland. We have visited Key West and St. Augustine. I've also been to the west coast and visited St. Petersburg, Siesta Key, and Naples. I've been as south as Key West and have visited many of the islands in between.
It saddens me when my students tell me they have never even been to the beach, and we live less than half an hour away from it. Step out of your houses and wander. Explore your local areas and venture a little further each time. If you have children, give them the gift of wonder by visiting new places instead of constantly going to the same place. Expand their experiences. Give them (and you) the gift of exploring. You never know what great places you will discover! 😊
Have you explored your home state? Did you find any gems? I'd love to hear from you!
Have you missed one of my blogs? Here is a recap:
Day 28 - budgeting and financial planning
Day 27 - travel planning
Day 26 - visiting Vermont
Day 25 - visiting Arizona, Nevada, and Utah
Day 24 - road trip to Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
Day 23 - a senseless death and holistic medicine
Day 22 and recap of week 3 - Alaska cruise tour
Yvette, what a great idea you have with the bakery items. You are such a creative teacher (as well as writer). You're right about the exploring; even in little New Jersey there are beautiful places to visit, we have such a long shoreline with many quaint towns and the western part of the state, along the Delaware River, is full of beautiful places and towns. You are the exploring champ, though! Great job with your blogging!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Maura Beth! It's those little places that are fun to visit. Because I have friends who live all over the world, I always reach out to them on Facebook before I plan my trips to see if they can give me any pointers on places to visit. I appreciate you following me on this journey through my past trips. :-)Delete
It's shocking how much food gets thrown away, Yvette, especially when there's so much hunger. Good for you for doing your part, not only by sharing it with your students, but adding to the pantry. And great point about exploring all the wonders in our backyards (states). There's tons to do. Congrats on sharing your world for a month!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Diana! I appreciate you joining me on this journey. :-)Delete
How lovely that you do this for your students. I was surprised to learn that you have students who are homeless,that is so sad. You mentioned exploring where you live being enlightening and you are right we all should go find new places.You metioned many places in Florida I have visited ,especially loving Key West and all therein. Thanks for the reminder Yvette.ReplyDelete
You are welcome! I find the more I wander, the more I appreciate the life I live. I appreciate you stopping by today. :-)Delete
Excellent advice. I find people here in Germany that are the same way. When I begin talking about the places I've been in Germany to people who are German, they often asked me where did you see that and are surprised when I say here. It is a pity that people don't realize the jewels they have in their own backyard.
Exactly, Pat! So many people look elsewhere to vacation without realizing the beautiful places in their own backyards. And by vacationing locally, you invest money into your own community, which is always a bonus. Thanks for sharing! :-)Delete
How sad that so much food is wasted, Yvette! What a blessing that you take the time to share it with your students and the pantry at your school. Your students are so blessed to have you as their teacher. Thanks for the list of all the places to visit right here in Florida! We've been to many, but I see more we haven't seen. I'm bookmarking this page for future reference. You're the BEST!ReplyDelete
That's great, Patty! If you have any gems that I haven't visited yet, please share them with me. I love exploring our state. Thanks for stopping by! :-)Delete
How wonderful that you could pick up the discarded bakery items. It's a shame to think of food being tossed when so many are hungry. I've enjoyed all of your blog posts, Yvette. I know how hard it was to post every day, but you have and kudos to you!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jan! I truly appreciate your support and your tweets. XOXO :-)Delete
Hi Yvette! I can't believe so much food goes to waste! Thank you for telling us about this. I'm also surprised to hear that some of your students have never been to the beach, even though they live so close. My guess is that many (although not all) of their parents were not taught to explore and wander, and thus, this type of lifestyle is passed along to another generation. Honestly, I can only imagine the things you see and hear as a teacher. You truly are doing God's work. Many blessings to you! : )ReplyDelete
Donna M. Atwood
D. M. Atwood
It really is sad, but you are probably right. Many of my students come from families that are living paycheck to paycheck and just focus on survival. I know what that feels like. The beach is almost free (you have to pay for parking), but if the parents are constantly working, they may just want to stay home on the weekends. I share my adventures with them and how to start saving money as soon as they get jobs (they aren't old enough to work yet). Hopefully, I spark an interest in them. Thank you for your blessings, Donna! :-)Delete