Friday, August 20, 2010

Santa Barbara Independent

Our blog was featured in the Santa Barbara Independent!

Field Trips Forever

What They Blogged for Summer Vacation

Friday, August 20, 2010

It’s probably safe to say that, even in this day and age, blogging is not how most 10-year-olds spend their summer.

The children participating in the United Way’s Fun in the Sun summer enrichment program, however, just wrapped up a seven-week vacation that was anything but average. This is not to say that the kids were penned up in a computer lab.

Most of them spent a lot of time at the beach and playing ball. But some also participated in a program offering $500 scholarships to children completing 100 hours of “service learning.” Amberly Young, leader of a group of 13 girls and boys aged 10 to 13, chose to let her kids fulfill that requirement by putting a computer-age craze—blogging—to good academic use.

Kids Go Green with their reusable Trader Joe grocery bags.
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Kids Go Green with their reusable Trader Joe grocery bags.

“My background is in journalism, so I wanted to teach what I know,” Young said, explaining the genesis of her idea. “They get to see themselves in print, have their family and friends comment on it, and develop their writing skills,” she said. “I think that being able to express themselves in writing is an important attribute for the kids.”

The blog provides an insiders’ view into the students’ world of field trips, learning, and, of course, fun. Through writing about their adventures, the kids were able to critically reflect on the field trips, which highlighted community involvement and green living. They went “places in the community that are free, fun, and interactive,” said Young. “I just think of what I would like to do if I were a kid.”

“The field trips were always fun,” agreed Marlene Bahena, 13, one of Young’s students. “We could never stop wondering what they would be.” Considering that they ranged from picking oranges in Carpinteria’s agricultural fields, to taking lessons at Santa Barbara Dance Arts, to making pizza at Domino’s, trying to guess what was next would surely be its own diversion.

Each day, the kids mentally and emotionally engaged, in their journals, with what they experienced, then collaborated to develop something for the blog. “We got to put it in our own way, and nobody told us what to do,” said Arlene Vargas, 13. They also did the blog’s photography. “I love our pictures,” said Antonio Castillo, 11. “I photographed things like orange-picking, and our trip to Los BaƱos swimming pool.” He added, “We get to remember our fun times, then our families send us comments and we get to write back.”

The project didn’t stop there: The campers made fliers to advertise their blog, calling businesses to ask permission to display them; and wrote thank-you notes to those who hosted them on field trips.

Overall, it was an unusual experience for the students, who got to have their summer fun while almost unwittingly learning at the same time. “I’m so proud of them!” Young said. “Their writing confidence skills have progressed. Now, they can all write a complete page in their daily journals. Before, their skills were just everywhere.”

“The blog was great, we took our time doing it and learned a lot,” Jessica Zavala, 10, said, summing up the mutual feeling among the group. “I got to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have done and enjoyed my new friends.”

To visit the kids’ blog, click here.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We went to Trader Joes walking. First we saw the watermelons.The guy who showed us around was Dale. They had a big machine squished the card board.They recycled bottles, so they can have more to buy their whole staff sweaters. Dale showed us a forklift that could lift up a really big box of watermelons that weighed from 500 to 600 lbs. Dale also showed freezers that were really cold and they kept different thing in each fridge. After we went on the tour we got free samples of tacos with guacamole, they were really yummy! At the end we got reusable Trader Joe grocery bags. It was cool going behind the scenes at Trader Joes.
By: Arlene And Yessenia


We went to Zodo's as a surprise field trip. We got there on a sunny day thinking that we were going to a motel or gasoline station, Amber was just joking.
When we arrived at the bowling lanes and we all had our shoes. The boys and girls got into different teams. All the girls wanted to bowl while the boys wanted to go to the arcade. Karen and Marlene were doing really good job at bowling. Jordi was the best of the boys, he got 125! After bowling we went to the arcade. Everybody got 5 tokens. The girls spent them wisely and got more tickets. And the boys were better at bowling, so it was a win-win situation. After everybody got their prizes and was happy, we went outside to take picture and eat our snack. It was the best field trip ever!

Santa Barbara Dance Arts ♀-♀

We danced till our feet got tired. We had a dance teacher named Tom. He taught us a great dance.We danced a song called Facedrop by Sean Kingston. We had 4 weeks to practice, i think we learned it in a day, but we kept practicing till we had it perfect.

In the Fun in the Sun Family Night, We performed it in front of our parents. I think we did really good because everyone was clapping. The other F.I.T.S group danced another song, & some kids said our dance was better. Tom was a very great dance teacher because he taught us a AWESOME dance that everyone liked♥(:
LOS BANOS SBCC walked colled doun hiu posted flyers bulletin boards garden/bridge/swiming breakwater / elevator museum view crane channnel islands walked to L.B ./posted fliers boats /fish/crabs chi/bridget/zac.LOS BANOS

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Check out our new slideshow at the bottom of the page. Also make sure to look at the Field Trips and Special Guest pages! We just updated them. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blender's Field Trip(:

On a hot summer day, we walked to Blenders. We decided to walk because we wanted to get excersise. We learned about how they help the environment. When we got there Andy the manager of blenders in the grass gave us a tour. We saw a yellow trash can and they told us that they do composting. We also know that they reuse stuff.