Thursday, March 31, 2011


It was suppose to be a trip to the Irvine Nature Center. Well, the vehicle, we were riding in, had other plans. While we were about 10 minutes away from our destination, the vehicle began to smoke. Luckily, we were on Owings Mills Boulevard and were able to pull over into the nearest strip mall.
Once, we got the students off the vehicle. I took them over to Buffalo Wild Wings to use the bathroom. We decided to stay at Buffalo Wild Wings and have french fries while waiting for Ms. Jane to come and pick us up.
They enjoyed themselves! Adventures never cease to end with the BUGS Program!!
**The smoking of the vehicle came from an unexpected busted hose!! We were safe!!

Ice Skating!!

 We recently went ice skating at the Mt.Pleasant Ice Skating rink. It was super fun, and with a bit of falling everyone still did a great job!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seed Balls!!!

The younger girls of BUGS learned how to become guerilla gardeners last week. With a combination of clay, compost, seeds (we used a wildflower seed mix), and water, the girls whipped up a batch of simple, natural seed balls. Once dry, they can be dispersed into empty lots, bare patches of soil, or unused planter boxes to beautify their neighborhoods. We will most likely have some for sale at our annual BUGS Farmers Market (May 7th) as well!
This is the recipe we used:

Greenhouse Garden Bed

A few months ago, with Winter still in the air, the greenhouse garden bed was once again brought to life. The older girls of BUGS turned the soil and added compost from our compost tumbler. They then sowed several rows of carrots, radishes, spinach, pak choi, kohl rabi, and turnips.

Within a few weeks, lots of beautiful (delicious) seedlings had sprouted.


They have been carefully thinned (with plenty of thinnings ending up in students' mouths) and will continue to be cared for until it is time to harvest them!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Over the years, our students have done African dance, ballroom dancing and tapping for the Expo. This year, I wanted to expand their world view and their dance experience. That expansion came in the form of Flamenco. This was a new style of dance for them. Many of them had not heard of or had seen flamenco done before. It was completely new to them.

We began the cycle with reading about the origin of flamenco dance in Spain, how the gypsies influence the dance form and how it grew into the style that is performed today. We watched a documentary about a flamenco dancer who was well-known in Boston, Omayra. She shared stories of her famous grandmother, with the same name, and how she help to change how women danced flamenco along with the movies that she was featured in. It was a moving documentary that really showcased the time, talent and even, difficulty with producing and cultivating dance.

Students begin learning Spanish terms used in flamenco. Palmas means hands. Floreo means movement of the hands. Planta and punta means the sole and toe of foot, respectively. With some of those terms, we began constructing a flamenco dance. Each group learned the basic Sevillanas step. It is a 6 count step that switches from side to side by using the feet and hands in coordination. The Middle School Group was the only group who was able to learn and use fans in their presentation. They were magnificent! Those girls were twirling, opening and closing those fans with such ease and grace. It was a joy to see it all choreographed into their dance.

All of the flamenco skirts and tops where specially sewn by Lexter Braxton. She has constructed many of the costumes for the children's performances.

Get into the performance!

Monday, March 21, 2011


The Farmer's Market is fast approaching and we are looking forward to the surprise that will be on hand for the parents, teachers, family and community members to see. It's stilt-walking! Yes, it can be a bit daunting in the beginning but the BUGS Students look forward to what is in store for them. All kids want to be taller and be able to look above everyone. Stilt-walking is a great way that these two desires can be combine and be exciting for the students.

On the first day of stilt-walking, Ms. Annie and Mr. Eric, from Nana Projects, taught the students how to fall safely on the stilts. Whenever they begin to fall, they should cross their arms over their chest and bend their knees. This helps to protect their hands and knees from serious injury.
After being ushered from one pillar to the next pillar, the students very carefully and gingerly began to control the stilts and walk around. It was so great to have some giants walking around campus. Some of them were very comfortable on the stilts and made it look easy.
Wait until the Farmer's Market comes, our parade is going to be filled with some tall and vibrant stilt walkers.