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#SXSWFRESH – Let the Journey Begin

by Meghann on March 6, 2012

Say HELLO to my new home for the next few days.

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Chevy hooked us up on our journey to SXSW! We are riding in style in a brand new 2012 Chevy Tahoe with OnStar Navigation, onboard WiFi, drop down DVD player, sunroof, comfy leather seats, and so much more. If you’re going to road trip, THIS is how you do it.

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For the next three days, I’ll be blogging from the road as my teammates and I (Go Team Fresh Squeezed!) make our way from Orlando to Austin for South By Southwest. Along the way, we’ll be stopping at local schools to raise awareness for Adopt-A-Classroom - an awesome organization that places the resources teachers need directly in the classroom. To learn more about Adopt-A-Classroom – or to donate to the cause – check out our team page at FreshSqueezedSXSW.com.

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Our first classroom was right here in Orlando!

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We had the honor of visiting Ivey Lane Elementary School this afternoon to say a special hello to Mrs. Fowler’s kindergarten class.

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Our first group shot! Say hello to the rest of the members of ‘Fresh Squeezed': Nick, J,  Josh, and me. :)

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After we signed in the vice principal, Mr. J, gave us a tour of the school. He wanted to show us some of the great things that programs – like Adopt-A-Classroom – are doing in action.

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He showed us a garden patch that the local community had built for the school.

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The garden teaches the children where their food originates from and how a seed can grow to a plant with just some soil and a little water. Throughout the year, the school has several projects that revolve around the garden area, including their recent salsa project where the students grew all the ingredients for a basic salsa recipe then made the salsa using the fresh ingredients right from the garden. Pretty creative, right?

It gets better. ;)

Do you know how the students water the garden? With water collected from a rain catcher that a few of the older students had designed and built in the classroom.

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They’re also teaching the kids to be resourceful. ;)

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Next, we paid a visit to one of the coolest science classrooms around.

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The science room was FULL of fun lab materials, ongoing experiments, and…

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…furry classroom pets.

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Ummm… they weren’t all furry.

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“Do you want to hold the corn snake?”

Ummmm…….

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“I’ll take that as a yes”

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His name was Wakaflocka Slither. We’re now BFFs.

Every time a new pet is introduced to the science lab, the students have a contest to name him or her. Wakaflocka Slither? Awesome name. Next time I get a pet, I’m polling elementary aged kids for a name. ;)

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Finally, we ended our tour at Mrs. Fowler’s kindergarten classroom.

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The students were so sweet, so welcoming, and so well behaved!

The class knew we were on our way to Texas via the Chevy Tahoe, but they wanted to share with us how THEY would get to Texas. Let’s just say they got creative.

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*photographed children have signed releases from their parents with written approval to appear on the blog

My favorites? By skateboard, by scooter, and by dragon. :)

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Then we shared a road-trip themed story with the class.

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And illustrated just how far it really is from Florida to Texas ( a looonnngggg way).

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At the end we collected all of the artwork that the class created for us. We plan to collect art from every classroom we visit along the way and add it to the HUGE collage Chevy and Adopt-A-Classroom are creating at SXSW. I can’t wait to see what the other classes have come up with from around the country!

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We had a blast visiting with Mrs. Fowler’s class, but we had a long journey ahead of us and needed to get on the road!

Thank you Mr. J and Mrs. Fowler for allowing us to visit your wonderful school!

Just a reminder that Ivey Lane Elementary is one of three schools our team is sponsoring on our journey to SXSW. Any money we fundraise on the road will go directly to Ivey Lane to support programs like their garden, amazing science lab, or materials for their arts and crafts projects like the ones they created today. Learn more HERE.

Backing up…

Today’s journey didn’t really begin in Orlando. It really began in Tampa, where I started my car and realized my stereo still looked like this:

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A 2 hour drive to Orlando with no music? Hmm…. I don’t think so.

Here’s my solution.

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I rigged an ipod up to a portable speaker in my car. Not ideal, but it worked. Otherwise I might have gone a little crazy in dead silence for 2 hours.

I left Tampa around 11:30 and stopped at a rest area to eat lunch on the way.

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I packed an almond butter, strawberry, and pumpkin butter sandwich on dark german wheat bread

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A bag of carrots

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and apple sauce.

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Right now we are somewhere between Orlando and Tallahassee and I am on the verge of kissing Chevy’s feet for hooking us up with onboard WiFi. I’ve never been in a car that has has it’s own WiFi signal before and I have to say that it’s pretty bad ass. My car doesn’t even have automatic locks or windows – hell, my car doesn’t even have a stereo at the moment – so it really doesn’t take much to impress me, but I think this takes the cake.

Now I have no excuse to do any work on the road. ;)

150 miles down – 1050 more to go!

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