New York English Academy Rookie blog

Earth Day April 22, 2016


Earth day was first celebrated in 1970, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement.  Today, over 192 countries around the world observe and celebrate this holiday on a yearly basis. Earth Day was established after a United States Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, witnessed the ravages of the massive1969 oil spill that took place in Santa Barbara, California.  He realized the need to instill awareness and bring public attention to environmental issues such as pollution, the extinction of wildlife, toxic dumps, and polluting factories. Senator Nelson sought to excite the youth of American and give these issues national attention. After rallies and demonstrations, the environmental movement gained the support of several politicians, city officials, and influential investors. The early 1970s marked the birth of the Earth Day holiday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

On April 22nd – like cities all over the world – New York City will be celebrating Mother Nature and environmental awareness. Our city will have several fun and educational events taking place throughout the five boroughs. If you like performance art, you might want to head over to Union Square for some eco-friendly exhibits and live performances. If you would rather spend your day learning interesting new facts, head over to Prospect Park to interact with wild animals and chat with naturalists. If you are health conscious and want to help raise money to bring awareness to environmental issues you feel passionate about, join the Earth Day 5K run! New York City has lots of fun ways for everyone to participate and contribute to the protection of our planet.

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April Fools’ Day April 15, 2016


April Fools’ Day

It’s tradition in a number of Western countries for people to play pranks on each other every April 1st. This is known as April Fools’ Day. Historians believe that it probably began in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree requiring Europe to switch to a new calendar (which later came to be known as the Gregorian calendar). Under the old calendar (the Julian calendar), New Year’s Day was April 1st. The Gregorian calendar moved it to January 1st. But some people didn’t get the memo and continued celebrating on April 1st. They were known as April Fools and were mocked and ridiculed; people began to play tricks on them. The tradition spread and became a general day of pranks. These days it is common for friends and coworkers to make up stories and play jokes on each other. 

Famous April Fools’ Day Hoaxes:

  • ·         In 1957, a BBC News broadcast reported a bumper crop for Spaghetti trees in Switzerland. The report featured images of a family harvesting spaghetti and saying “there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.”
  • ·         In 1962, a Swedish broadcaster told viewers that they could view their black and white televisions in color by covering them in a pair of stockings.
  • ·         In 1998, Burger King advertised a new “Left-Handed Whopper” cheeseburger designed especially for those who are left-handed. Thousands came to their restaurants to request the fictional sandwich.


So exercise your imagination to think of a funny prank and join in the tradition this year. But just remember not to go too far… April Fools’ jokes should be funny not mean.

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