SWAP Saturday December 8 – Newspring & Free Kreations program at Esperanza

Attention SWAP team — we have an exciting SWAP Saturday planned December 8th.  The 


students will eat breakfast at Spring Oaks Middle Schools (if you are a student, please arrive no later than 8:45am) – and then journey to either Newspring Art Studio (1900 Blalock) or Esperanza (3911 Campbell). 

At Newspring Art Studio we’ll make Holiday gifts with a legacy — and at Esperazna, we’ll be treated to a presentation by ventriloquist extraordinaire Cindy Robinson from Free Kreations and participate in a Team Building exercise run by super volunteer Adrian Gonzalez.  

ImageAt half-time, we’ll switch, and students will journey to Newspring or Esperanza (from their starting points).  Later we’ll enjoy box lunches and journey back to SOMS.

Students – get those permission slips signed.  John Vargas will have the slips and contracts on Tuesday 11/21 – so check-in with him the week following the Thanksgiving break.

Coaches — we’ll be posting schedules and sending a google calendar invite the week of 11/26.  

Thank you for all you do – – looking forward to another super SWAP Saturday!



Building a SOLAR Oven at SWAP

At our 11/10 SWAP Saturday we’ll be making Solar Oven’s!  I did this once at GYTTE in Mexico and it was a blast.  You’ll be amazed at how many things you can cook with the sun!  Look at some of these recipes.

Here’s what we will be building at SWAP. Directions.





  • Cardboard pizza box (the kind delivered pizza comes in)
  • Box knife or scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clear tape
  • Plastic wrap (a heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bag will also work)
  • Black construction paper
  • Newspapers
  • Ruler, or wooden spoon

What to Do: 
diy solar oven

  1. Use a box knife or sharp scissors to cut a flap in the lid of the pizza box. Cut along three sides, leaving about an inch between the sides of the flap and the edges of the lid. Fold this flap out so that it stands up when the box lid is closed.
  2. Cover the inner side of the flap with aluminum foil so that it will reflect rays from the sun. To do this, tightly wrap foil around the flap, then tape it to the back, or outer side of the flap.
  3. Use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window for sunlight to enter into the box. Do this by opening the box and taping a double layer of plastic wrap over the opening you made when you cut the flap in the lid. Leave about an inch of plastic overlap around the sides and tape each side down securely, sealing out air. If you use a plastic bag, cut out a square big enough to cover the opening, and tape one layer over the opening.
  4. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper – black absorbs heat. The black surface is where your food will be set to cook.
  5. To insulate your oven so it holds in more heat, roll up sheets of newspaper and place them on the bottom of the box. Tape them down so that they form a border around the cooking area. The newspaper rolls should make it so that the lid can still close, but there is a seal inside of the box, so air cannot escape.
  6. The best hours to set up your solar oven are when the sun is high overhead – from 11 am to 3 pm. Take it outside to a sunny spot and adjust the flap until the most sunlight possible is reflecting off the aluminum foil and onto the plastic-covered window. Use a ruler to prop the flap at the right angle. You may want to angle the entire box by using a rolled up towel.
  7. You can make toast by buttering a slice of bread, or sprinkling cheese on it, then letting the sun do the rest. Cooking a hot dog or making nachos with chips and cheese are also fun treats to make in your solar oven! It would also work great to heat up leftovers. So the paper at the bottom doesn’t get dirty, put what you would like to cook on a clear plastic or glass plate. A pie plate would work well.
  8. To take food out of the oven, open up the lid of the pizza box, and using oven mitts or potholders, lift the glass dish out of the oven.

Leadership with Lollipops!

SBISD showed this TedEx Toronto video at the recent Good Neighbor / Springboard Mentoring dinner – spot on!