Young Reporter's Story Ideas
Exercise Your Body and Your Mind!
by Reporter George Ballenger
Holladay Intermediate Magnet
Being fit is fun. That was the message at Healthy
Kids Day on April 16 in downtown Tucson.
"It’s important for children to stay healthy, and you
have to be fit to be healthy," says Thomas Linn, a
trainer at the YMCA. "Also, it’s fun!"
Healthy Kids Day encourages healthy minds, spirits
and bodies. Kids did activities like shooting hoops,
completing an agility run, exercising the mind with
chess, being creative by sculpting sand, learning about
sugar and watching cooking demonstrations.
Performances were scheduled throughout the day and
included mariachi, karate, dancing, juggling and
puppets. Kids who participated in activities or watched
performances would get prizes, including time in an
inflatable obstacle course, face painting or a discounted
Jessica Schultz, a pediatrician, says it’s
important to have one hour of exercise
every day. It can be an organized sport,
individual activity or just having fun
outside. People should watch less than
two hours of television each day. She
also talked about healthy eating,
especially when it comes to sugar—
water has no sugar, milk has the
equivalent of four sugar cubes and
juice has the equivalent of a
whopping 13 sugar cubes. In
addition to limiting sugar, people
should eat at least five servings of
fruits and vegetables every day.
Physical activities, exercise for your
mind and eating healthy foods can be
fun. Healthy Kids Day allowed participants
to learn about healthy choices through hands-
Bird-napping a Riot in ‘Rio’
by Reporter Amanda Shake,
Esperero Canyon Middle School
Do you like movies like “Ice Age”
and “Horton Hears A Who”? Do you
love it when
animals go on
adventures? Would you love to
see an awesome movie this spring?
Then, look no further! “Rio” is the
Blu is the last male bird of his
kind. If he wants to save his species,
he’s going to have to find the only
female of his kind—Jewel. But
there’s one small problem with that:
Blu lives in Mooselake, Minn., and
Jewel lives in Rio de Janeiro in
Brazil! Blu has to travel all the
way there to meet Jewel, but
things just keep getting
worse. An evil bird, Nigel, is
plotting to kidnap the two to
make money off of them, so
he sends them off on a wild
goose chase, separating Blu
from his beloved owner, Linda.
Now, it’s their job to find their
way back without Nigel stopping
them! Oh, and did I mention Blu
can’t fly? All this adds up to the
crazy, mixed-up adventure
that is ‘Rio’! ‘Rio’ is rated G
and is recommended for kids and
“Rio” has every aspect of an
awesome film. The characters are
lovable and memorable, ranging
from Blu, the all-knowing, intelligent
“nerd bird”, to the wacky, sambaloving
Nico and Pedro. Not only that,
but it has an all-star voice cast!
Included are Anne Hathaway from
“The Princess Diaries,” George
Lopez from “Beverly Hills
Chihuahua,” Jake T. Austin from
“Wizards of Waverly Place,”
will.i.am. from “Madagascar: Escape
2 Africa” and many more. You’re
sure to find someone from a movie
you’ve seen and loved. Plus, the
lively music will make you want to
get up and dance. With songs sung
by characters like Nigel and by pop
singers like Taio Cruz, you’ll have a
hard time staying in your seat!
All in all, if you want to see a
great, fun movie this spring, wait no
longer to see “Rio”!
by Reporter Nadira Mitchell
What is social justice? My
definition is for people to be fair and
respect each other. In April, my mom
and dad took me to see Dr. Cornell
West give a lecture called “Border
Democracy” at a teacher’s
conference. West talked about
educating ourselves about social
injustice in our community. He talked
about how different people suffer
social injustices— like indigenous
people, the poor, African Americans
The Holladay chorus performed a
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reading
theater piece with songs at the
conference. Afterward, workshop
participants asked us questions about
social justice. They asked: Would you
be unpopular if you helped someone
to not get bullied? I say, well, I will
just be unpopular. So what? They
also asked if any of us would want to
meet different people or try different
foods. We all raised our hands and
agreed we would do that.
Some of my classmates talked
about teasing and bullying. If we
follow the advice of Drs. King and
West, we would reduce the amount of
social injustice in the world.
Mariachis Make Music in Tucson
by Reporter Gabriel Martin,
BASIS Middle School
The Tucson International Mariachi
Conference happens every year in
April at the Tucson Convention
Center. Mariachi musicians come
from all over the country and the
world to study, perform, and enjoy this
form of music that originated in
Mexico. This year’s conference was
Lots of exciting events happen.
There are mariachi instrument sales.
Conference goers can also participate
in music workshops. And there are
performances every night.
Last year, we set a new Guinness
World Record for the largest mariachi
group performing together. There
were 555 of us, and we played four
songs, including the mariachi classic,
“La Negra.” You can find details and
see some great pictures of this
awesome event online at
It was so fun and cool to play with so
many other mariachi musicians.
I enjoy the workshops, playing on
stage and getting to hear so many
other great mariachi performances.
There are workshops for folklórico
dancers as well.
This year, the big concert with
world famous mariachi bands took
place on April 27 in the TCC arena.
Tucson’s own Mariachi Cobre, which
is celebrating its 40th anniversary,
and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati
Cano performed! My band, Mariachi
Sensacional, played at the Reid Park
Band Shell on April 28 along with
many other wonderful bands.
Korean Girl Band Rocks the World
by Reporter Christina Huynh,
Doolen Middle School
SNS, or Girl’s Generation, is a
popular, nine-member Korean girl
group or band. It was formed around
2007. The group so far has released
two full albums, two mini-albums, and
many hit singles. One of its popular
songs is called “Gee” and was
produced in 2009. It holds the record
as the longest running song; it’s well
known even in North America!
Girl’s Generation also has popular
music videos, which you can find on
Google or Youtube. The band is my
favorite Korean girl group.
Every group has to have a leader,
right? SNSD’s leader is Taeyeon.
Most of the members are 21, but Seo
Hyun is the youngest at 19.
Girl's Generation is popular almost
worldwide. They are K-Pop's divas!
Author Writes About Desert Critters
by Reporter Harley Galaz,
Coyote Trail Elementary
Adviser: Lisa Martin
writes fun, nonfiction
scorpions and gila
Storad says he had never been in
the desert until he moved here in
1982 from what he described as a
“woodsy Ohio town.” He started
writing as an editor and reporter for
newspapers and magazines. Then a
photographer asked him if he’d like to
write a children’s book with her.
He went for it!
When he reads,
historical fiction and
stories. He loves to
go hiking with his
dog, a weiner dog he
calls Princess Sophia
My favorite of his
books is “Don’t Call
Me Pig,” which is about javelinas. So
far, he has written 32 children’s
books! His newest is “Rattlesnake
Rules.” To learn more about Conrad
and his books, check out
May Has Many Days to Celebrate!
by Reporter Ysie Garcia
Holladay Intermediate Magnet
May is More Than Just A Pretty
Face Month, National Egg Month and
Creative Beginnings Month.
According to “The Big Book of Girl
Stuff,” by Bart King and his five
sisters, May also contains Cinco de
Mayo, National Stuttering Awareness
Week, National Wildflower Week and
National Backyard Games Week.
Also in May: Mother Goose Day,
Save the Rhino Day, Siblings
Appreciation Day, Lumpy Rug Day,
No Socks Day, Trust Your Intuition
Day, Hug Your Cat Day, International
Sea Monkey Day and Cyrillic
May and other months have
unusual holidays. Have fun every
month celebrating new holidays that
you may not have even known
existed. But this May, definitely don’t
forget to wish your mom a happy
New Exhibit Examines Anatomy
by Reporter Jack Woodrow, All Saints Episcopal Day School
Adviser: Stacey Lane
The words to the classic song
“Dem Bones” were going through
my head after being greeted by a
real skeleton at the entrance to the
new traveling exhibit, “Body Worlds
2 and the Brain,” at the Arizona
Science Center. The amazing
exhibit displays over 200
specimens, including entire human
bodies and organs, all of which
have been plastinated.
The exhibit is the “brain child” of
Dr. Gunther von Hagens, a
German anatomist who in 1978
invented a process that halts
decomposition. During the eight- to
12-month plastination process, Dr.
von Hagens and his workers
remove all body fluids and then
inject the body with silicone rubber
and epoxy. The bodies are flexible
enough for a short time to be
posed. I saw bodies posed as a
skateboarder, diver, baseball player at bat, soccer player
and ice skaters. The athletic poses really made the bodies
seem less scary and revealed how the
muscles and other structures are used
to accomplish physical feats. Some
bodies weren’t posed, but were
dissected to show skin, muscles,
tendons and bones.
I also observed preserved organs
like brains, lungs, kidneys, and livers.
In several exhibits, diseased organs
were displayed along side healthy
ones. For example, the lungs of a
cigarette smoker were dark purple and
shriveled compared to the white, full
lungs of a non-smoker. If more kids
saw this exhibit, they’d be shocked and
never try smoking in their life. I also
saw a brain that had suffered a stroke.
The exhibit is not frightening and
there aren’t weird smells. It’s a
respectful and peaceful environment.
So if you want to see how the knee
bone is connected to the thigh bone,
take a tour of “Body Worlds 2 and the
Brain” before it ends on May 30.
Bird-napping Is a
Real Riot in ‘Rio’
by Reporter Macayla Manning
Palm Valley Elementary
Adviser: Stacey Lane
“‘Rio’ was a super funny movie,
and I loved it,” says 7-year-old T.J
Manning. On April 14, T.J and I went
to the early screening of “Rio.” The
movie came out the next day.
G-rated “Rio” is about two birds,
Blu and Jewel, who get bird napped.
It is filled with music and humor.
This movie was really funny! If
you love to laugh, watch “Rio” to see
what happens when these crazy
birds try to escape!
Mom’s Caring Words Make YR Feel Like She’s Loved More Than...
by Reporter Sarah Schnitzer
Shearim Torah High School
As Mother’s Day approaches, my heart is filled
with many things, but there is one thing in particular
I want to tell you about. When I was a little girl my
mother used to hug me and say, “I love you more
than....” She had so many things she loved me
more than. But something happened.
When I was 10, my mother was diagnosed with
breast cancer, and she didn’t have time to
constantly say, “I love you more....” I forgot about
this thing my mother used to say. Time passed and
my mother started to get better.
One day she brought everyone presents. My
mom got to me and handed me a book. The title of
the book was “I love you more than....” I looked at
the book and remembered! My mother never forgot;
she remembered what she used to say to me. My
mother giving me this book helped me cope with
My mother has been free of cancer for five
years, but there are still times I get sad when I think
of what she went through. Then I look at this book
that she gave me and I think at least she really
loves me more than…
Po the Panda Brings Kung Fu Fun to Phoenix
by Reporter Ri’Ann Holmes
“Kung Fu Panda” took viewers to ancient
China where Po the panda works in his
father’s restaurant but aspires to become a
kung fu master. On May 26, “Kung Fu Panda
2,” starring Jack Black, Jackie Chan and
Angelina Jolie will open in theaters. In
promotion of the sequel, Po made a few
appearances in the Valley.
In April, Po visited the Phoenix Children’s
Hospital bringing joy and happiness to the
children by assisting teachers with their story
time reading, giving away autographed posters
and taking pictures with the hospital patients.
The friendly panda made another
appearance at the Scottsdale Culinary
Festival. Attendees took photos with Po and
sampled “Panda-licious” fortune cookies.
Visit www.kungfupanda.com to play games,
watch videos and find more kung fu fun.
Renaissance Fair Brings Bit of
Merry Olde England to Arizona
by Reporter Graham Armknecht, Rancho Solano Greenway
My favorite event at the
Renaissance Festival,is jousting—
knights in full armor combat each
other on horses with lances and
swords in a 5,000-
seat arena. The
festival was held
Feb. 12 to April 3
just east of
Festival, says that picking the public’s
favorite event “is a difficult question
because there is so much to do.”
Watching the jousting is one of the
favorites, she says. And everyone
likes Dangerously Unbalanced, an
acrobatic comedy act with stunts.
Soda and ice cream cones might
not be from the 1600s, but the fair
does feature ice oranges, chocolate
pastries and other
treats. My favorite is
the enormous turkey
leg. My godfather
says, “When I wasn’t
a vegan, the turkey
legs were my
favorite thing ever!”
How did all of this
about? “The Renaissance Festival
began in Arizona by producer Jeffrey
Siegel, who was vacationing in
Arizona and noticed no such event.
This is the 23rd season,” explains