Angelina Ballerina Comes to UofA
by Reporter Katelyn Johnston, Dunham Elementary
On Saturday, May 5 someone special is coming to town! It’s Angelina Ballerina and her friends!
The free event happens at the UA BookStores in the Student Union at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Parking is available in the 2nd Street garage. The event features storytime with Angelina Ballerina books. Songs, crafts and giveaways also will be offered. You can meet Angelina’s friends from the UofA School of Dance, who will perform some original ballet pieces as well as helping you to learn the basics of ballet!
Melissa Hancock, the undergraduate adviser and instructor at the School of Dance, is coordinating the dance performance. Hancock says she started ballet when she was only 3. It took her a lot of studying and practice to become a professional dancer, but she eventually did it! She performed for many years and now teaches at the School of Dance. She also has taught dance to kids of all ages and enjoys exposing young children to the art of dance and movement because “it can really enhance a child’s life,” she says. “It opens all kinds of doors, which include enhancing self-confidence, self-esteem, social interactions with others, spatial orientation and organization.
I think it can foster improved math and English skills. There are just unlimited possibilities for what movement can do for kids,” Hancock continues.
She encourages you to bring a camera to the event!
Angelina Ballerina is a popular book series about a little mouse who loves to dance and dreams of becoming a famous ballerina. She teaches kids to dream big, work hard and learn from their mistakes. The books are written by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig. There are over 20 books in the series which started 29 years ago in England. Angelina Ballerina also has her own TV show on PBS-HD 6 and PBS Kids!
Bookmans School Challenge Winners
by Reporter Mary Ruiz, Holladay Elementary Magnet School
Manzo Elementary is one of the top three winners of the Bookman’s School Challenge and won $3,000. Manzo is the only Tucson school in the top three winners. The other two schools are up in Flagstaff and Phoenix.
Principal Mark Alvarez holds the check
Most Manzo students participate in all of the school’s extra-
curricular activities, and Principal Mark Alvarez explains how Manzo will spend the money. “We will continue creating a learning environment that will include raised garden beds for our PACE (preschool), kindergarten and Exceptional Ed. classrooms,” He says. “Manzo is unique in that we use our water conservation, desert tortoise habitat, chicken coop, garden and aquaponics system to help our kids learn in the classroom.”
Rebecca Ballenger a School Challenge Committee Member says, “Five years ago we started a Reading Challenge to get students excited about reading and to help fund schools who were facing budget cuts. But this year we changed the School Challenge to expand the award to honor all the ways students get excited about learning.
“We’ll probably stick with this format next year because it was fun. We learned a lot more about the schools that participated, and the schools had the opportunity to promote their programs,” she says. They picked Manzo because, “We were impressed by the level of community engagement, teacher and staff commitment, and outside partners Manzo has fostered. Their ecology focus caught our eye and we think the program can be exported to other schools. We appreciated the pride Manzo has in their students and the Barrio Hollywood neighborhood.”
The rainwater cisterns and the desert tortoise habitat were both made by students, teachers and volunteers. Kids planted the flowers in front of the school.
Manzo is a great school and that is a reason it was a winner in the Bookman’s School Challenge.
Dancing for Beads!
by Reporter Simone Ufondu
I just had the honor of being invited to the Second Annual Courage in Motion 10-hour Dance Marathon, which raised funds to support Beads of Courage and the Center for Arts in Nursing and Medicine for children coping with cancer and other serious illness.
Founder and Executive Director Jean Baruch started Beads of Courage in February 2003 right here in Tucson! Baruch holds a doctorate in nursing and takes care of children with serious illness. She got tired of just giving out stickers! The beads symbolize strength and courage and are given to children to
put on a string to create a necklace to help RECORD, TELL and OWN their stories of courage. This program is now at 150 children’s hospitals all over the world!
Sabina Sendek, this year’s grand marshal, says that Beads of Courage helps her get through medical tests that aren’t fun and makes things better. Sabina also promotes cardiac awareness to save kids’ lives!
The Beads of Courage team and volunteers were absolutely amazing!
Event Coordinator Erika Colombi kept the party going with all kinds of musical era costume contests! I won the HIP HOP contest! Jacob Carter, director of community outreach for Beads of Courage, says that some of the
ways that people can help support this organization are to go to BeadsOfCourage.org and donate money, buy items or host a String of Strength Party or volunteer.
Photographer Sherri Graves volunteered by taking memorable photos to help capture the essence of the awesome event.
My mom and I had a wonderful time and are proud to have been part of this event!
Zookeeper for a Day at Reid Park Zoo
by Reporter Zoe Cook, Homeschool
I went on a homeschool field trip to Reid Park Zoo. At the zoo I had to do something gross but fun. I picked up giraffe poop! I was handed a rake and a shovel. Some people had only rakes for putting the poop into piles so we could pick it up more easily.
We saw an elephant x-ray, but it was only the foot. There was a rock inside the elephant’s foot. They knew something was wrong when the elephant wasn’t putting all its weight on the foot.
The grossest things I saw were two things. One was a fish in a coconut for the panther and the other a rat in a coconut for the panther. They put them in a coconut so the panther could learn how to crack the skull of animals like in the wild.
The king vulture was very small, but if you stuck your finger in his cage, he would bite it right off!
We got to pet a rhinoceros. It’s skin was rough, but I liked it. It was a girl.
We made food for zoo’s birds and primates. First we got Cheerios and a part of a mop. We put the Cheerios on the mop string so it would not come off. It would be a game for the zoo’s primates to get their food in a fun way.
I had a fun time at the zoo! Believe it or not, my favorite part of the day was cleaning up the giraffe poop.
by Reporter Katelyn Johnston, Dunham Elementary
April is Autism Awareness month! Since I have some friends and relatives with autism, I decided to do an autism awareness project for my Bronze Award in Girl Scouts.
Autism means that a person has a brain problem that makes it hard to talk and socialize. About 1 in every 110 kids is affected by autism, but no one knows exactly what causes it.
Many people with autism can’t communicate without special help. Some use an augmentative communication device (“aug. comm.”), a machine that “talks” for them when they type in words or push picture buttons. But these devices are very pricey (as much as $9,000!) and tend to sound unnatural. A good way to handle this problem is to use an iPad loaded with special educational apps for speech (like an aug. comm.) PLUS social skills learning programs. There are games that you can download that help as well for teaching and motivation. Many people with autism are very visual learners and they like technology. iPads blend the love of technology with a creative educational tool in an everyday device. But even iPads aren’t cheap (about $500), and many families can’t afford one. The iCare for Autism Fund is a Tucson-based group that collects funds to buy iPads, load them with Autism-related applications and distribute them to families with children on the Autism Spectrum. “We want to help families that could not afford an iPad any other way,” say Andrea Graham and John Elliott, co-creators of iCare for Autism. Andrea and Mike Graham have seven children, three of them have autism.
Andrea shares that her three kids who have autism are all verbal, but when they get frustrated they lose their ability to communicate or express their feelings and needs.
There are programs on the iPad that allow them to tap a picture, which then says a phrase, or type a sentence that is spoken out loud for them. “When you know WHY someone is upset, it’s easier to help them solve their problem,” Andrea says. This enables their kids to communicate when it doesn’t come easy.
“Also,” John adds, “carrying around an iPad doesn’t look strange. Kids with autism don’t want to look different, they want to fit in and to be cool. Traditional aug. comm. devices can make them feel odd.”
After seeing their kids’ success with the iPad, the Grahams wanted other families to benefit as well. So they worked with their friend John to create this fund-raising program. Families who are interested in getting an iPad for their child with autism or those who want to make a donation can go online to iCareforAutism.org to download an application form or for more info. The iPads will be loaded with the programs best suited for each child based on his or her needs. As part of my service project, I’m making and donating autism awareness jewelry and accessories that the group can use to to raise funds.
If you have an iPad that needs to be set up, they recommend these apps: “PCS Vocab,” “Art of Glow,” “My Talk,” “Neo Paul” and “Proloquo.”
2nd Grade Class Experiences Hatching Chicks!
by Mrs. McKeown’s Second Grade Class
the Lion Cubs, Tucson Country Day School
We had an awesome time hatching chicks in our classroom! It took 21 days in an incubator for the chicks to hatch. Each of us got to turn the eggs during the day so the chicks would develop properly and not stick to one side. We also had to make sure the temperature was 101-degrees in the incubator and keep water in it for humidity.
One chick hatched early. It was born on Sunday. The rest were born during the week. The final count was eight chicks!
When the chicks started cracking out, we heard chirping from the egg. We were lucky enough to see some of the chicks hatch! When the chicks come out of the eggs, they are wet and weak. They are born with soft down before their big feathers come in.
When we played with the chicks, some of them flapped their wings, and one even tried to fly out of the box! They stayed in a box with a light to keep them warm. They had food and water, and they played with each other. Some of us had to clean the box—it was messy, hard work!
We got to name the chicks: Big Foot (because he had big feet), Angel (she looked like an angel), Shadow, Sunny, Snowball, Alvin, Stormy, Marky, Cloudy and Lucky. (Some of the chicks had more than one name.)
The chicks stayed with us for almost two weeks before going to a friend’s chicken coop. We miss the chicks but certainly learned a lot!
No More Bullies!
by Reporter Stephanie Duarte, Nash Elementary
Have you ever been bullied? Bullying is a big problem in school and on the Internet. We need to find ways to help kids who are being bullied. Bullying is when someone uses harmful words or actions. Sometimes bullies pick on kids that look or act different. Other times kids are bullied because of their race or their religion. Bullying can make people feel bad about themselves and not like coming to school.
Bullying can be in the form of words or actions. Sometimes bullies say mean things about someone else. Bullies also spread rumors that are not true. Bullies write mean things about someone on the Internet, too.
We need to work together to stop bullies! Everyone should feel safe about going to school. We cannot ignore bullies anymore! Together we can stop bullying!
If you are being bullied or see someone being bullied here are some things you can do:
- Talk to an adult, like a teacher. Teachers are at school to keep you safe.
- Tell your mom or dad.
- If your friend is a bully ask them to stop.
- Make friends with people who are different.
Meon Lights It Up!
by Ryan Puffer, Hollinger Elementary
I borrowed a new play set called “Meon Cars 2 Interactive Animation Studio” from the Bear Essential News. My cousin Jaylen and brother Branden took the animation studio for a spin. After a while, I got their feedback on the toy.
It lights up in a way that no other toy has before. I personally would recommend it because it’s an explosion of colors and creativity. It would be a mind-blower for kids, plus it’s affordable, too. It’d be the perfect toy for Christmas.
Jaylen feels this toy should be for people 5 and older because it has a lot of tiny pieces and has electrical wires. He adds Meon Cars 2 should be fun for everyone over 5. His favorite part is that it lights up. He also likes that you can customize it and draw a picture and make it light up.
Branden likes everything about it and says that it’d be awesome for kids 5 and up. I predict that “Meon Cars 2 Interactive Animation Studio” will be fun for the entire family, especially the kids.
Join a Swim Team!
by Reporter Tori Parks, Homeschool
Are you tired of looking for a good spring/summer activity? Look no further!
If you love to swim and you’re 4 to 18 years old, you should join a swim team! You can join even if you don’t know how to swim—coaches will teach you!
Swim team starts at the beginning of April and ends around the second week of July. Every weekday between these dates, you could exercise while having fun! It’s a blast!
Every Tuesday and Thursday in June and July, there are swim meets where you race against people from your own team and people from different teams in your age group.
You also can make lots of friends! And if that isn’t fun enough, you get colorful ribbons after every swim meet!
You can go to www.swimsaaa.org to see the different swim teams and check out which team you’d like to join!