Mary Poppins Is Magical!
by Reporter Sophia Alexander, Esperero Middle School
Is your family looking for something fun to do? Well,Tucson is very fortunate to have many theater companies and plays coming around!
Not too long ago, Tucsonans witnessed the wonders of the Broadway Musical “Mary Poppins.” It’s an amazing story about two children, Michael and Jane Banks. No nanny seems to be a match for these spoiled brats, but that ends when a mysterious lady comes to the household to fill the position of nanny.
In the first scene, Mary is putting Michael and Jane to bed as she sings “Absolutely Perfect,” where she shares that she’s no ordinary nanny, but a perfect lady who can deal with pests such as these two children. She makes the kids put the room away, and they do not hesitate. In the beginning of the story, the children despise her. Toward the end of the musical, they don't want to let her go!
The next day they go for a walk in the park, which starts out gray and cold. The audience feels the coldness, too. But soon the kids have nothing to complain about because the park begins magically changing. Bright flowers tower over the characters’ heads, the sky turns blue, and a huge yellow sun warms up everything. Michael and Jane start to warm up to Mary, too.
In the song “Feed the Birds” an old lady, wearing old rugged clothing, sells birdseed. I really enjoyed the courtyard set with its tall pillars and dark sky.
Michael instantly gets birdseed with his money while Jane thinks it's a silly waste of money.
The last skit that I want to tell you about is when Mrs. Banks prepares for a fancy party. While the cooks are working away in the kitchen, the kids come in and make a disaster in the living room. Mrs. Banks walks in on the horrible mess and runs out hoping it’s just an illusion! But Mary makes the children clean it up. When Mrs. Banks comes back and sees the spotless room, she asks how it was possible. Mary says, “I do not explain anything, but it is done!”
In every skit the actors do a “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious job in their acting and singing!
My favorite set was the Banks house. The play started with their home being a part of London’s bustling street with all the city chaos going on. Slowly, things cleared up and the Banks house moves forward and opens up like a doll house towards the audience! There were real stairs and even a cupboard.
What a terrific play for everyone!
National History Day Is a Fun Challenge
by Reporter Delaney Dibble, Centennial Elementary
Adviser: Mary DeStefano
Students throughout Arizona are heading to the University of Maryland this June for the National History Day competition. This year-long program is for students in grades 6 through 12. Flowing Wells students held a parade and gave their presentations to their family and friends back in March. This was a way to thank family, friends and the generous people in Tucson who have supported their hard work.
Examples of projects created by students in the Flowing Wells District are:
- Jacob Dibble received a first place in individual performances for his project on McCarthyism.
- Amaranta Petty’s project is a 10-minute performance on Dorothea Dix and her reforms for the treatment and housing of people with mental illness.
- Ysie Leon, Adrianna Sanchez and Emma Nesbitt placed second in group performances for their performance on Feminism in the 1960s and ’70s.
- Matthew Thomas placed third at state for his exhibit on Henry Ford’s Model T and the Assembly Line.
Flowing Wells Students have been busy holding several fundraisers to earn money for their trip. They’ve served lunches, held yard sales and sold baked goods. Businessman Jim Click gave the group a donation toward their trip and so did a local Optimist Club.
In order to compete in NHD, students choose a topic based on the theme. This year’s theme is Revolution, Reaction, Reform. Then students spend several months researching and reading on their topic. Next they prepare a project.
There are three stages to this competition.
First are regional competitions held in late February or early March. Next is state competition held in late April. This year it was held at Grand Canyon University. National competition is held in June at the University of Maryland. Not every student gets to go to Nationals. Only the top two from each category get to advance to nationals.
This competition is based on hard work, dedication and research. There are different ways students can compete. The five different forms are papers, performances, websites, documentaries or exhibits.
It’s an honor to go to Nationals. Not everyone wins, but it’s a great experience. Sixth-graders all the way through 12th-graders can compete. The competition gives students a feeling of confidence and pride. The National History Day competition develops skills in writing, performance and research. Arizona organizers hope to challenge some new competitors next year as well as returning participants.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
by Reporter Mariella Chavez
Batter up! It’s time to play ball! There are so many good reasons to play Little League Baseball.
“Little League Baseball is a very good thing because it keeps parents off the streets,” said Yogi Berra, the well-known Hall of Fame player. The most important reason to play is because it’s truly enjoyable.
Little League is for anyone who wants to play ball. Girl or boy, 4 to 14, it doesn’t matter; what matters is that you want to play and you have the courage to try.
Little League starts with Tee Ball for kids 4–5 and goes up with different divisions until you get to Majors, Juniors and Seniors. You can even be in Big Leagues until you’re 18. For girls’ softball, you start at ages 4-7 for Coach Pitch. The you have Minors, Majors, Juniors and Seniors for girls up to 16.
In Arizona Little League District 5, which covers the Tucson area, there are 13 member leagues. You register for the Little League member district in which you live.
The Little League season starts in March and ends in late May. The winners of the District 5 tournament can go to the State and Regional Tournaments, and maybe even to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
For more information about Little League programs you can visit the website:
UofA Women’s Basketball Team
by Reporter Allyson Teslow, Kellond Elementary
The UofA women’s basketball team is a loving, great and a hard working team, and I got to interview guard Davellyn Whyte from the team!
“The easiest thing about basketball is to have fun. The hardest thing about basketball is the practicing and the running,” Whyte shares.
She told me that they all work great together, and Head Coach Niya Butts is a nice and fun coach. During basketball season, the team practices Monday through Saturday. They practice three hours a day and then lift weights sometimes. Some of the players even live together. You should go out and get some tickets to their games next season. Don’t forget to look out for Davellyn (jersey number 0). GO WILDCATS!
Camping on Mt. Lemmon
by Ariel Cheng, Lineweaver Elementary
Are you doing anything this summer? If you’re not then you should try to go camping. But first you have to be prepared. You will need food that is easy to make and supplies for the tent. You should always bring sunscreen, a flashlight, and bug spray. There are a lot of activities at Mt. Lemmon. You can go hiking, fishing, cooking, and bird watching; you can also bring a poker set. Two of the most popular activities are fishing and hiking. If you are planning to go fishing make sure you bring bait. The bait called Power Bait Marshmallow White works very well. You can catch more than fish. You can catch crayfishes, too. When you do all those things you can take pictures for safe keeping .When it is almost night you can stay at Mt. Lemmon in your tent. When you are leaving be sure that you packed up everything. When you get home make sure you put your pictures in a safe place for memories. If you really like this trip you should go there to do it again, so go out into the nature and have fun.
by Reporter Ashley Ungaro, Dos Rios Elementary School
“Parents”, a mother and a father. That’s according to the Scholastic Children’s Dictionary. Parents Day is celebrated in July. President Clinton signed into law the resolution, adopted by the US Congress in 1994. This day was established to recognize, uplift and support the role of parents in the rearing of children. Parent’s Day is a popular time for people to send cards, gifts, including flowers, cakes and food baskets. What will you do to honor your parents this year? Make your plans now for July 22nd this year!
Ring of Fire
by Reporter Odalys E. Catalan, Arizona Virtual Academy
A Solar eclipse took place on May 20. It was amazing, and truly impressive.
The Flandrau Planetarium on the UofA campus was holding an event where many scientists from all over the state came with special telescopes. Over 200 people came to see the jaw-dropping spectacle. Since people shouldn’t look at the sun, the planetarium sold special 3-D-like glasses so you can view the sun directly. People who didn’t know that they were selling the glasses or those who didn’t want to buy them, brought their own items. A young boy used a welder’s helmet, and it worked perfectly. Polite people who saw you without the special glasses would loan them to you, and they would pass them around merely out of kindness.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes the sun, thus completely or incompletely obscuring the sun from a person on Earth. An annular eclipse happens when the moons diameter is smaller then the sun causing the sun to look like a ring, blocking most of the sunlight. This also is called “Ring of Fire.” Some of the phase was visible in China, north of Taiwan and Southern Japan, and a little sunset on May 20 from the western part of the United States, Taipei, Tokyo, and Gaungzhou were on the central path. This eclipse was the first in the 21st century in the United States. This has been the first solar eclipse in about 8 years.
Whether you are an amateur scientist observer, or a crazy science nut, solar and lunar eclipses are spectacular sightings. If you have any questions, visit the Flandrau Planetarium, which is on campus at 1601 N. Cherry Ave. You may also visit their website: www.flandrau.com.
Fascinating Fourth Facts!
by Reporter Levi Fallavollita, Old Vail Middle School
Today the Fourth of July is celebrated with parades, picnics, baseball games and fireworks displays.
Most people know America celebrates the holiday because it’s the day America declared its independence from England, so the Fourth of July is also called Independence Day. There are all sorts of interesting Fourth of July facts!
Independence Day exists because English colonists were angry with Great Britain over laws that limited their freedom and burdened them with heavy taxes. Colonists believed since they were not in England, they should not have to live under England’s laws and taxes. There is a famous quote “no taxation without representation” meaning since there is no one in England representing the colonists, then they should be free from taxation.
The colonists sent complaints to King George III but he ignored them, so rebellion seemed the only option. Thomas Jefferson who practiced law wrote the declaration which took him about three weeks to complete. Many others including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin made some revisions to the document and 56 members of the Continental Congress signed it. Signing this document was considered treason, so each of these men put their lives in danger for freedom.
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. He signed in large handwriting in the center of the document. It’s said that the reason he signed it so large was so King George could read it without his glasses!
Some interesting facts are that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are the only signers to serve as president of the United States, and both died on July 4, 1826, the 50 year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. Another Founding Father and former president, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831. So far only one president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on the Fourth of July (1872).
Avengers Rule at Box Office
by Reporter Odalys E. Catalan, Arizona Virtual Academy
I have recently seen The Avengers on opening weekend. When I walked into the theater, most of the seats where full, and they sold out for other times.
Its release was very big for people all over the world. It was a ground-breaking, and most definitely world-record breaking, Marvel movie. The movie broke a world record just over one single weekend! It now holds the #1 record for earnings: over $200,000,000 came pouring in that weekend.
In about four years, all superheroes have had their own movie to tell their history and/or story. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America and Thor. The epilogue of these movie teams Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor and even Black Widow and Hawkeye. What is a superhero comic without a villain? Of course, there’s a villain: Loki, Thor’s foster brother.
The movie was jam-packed with action. It also has a dab of humor. It had me (and other spectators) laughing our hearts out at some moments. I was always jumping to some scenes when I thought it was really the end for them. It had action, humor, a bit of romance and some depressing scenes. There were some pretty tense parts where I was at the edge of my seat thinking “OH MY GOSH!!!”
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow really played her role well. Like in the comics, she was smooth, sly and definitely striking. She really pulled her character off, and definitely lived up to her character’s name: Black Widow. She was a genius in the movie. She really knew who she was in the movie.
Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark (or Iron Man) had quite a bit of attitude. He definitely played his role well. Iron Man is a fan favorite because of how he flies.
Visit Colossal Cave Mtn. Park!
by Reporter Ashling Whelan, Satori School
My grandparents, mom, brother and I recently took a trip to Colossal Cave Mountain Park. We arrived there early, 30 minutes before the tour was to begin, so we had plenty of time to explore the gift shop and the shaded area outside.
After purchasing our tickets, my brother and I got to crush pennies in the
machine there. Then we went outside to look through the view-finders at the
spectacular view of the valley. After stepping outside the gift shop, a man who
worked there asked us, “Hey, do you want to see a tarantula?”
Intrigued, we walked over to where the man was standing beside a stone wall,
and there it was! The tarantula was hiding from the sun in a crevice in the
rough-hewn stone wall. Then it was time for the tour!
Our tour was led by a woman who had worked at Colossal Cave for five years. She was very nice and she did her best to answer all of our questions. The cave itself is very cool—literally! It’s always 70°F.
Our tour guide led us along the winding path telling us the names of certain rocks or minerals and their history. She also gave us facts about the
cave. Here are a few: Colossal Cave was first used by the Hohokam and other Native Americans for storage, shelter and sometimes as a shrine. The first tours were given by Solomon Lick, who discovered the entrance to the cave while looking for stray cows. The path and some of the lighting was built in the ’30s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). No animals live in the cave, but transversial animals, such as bats, sometimes stop to rest.
During our tour we went through many rooms, such as the Drapery Room, the
Fault Room and the Altar Room. We passed many interesting things, such as the Bottomless Pit which is seven stories deep, the Sink Hole and the Silent
Waterfall. We had to duck to avoid hitting our heads on “Fang.” We saw five bats, too! All in all, it was a very good tour that’s great for a family trip on a hot day.
After our cave experience, we drove to the La Posta Quemada Ranch. At the ranch there are horses you can ride, a butterfly garden, a tortoise exhibit, the CCC museum and The Sluice.
The Sluice is a working model of a typical gold sluice that prospectors used to try and strike it rich. Instead of going down to the nearest river and digging up dirt to try to find gold, all we had to do was walk into the gift shop and buy a bag!
The gift shop had four types of bags: gemstones, rubies and emeralds,
fossils, and petrified wood. The bags come with a small plastic baggie to hold
what you find, and an identification card to help you discover what you get.
We bought some bags and headed outside to the Sluice. The Sluice was a
big wooden chute that had water pumped into it continuously so that you were
able to wash all the dirt and rocks away from whatever was in the bag that you
bought. We ended up with a lot of gemstones.