Newsletter Team

Sponsor: Michelle Medlin, Newspaper
                Karen Brock, Production Team
8th Grade Team: 
8th Grade Team:
Madison Champagne, Editor
Madison Miller, Co-Editor
Lydia Smith - Reporter
Abby Lear, Reporter
7th Grade Team:
Davis Tucker, Reporter
Harrison Outlaw, Reporter
Kinsey Mangum, Reporter
 The News Team is now operating a school supply store. Members of the News Team will be outside of Mrs. Medlin's door in the mornings after breakfast. Pencils start at .10, mechanical pencils start at .50. We also have notebook paper and lead for the mechanical pencils. 
Christmas Around the World
Madison Champagne- Editor

Christmas is celebrated all around the world. Everyone has their very own traditions though. Some American traditions include putting up and decorating a tree, hanging lights, and getting ready for Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, or as you might better now him, Santa Clause. Have you ever wondered what others do? Well I think it is about time you learned.


Some of the Chinese put up trees and decorate them with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. They call these “ Trees of Light. ” They also use the lanterns to decorate their houses along with the muslin stockings that the children hang. The Chinese also have their own version of Santa Clause. They call him Dun Che Lao Ren ( dwyn - chuh- lau - run ), which means “ Christmas Old Man.” Although Christmas is bigger here, the Chinese New Year is their big holiday. Now called the “ Spring Festival ” is when children get new clothes, eat luxury foods, watch firecracker shows, and get new toys.


In Italy, Christmas is called Novena. The season starts eight days before and lasts for three weeks. Children go around to sing and recite poems. In the week before Christmas they do this dressed as shepherds and playing pipes to earn money for presents. They have a celebratory feast that usually features a light Milanese called panetoni. At twilight candles are lighted around the family Presipio, prayers are said, and children recite poetry. Noon on Christmas is when the pope gives his blessing to the crowds in the Vatican square but, the children have to wait until January sixth to open presents. This day is called Epiphany. The tale is that an ugly, but kind, witch named Befana rides on a broomstick delivering presents. She missed the star over Jesus and leaves presents at all houses with children in case he is there. Only thing is, she brings only coal to the bad kids. Does this sound at all familiar?


One of our eighth grade English teachers is Mr. Harriot. He may be familiar with some of these traditions because he is Jamaican. Jamaican traditions include dancers. Women would be called “ set-girls,” and dance to fifes, gourd rattles, tambourines, and triangles. The men were called “ koo-koo boys,” they wore masks and headdresses. The most colorful dancer was the “ John Canoe,” he wore a wig, mask, and a military jacket. He had to be the most skilled dancer because he had to wear a pasteboard houseboat on his head, which was usually pretty big in size.


Traditions are found all around the world. They are there for every holiday and celebration. Every country, state, city, and family has their own traditions. Some are as simple as hanging a stocking, others are complex as a play involving everyone in the city as a character. So next time you are celebrating a holiday or following a tradition, think about those all around the world.



How to Successfully make it through 8th grade
Madison Miller - Assistant Editor

 We are getting further into the school year right now. It is almost the middle of the year. For 8th graders this might be your hardest year. Here are some tips to successfully get through the school year. The tips are, to have good behavior, good grades, and to work hard.

               The first tip is to have good behavior. If you have good behavior it will make it very easy for you to get through the day. It is hard to get through the day when you are constantly getting in trouble. The teachers and administration are not going to deal with you like they did in 6th and 7th grade. Thy expect a lot out of you when you get to 8th grade.

                    The second tip is to get good grades. Good grades can help you a lot when you are in middle school. It gets very challenging at this grade level. So if you can get good grades in 8th grade it is a possibility that you will continue to get them in high school. They are preparing you for a greater challenge in high school.

                        The third and last thing is to work hard. Working hard can help you with anything. If you are lazy and just slack off all of the time it will be hard for you to cooperate next year. Also you can’t slack off next year or you will have horrible grades. Also just remember hard work pays off.

                           I hope you are having a great 8th grade year so far. Also hopefully you can get through successfully. We are preparing for high school this year so it is higher standards. If you take these tips hopefully you will be able to make it through the year.

Written by: Abby Lear, 8th Grade Reporter
Why College Matters


Today, college is a controversial topic. Some people say that a college degree is not necessary but here are some things that may change your mind if you are one of those people. Getting a degree can give you better career opportunities, job security and satisfaction, along with the possibility of reaching your goals.

            Getting a college degree is the best way to have a better career in today’s society. Job options are being given to people who have more than a high school diploma. It can give you better opportunities of getting promotions or maybe even better job than one would have without a degree.

            A better job also goes along with job security and satisfaction. Data shows that college graduates are less vulnerable to job layoffs. People who suffer the most from job cuts are mostly low level employs who only have a high school diploma. If you have a college degree you would not suffer a long time career layoff.

            Lastly, a college diploma gives you the possibility of reaching your goals. Attending college is a major dedication of time and money, but it is also a payment of success. College will help you realize your goals in the future in general. If you get a good college diploma it gives you the chance to go for the things you want to succeed at.

            In conclusion, these are the reasons why college matters. Be smart and make the decision to have better career opportunities, job security and satisfaction, and the possibility of reaching your goals.


 Staying Safe During the Holiday Season
By: Lydia Smith, 8th Grade Reporter
      In his article you will read about keys to staying safe during the holiday season, so plug in your brain like we plug in a Christmas tree and stay safe.
     One safety hazard is holiday theft. Holiday theft usually starts at the end of November and rages through the beginning of the New Year. So lock your cars, trucks, houses, and safes. Also, if you have valuables, make sure they are not in sight. Taking pictures and posting them on social media if you got money, expensive gifts, or a gift someone wanted but didn't get could lead them to possibly steal it. One more little thing, if you got a new television, x-box, or even a box from Amazon can expose what your family got and lead to a holiday thief seeing it at the end of your driveway and trying to break down the boxes. So remind your parents to lock up, don't put stuff on social media, and don't leave things with names outside.
     Fire hazards happen from two main things, Christmas trees and cooking. Christmas tree fires can be very devastating for what is normally bringing such joy to so many families. Some have live Christmas trees and if you do make sure it has water everyday, also make sure there are no breaks or exposed wires in your lights. Cooking hazards are also big around this time of the year too, so be carful when cooking. If you plan on having food like fried turkey, cook it outside because a fried house is something no one wants on the menu.
     Some people like to travel for the holidays, and that is fun but make sure you have someone you trust looking after your house. To make sure nobody gets in your house, don't post anything about it until you get home. If you plan on receiving something in the mail to your house from an online store, make sure you request a signature confirmation or get a trusted friend or neighbor to hold it for you until you got home from vacation.
     When you are not home, leaving the lights on is key to not having some person break into your house and at night make sure you have a light on outside before you go to bed to make it look like someone is home. Also, if you plan to put up lights, make sure you don't plug it up in the garage because a thief might try and come in that way because he sees the cord under the garage door. Also, don't plug up lights through an extension cord out of a window because then the window is not shut or locked, so he could push it up.
     In conclusion, I hope you learned ways on how to be safe during the holiday season. Remember safety is very important. Happy holidays to everyone!
Real Vs. Artificial Christmas Trees
Harrison Outlaw, 7th Grade Reporter
 Some people prefer Christmas trees and some prefer artificial trees. Along with those preferences are clear lights verses colorful lights, store bought verses homemade ornaments.  But we all love the holiday cheer in the air.
     Do you prefer a live tree or an artificial one?  People who prefer live trees like the scent of the tree, and enjoy the family memory of going to pick out the tree.  The cons of a live tree is a chance that it could catch fire if not watered properly, as well as people who suffer with allergies.  An artificial tree has many greats about them, they are reusable, you can use the year after year making that cost effective. People with allergies will not have to worry about the scent.  A con would be some trees do look fake and not real.
     There are some people that use white lights and some that use colored lights on their trees.  White lights look classic and calming.  All different color of ornaments and decoration will match white lights.  Colored lights are good too, they give a happy feeling but no so much a classic look.
     Do you decorate your Christmas tree with homemade or store bought ornaments?  the great thing about homemade ornaments is that they have a meaning to them but not much a classy look.  Store bought ornaments may give your tree a classy look but may not have the meaning or sentiment of homemade ornaments.
     For all of the people who love Christmas, rather it be a live or artificial tree, white or colored lights, homemade or store bought ornaments/decorations, it's nice to have Christmas Spirit.
 Fall Holidays
By: Davis Tucker, 7th Grade Reporter 

          Fall is a time for fun, family, and togetherness. The leaves change colors, children go to the pumpkin patch, and mothers and grandmothers make some of the most delicious food that you have ever tasted. The holiday season brings wonderful traditions and family gatherings.

          Halloween- Halloween is every year on October 31st. The origins of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtics when they celebrated the harvest and the end of summer. They believed that winter was an evil spirit that brought cold and despair. The Celtics believed that on October 31st, the ghosts of the dead would come and cause trouble such as damaging crops. Later, in 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV declared November 1st to be All Saints Day and October 31st became All Hallows Eve which was later shortened to Halloween. The celebration of Halloween eventually came to America and Americans started their own customs such as dressing up, bobbing for apples, and trick-or-treating. Those traditions live on today.

          Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving started in the 17th century in 1620 when a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England carrying 102 passengers. Most of the passengers were pilgrims who left religious persecution in England. They wanted to find a new life in America, so they could worship freely. Other passengers on the ship were sailors and crew who helped navigate the Mayflower. The journey was long and treacherous as they all sailed across the Atlantic. For 66 days the pilgrims battled storms, sickness, and damage to the Mayflower that may have sent then back to England. Finally, the pilgrims made it to America on the tip of Cape Cod Massachusetts, where they made a settlement called Plymouth. The first winter in Plymouth was hard on the pilgrims. Many people were getting sick and dying, food was scarce, and shelter was not complete and livable. The next spring, only half of the original population on the Mayflower were left. The ones who did make it tried to grow the little settlement that they started the previous fall. Then one day, the pilgrims were visited by a Native American named Squanto. Squanto was very friendly and taught the pilgrims how to plant corn, catch fish, and grow pumpkins. That fall, the pilgrims had a bountiful harvest full of food. The pilgrims were very thankful for Squanto’s help and they invited him and his tribe to a great feast. The pilgrims and Native Americans came together and ate for 3 days with food leftover afterward. The first Thanksgiving is a great symbol of how to come together in peace and flourish and thrive. Thanksgiving today is also a time of togetherness where family and friends enjoy a great meal like the one 200 years ago.

          Fall holidays are a wonderful time of tradition, family, friends, and fellowship.

The History of Thanksgiving
Kinsey Mangum, Reporter
     Thanksgiving is the time of the year when families come together, eat a meal, and enjoy spending time with each other.
     Thanksgiving is on the third Thursday in November.  The first ever Thanksgiving was in 1621. It was then that the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared a harvest feast.
     In 1620, a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England carrying a little over one hundred passengers.  They sought out a new home where they could have religious freedom.  After a long trip that lasted sixty-six days, they found land near Cape Cod.  One month later, they crossed the Massachusetts Bay and they began building their town.
     During the first winter, many people died due to exposure and diseases.  Half of the Mayflower's passengers lived until the Spring.  When they moved ashore they received a surprising greeting from an Abenaki Native American who spoke English.  A few days later, he ventured with Squanto who was a part of the Pawtuxet tribe.  
     Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to use land for corn, get sap from maple trees, catch fish, and which plants were poisonous. Squanto also helped form an alliance with the Wampanoag Tribe.  In November 1621, the governor organized a feast and invited their Native American allies.  It lasted for three days.
     The Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving feast in 1623.  During the American Revolution the Continental Congress assigned one of more days of Thanksgiving a year.  In 1789, George Washington assigned the first Thanksgiving celebration by the national government of the United States.  In 1817, New York was the one of the first states to adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday.  Abraham Lincoln finally accepted the request in 1863 and he scheduled Thanksgiving for the fourth Thursday in November.  In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week to try to encourage retail sales during the Great Depression. In 1941, the President signed a bill making Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. 
     In conclusion, Thanksgiving is a historic holiday celebrated for the peace between Pilgrims and Native Americans.