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16 SPRING 20

Get The INSIDE

SCOOP ON

MISS Mulatto

CAN

MINECRAFT

MAKE YOU

SMARTER?

WHY YOU

SHOULD POST

E

WHAT YOU

E

ALEX HENDERSON & AUSTIN FRYBERGER

WATCH

F R

INSIDE MEET:


Are You A

TRUESTAR?

REAL TEENS

REAL ISSUES STYLE TRENDS

CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS

HEALTH,

NEWS, SPORTS

AND MORE! CHECK OUT WWW.TRUESTARIS.COM


CONTENTS EXPOSE’

CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER

6: REJECTED: WATCH WHAT YOU POST! IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 7: NEGLECTING AMERICAN HISTORY BY ABIGAIL F. DIZON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 8: WHY DO YOU SAG? DARIUS MALONEY, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 9: WHAT’S UP WITH SCHOOL LUNCHES? BY CLAIRE LYONS, DISNEY II

30: WORD OF THE DAY BY SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY 31: DRAGON HUNTERS BY NIGEL GRANT, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 32: THE LOST ART BY NOVOTNA TALEVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​ 33: THE STORM BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL

TALKIN’ NERDY

34: WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH NATURAL HAIR? BY YAHZURI ZEBULUN, KENWOOD ACADEMY 35: WEAVE. WHAT’S THE POINT? BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

10: IS FAN FICTION LITERATURE BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 11: TRANSITIONING TO HIGH SCHOOL BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM 12: CAN MINECRAFT MAKE YOU SMARTER BY ADRIANA CRUZ, CHASE ELEMENTARY 13: FALLOUT 4 REVIEW BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

4EVER YOUNG

14: YOU ARE POWERFUL BY BLAKE CARNES, WHITNEY YOUNG 15: HOW TO LAND A DATE FOR THE SPRING DANCE BY JAMELYA SIMMONS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 16: OUR SOCIETY AND THE EFFECT IT HAS ON TEENS BY JOHN IVY III, LEARN CHARTER SCHOOL 17: EVERYONE WANTS A HOVERBOARD BY DYLAN HUNTER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

HOT OFF THE PRESS

18: TRUE STAR TALKS TO AUSTIN FRYBERGER BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​ 19: ALEX HENDERSON: THE ONE TO WATCH BY​MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​​ 20: INSIDE WITH MISS MULATTO BY​IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY​ 22: YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY IS BACK! BY JORDAN BEASLEY, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​

FASHION

23: REAL TEENS 24: SPRING FASHION

KEEPIN’ SCORE

28: RISK OF HIGH CONTACT SPORTS BY YAHZURI ZEBULUN, KENWOOD ACADEMY 29: CURRY OR WESTBROOK? BY ALEXANDER SHAW, KENWOOD ACADEMY

DEEPER THAN SKIN

SCHOOL SPIRIT

36: WHAT IS PBL? BY ABIGAIL F. DIZON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 37: KENWOOD CANTER CAMPUS VENDING MACHINES BY SAGE BUTLER, KENWOOD ACADEMY 38: GIVE BACK RECESS BY ANTHONY JORDAN, DISNEY II MAGNET PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR JR. MAGAZINE CONTACT US: LETTERS TO TRUE STAR JR. 1130 SOUTH WABASH, SUITE 302 CHICAGO, IL 60605-2717 EMAIL: TRUESTARJR@TRUESTARMAGAZINE.COM

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS DEANNA MCLEARY & J. NA-TAE’ THOMPSON MANAGING EDITOR MARTI PARHAM EDITORIAL INSTRUCTOR NYKEYA WOODS WEB CONTENT & MARKETING MANAGER JOI MITCHELL WEB CONTENT ASSISTANT HENRY COLLINS ART DIRECTION DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION ANGEL D’AMICO-BAUER PROMOTIONS MANAGER DESHAUN ADAMS MARKETING ASSISTANT DANEISHA GOODMAN

TRUESTARIS.COM TO DONATE TO TRUE STAR FOUNDATION, VISIT TRUESTARFOUNDATION.ORG


CONTRIBUTORS Chase

From the top and left to right: Andy Jimenez, Jaylla Braggs, Sebastian Cruz Alejandro Gaytan, Alejandro Sandoval, Tatiana Villasenor Joana Ruiz, Ingrid Mendez Dante Matias, Cheyenne Lugo, Adriana Cruz, Naydelene Matias Jonathan Guzman, Vereneice Campos, Mariah Quen Not pictured: Anthony Ramirez, Sierra Ramirez, Keilah Barrett, Edgar Venegas

​D isney From the top and left to right: ​Frances Schnepff Deven Ward Claire Lyons Anthony Jordan


Lindblom

From the top and left to right: ​Makayla Idelburg, Rhaniya Dawson, Novotna Talavera Shaniya Dawson LaDora Thomas, Jordan Beasley Nia Howard Fatimah Skeets, Jamelya Simmons, Monet-Aaliyah Harkins Not pictured: Magaly Muro, Abigail F. Dizion, Darius Maloney​

Kenwood From left to right: Anaya Frazier Yahzuri Zebulun Sage Butler Dylan Hunter Imani Joseph Brianna Ringo Alexander Shaw Not pictured: Lauren Weaver, Aldo Brown

Alisha Butler

Nigel L. Grant

Blake Carnes

John Ivy III

Kellar Middle School

Kellar Middle School

Whitney Young Magnet School

Learn Charter School


EXPOSE’

: D E T REJEC

Watch What YOU POST!

BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

N

othing is private on the Internet. You could have a 4.0 in high school and still not get into your dream college all because of an Instagram post. When you direct message, tweet or post something on social media it never goes away. You could delete it or your account but it’s there in cyberspace forever. Colleges are now checking future student’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, because your social media behavior can give insight to colleges on the type of person you are. Ivy league colleges will not want a person if they post inappropriate things on the Internet. All it takes is a simple Google search to pull up your social media accounts. If a person is being rude and ignorant on social media someone will find out. “According to a 2015 Kaplan Test Prep survey, 40 percent of college admissions officers browse social media profiles to learn more about admissions candidates,” the Kaplan site reports. The number of admissions officers checking Facebook, Instagram or Twitter has quadruped. 6 TRUE STAR JR.

“...40 PERCENT OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICERS BROWSE SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ADMISSIONS CANDIDATES,”

“The growth of social media hasn’t made the college admissions process a whole new ballgame, but it’s definitely changed the rules,” said Yariv Alpher, executive director of research at Kaplan Test Prep. “What you post online can and may be used in your favor or against you, so it’s important to think about what you share. When in doubt, the best strategy may be to keep it to yourself.” In 2013 the New York Times published an article about a young woman rejected from Bowdoin College in Maine because she was caught posting rude tweets about her fellow student. Scott Meiklejohn, the dean of administration at Bowdoin said, “We would have wondered about the judgment of someone who spends their time on their mobile phone and makes such awful remarks.” Having a good GPA is just one element into getting into your dream college. You must monitor how you interact on your social media accounts. Snooping on students’ social media accounts has gone from being unheard of to a part of normal business practices. Remember, bad social media behavior can lead to college rejection.


Neglecting

American HISTORY

BY ABIGAIL F. DIZON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

W

hen students are in a social science class, the history about slavery and racism will most likely be mentioned. It is a common lesson taught to students, but what about other races? Sure, you hear about Latinos or Asians now and then in class, but it isn’t as stressed as the history of Caucasians and African-Americans. Though it is important too, learning about other kinds of people is just as important. Victoria Pansangahan, 13, said, “I didn’t know there was a Chinese Exclusion Act until somebody told me about it. But now that I know, I think that it was unnecessary and mean.” Along with students like Pansangahan, there are even Chinese students who didn’t know about this themselves. While every African-American and Caucasian knows about the period of slavery, no one knew about the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.

Journalist Lisa Wade for Ms. Blog stated, “U.S. women of color have historically been the victims of forced sterilization.” Wade continues to explain how most of the people forced to be sterilized were Latinos and Native Americans. As school goes on, more students are finding out about more things they never knew when it comes to dealing with other races. “I think that it’s crazy,” said Joshua Johnson, 14. “I feel like no matter what the reason is for forcing these women, it doesn’t justify taking women’s rights to not be sterile if they don’t want to be.” The history of people with different appearances, races, ethnicities, and nationalities all equally deserve to be recognized, not only to their own people, but also to all people. TRUE STAR JR. 7


Why Do Your

PANTS SAG? BELTS WERE NOT ALLOWED IN JAILS (FOR OBVIOUS REASONS) AND BECAUSE OF CHEAP, GENERIC PANTS WHICH WERE TOO

BY DARIUS MALONEY, LINDBLOM MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY

H

ave you ever walked down the street and saw a man’s posterior? Although most people would agree that it is nasty, it became very popular during the 1990s by hip-hop artists. In December, four Tennessee teens were charged with indecent exposure and two arrested and jailed for 48 hours because their pants sagged, according to a Huffington Post report. Though modern rumors claim that sagging started in jails in order for inmates to show their fellow mates their sexual availability, this is far from the truth. The true origin of this popular phenomenon is actually unknown, however, most of its falsified history seems to start in prison. Rather than sagging to show sexual availability, some say it was demonstrated due to the fact that belts were not allowed in jails (for obvious reasons) and because of cheap, generic pants which were too large, so men had to accommodate. “Over time it became a gang signal, and the color of the boxers that were showing indicated which gang the guy belonged to,” according to the Experience Project. Though it may seem more current, sagging has 8 TRUE STAR JR.

LARGE...MEN HAD TO ACCOMMODATE.

been around since the 1940s yet still bears the same offensive appearance, according to The Cladwell Guide. This ignorant action was so disrespectful that one Florida council passed a law in 2014 that prohibits sagging on city-owned property. The law ensures violators will pay a pricey fine of $500 or face six months in jail. Several other states decided to tackle this sagging pants issue. Even some of those who sag know how it is seen by others. ”I understand that sagging is nasty, but I can’t help it,” Joshua Thomas, 14, said. “Sometimes I just don’t have a belt.” While some don’t have belts, others know the image they are projecting. “I know that it represents gangs and homosexuality, but I think it’s fine,” Kwinton Berry, 14, said. The sagging phenomenon won’t suddenly disappear anytime soon. So in the meantime, we all just have to bear the sight of teenagers’ Underoos and wait it out.


What’s Up With

School Lunches? Italy

America BY CLAIRE LYONS, DISNEY II MAGNET

L

et’s face it, school lunches stink! They are made at a company called Aramark, which provides prisons, hospitals and stadium meals, too. Each day, the schools serve more than 77,000 school breakfasts and 280,000 school lunches, and Aramark is making $14 billion on disgusting food. Disney II students are disappointed with the lunches served. Seventh grader Daniel Olmo, 13, says, “The apples are brown. There is no variety. And once I found a hair in the pizza.” Sylvia Ebeid, also 13, agreed with Olmo. She said the food is bland and unappetizing. “The chocolate milk and fruit cups are always frozen with little ice pieces floating around in them,” says Ebeid. If growing teenagers, don’t get the right amount of nutrition in their lunches, then students cannot focus correctly on our learning. The Center for Disease Control says, “Schools should ensure that only nutritious and appealing foods and beverages are provided in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars, school stores, and other venues that offer food and beverages to students.”

Japan Last winter Roosevelt High School students were fed up with food from Aramark. They created the website “The School Lunch Project: Culinary Denial” to talk about the food and they even boycotted by bringing their own lunches. “The purpose of the boycott is to get Aramark to improve the food it serves students. For every lunch they do not serve, they do not get paid. This will put pressure on them to improve the food quality, options and portions,” the site stated. “The food has no taste. The texture is dry, biscuits are very dry and impossible to chew,” the site went on to say about the food. “The fruits and vegetables they serve us are not very fresh and some are rotten.” School lunches served in other parts of the world, such as Italy, are far healthier than what is being served here in the USA. Seems as though we need to borrow some of their recipes. TRUE STAR JR. 9


TALKING NERDY

Is Fan Fiction

LITERATURE? BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

A

piece of literature can be defined as an artistic written work of imagination worthy of being remembered. Fan fiction can be defined as a piece of fiction written by a fan about an already developed world or character of a TV series, movie or novel. The question is, can fan fiction be defined as literature? Depending on who you ask, the answer is yes and no. The author of the fan fiction has created and written a work of imagination. They put the effort into their novel or short story as much as any author. One of the most well-known fan fiction-turned-literature stories is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. The nearly 20-year-old book is famously known as being a Broadway musical. Maguire used the world from the Wizard of Oz and built on the characters, plot, conflict and world. Even though the world is not original in fan fiction, the concept is original. According to popular YouTuber Ariel Bissett, there’s a philosophy that everything is borrowed 10 TRUE STAR JR.

or inspired by something. With that thought, fan fiction can be considered legit literature. However, because the author of the fan fiction did not create the world or characters they are writing and changing, some would argue it is not literature. Some ask, how can an author get rewarded or take credited for another person’s work of imagination? Unfortunately, not all authors have honor and their fan fiction blurs the line of borrowing and plagiarism. It is legal to sell fan fiction. One successful piece of work is After by Anna Todd. The story was originally One Direction fan fiction that was later turned into a novel series. Just like in real life, the book Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, also questioned whether fan fiction is literature. Writers and readers have been debating this question for years. Bissett has mixed feelings on the subject overall. “I’m more leaning towards, that fan fiction is a fun activity and not a legitimate situation side, but I could be very swayed to the other side.”


The Transition

Between Elementary & High School BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

S

eventh grade is a big change from elementary school. The pressure to get good grades may be greater than you’re used to. There’s also much more boy drama, and teachers as well as parents seem to get more and more annoying by the day. Is it too much to handle? Jamiyah Tylon, weighed in on how moving from primary classes has affected her life. “It sucks,” the 13-year-old says. “It’s a bunch of work I’m not used to.” According to psychologytoday.com, kids don’t like school because “their teachers don’t have a full understanding of certain cognitive principles and therefore don’t teach as well as they could. They don’t present material in ways that appeal best to students’ minds.” Schools often don’t provide material, such as texts on high school experiences or insight on the difference between elementary and middle school, leaving kids clueless. When teens finally get into the high school environment, they’re hit with the brutal truth—high school is nothing like elementary school. You can’t slack off and expect not to get punished or in trouble. No one is going to be there to hold you up along the way. You often hear kids complain that school is torture and crazy. Here is an explanation why.

“In other respects, school and prison are the same. In both places you are stripped of your freedom and dignity. You are told exactly what you must do, and you are punished for failing to comply. Actually, in school you must spend more time doing exactly what you are told to do than is true in adult prisons, so in that sense school is worse than prison,” psychologytoday. com reports. To help make your transition from elementary school to high school smoother, take time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the school. This can ensure you get to classes quicker and are less stressed when you arrive. Also, make a good friend so that you have someone to listen to you when you need to vent. TRUE STAR JR. 11


Can Minecraft

Make You SMARTER?

BY ADRIANA CRUZ, CHASE ELEMENTARY

M

inecraft is a game that helps you express your creativity. Purchased in 2014 by Microsoft for $2.5 billion, Minecraft can be played in any kind of technology. It can also be played in your house or outside, but there’s a catch. If you want to play multiplayer you can’t play outside. When can the 5-year-old game be played, you ask? Any time you have free time to play without any distractions, because this game can get really addicting.

you’re not really getting smarter. If you want to be smarter you’ll have to create things like a little village. There are actually two things working in your brain while playing the game:

One reason why kids get smarter playing Minecraft is because they are using their creativity instead of playing violent games like GTA 5 or Call of Duty. In Minecraft, players build something similar to a digital Lego. And what kid doesn’t love Legos? Kids can build anything in the video game like their dream houses, mazes and even water parks! Kids can experience many memories with their friends by playing this game.

It appears Minecraft is also helping teachers. Education Week reported the game is “opening new doors for teaching everything from city planning to 1st graders to physics for high schoolers.”

• You’re challenging your brain to create obstacles. • You are discovering new things that you may not have known.

“It makes people think beyond their stopping point,” said Rolando Arroyo, 13. “Their imagination grows bigger.”

It’s actually good if kids play Minecraft because they can get into the game and play all the time instead of going on Facebook and saying mean comments to people. Anyone can play Minecraft. It’s a world that sets you free from all the things you can’t do. For example, you can’t build a house in real life and blow it up!

Keep in mind, that what you learn actually depends on how you play Minecraft. If you’re just walking around and looking at the view,

A game like this can even help kids with coding. Just think what learning coding from Minecraft can do for you.

12 TRUE STAR JR.


Fallout 4 Pros & Cons

BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

Y

ou may or may not already have the video game Fallout 4. If not, then here is a good pros and cons list that will help you decide whether you should buy it or not. Fallout 4 came out last year and is a post apocalyptic video game set in Boston, MA. The year is 2287, and your character moves throughout the wasteland to find his son that was taken. You encounter three factions which all have different values and different ways to deal with things. These three factions all want you to work with them, but not the others. You face many tough decisions along the way, which changes the way people will look at you.

Pros

• Create your own character • Good storyline • Open world • First or third person point of view • The main character actually speaks

Cons

• Radiation is everywhere • Companions not doing a lot during a fight • Sometimes the dialogue wheel disappears • Glitches • Very high level enemies Thirteen-year-old Jose Ortega said he really likes Fallout 4. He has also played the other Fallout games but likes Fallout 4 the best because he likes the idea of trying to survive. “It’s an investing game because you are scavenging,” said Ortega, who plays the game on PlayStation 4. “There is a story behind the game.” Critics love the game, but think gamers should remember that technology can be a little frustrating. Polygon, a game review site, said Fallout 4 most certainly “has bugs.” The website metacritic.com, also posted about Fallout 4’s technical challenges, saying, “The game isn’t the best it can be. It has glitches here and there. You can decide to buy it if you think the pros outweigh the cons.” TRUE STAR JR. 13


4EVER YOUNG

You Are POWERFUL

BY BLAKE CARNES, WHITNEY YOUNG

T

here are many ways you can help out. From volunteering time or money to simply asking for change, you are very powerful. Here are some ways you can change your community, your country and the world:

1. Give time to charity. There are plenty of charities that need volunteers. You can cook at a soup kitchen, raise awareness about a money-based charity by giving out flyers, or train people in technology! It doesn’t take any of your parents’ money to hand out flyers, and there are plenty of organizations that teach people who need to learn, how to use programs like Microsoft Word for their jobs.

2. Support your favorite causes. Getting involved in politics can help, too! Going door-to-door reminding people to vote can tip an election, and usually the nearby ward office has a job. Look at the candidates and find one who supports the same or similar things that you do. Really look at the issues.

3. Write a letter. A nice, hand-written letter from even a few students is sure to get attention from a 14 TRUE STAR JR.

government official. Even more impressive is a petition, signed by about 100 students or more. Seeing a large number of young people care about something important has a powerful impact on decision makers. Grab a few buddies, read up on the issues, and send a letter to your Congress representative! And if you are very busy because of homework, sports and after school activities, there are a ton of options that can be done in 30 minutes. According to powertochange.com, shopping locally, picking up trash in your neighborhood or helping an elderly neighbor are great ways to give back. According to a National and Community Service report, “An estimated 15.5 million youth – or 55 percent of youth ages 12 to 18 – participate in volunteer activities; the teen volunteering rate is nearly twice the adult volunteering rate of 29 percent.” If you are looking to make changes in your community, visit chicagocares.org for volunteer opportunities.


How to Land a Date

FOR THE Spring Dance BY JAMELYA SIMMONS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

T

he spring dance is coming up. No doubt you will be looking to take someone who you can have some fun with. Asking someone out you may have a crush on could be a little scary. You may think they will say no. But don’t worry. The person you want to ask could say yes. Here are some tips to make sure you find the perfect date.

Guys

-Ask her with an amazing gesture (sometimes it’s all about how you ask). -When she says yes don’t stand her up. Not showing up when she agreed is a really bad thing. No need to be a jerk. --When you get there, let everyone know that she is your date, and the only other person/people she should be dancing with are her friends

Girls

-Be yourself. -Don’t be scared. Just be positive and think on the bright side. -Don’t flirt with other boys. -Be honest. -Don’t be complicated. -Make sure every girl knows that he’s with you.

(girls only). -Don’t smother her and make her seem like she can’t do anything. -When the girl is less affectionate, ask her what’s wrong. -If your date says nothing is wrong, chances are there really is something wrong. Keep talking to her.

Before making a decision about asking someone out, talk to your friends first. Find out if the person knows you are alive. This cuts down on rejection. Most importantly, you don’t have to say yes to the date if you don’t want to. Politely explain why you are not interested. TRUE STAR JR. 15


Our Society

And The Effect It Has On

TEENS

IF YOUR COMMUNITY IS EXPERIENCING A LOT NEGATIVE IMAGES RIGHT NOW STAY BY JOHN IVY III, LEARN CHARTER SCHOOL

O

ur community is constantly changing in ways that sometimes seem for the worst. When we are always surrounded by bad situations and emotionally unhealthy people, this negativity has a way of having an effect on us and who we turn out to be in life. Brandon Dupart, 11, said his community has affected his academic performance because he has to attend school still thinking about the last kid who lost his life to violence in our city. “A lot of kids have been affected by the killings in Chicago,” Dupart says. At True Star Jr. press time, one of the youngest people to have recently been shot in Chicago was 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Emmanuel R. Clark, 15, has some mixed feelings about what’s happening in the world, 16 TRUE STAR JR.

STRONG AND FIND THE SILVER LINING.

especially in Chicago. The killings have affected him because he has to walk home every day wondering if he will he be caught in a drive-by or a crossfire shooting. “I was happy to see that Black people are protesting because they realize that the violence is killing our future leaders and taking away what chance these kids have of being successful, educated young Black people,” says Clark. Hundreds lined Chicago streets after the video was released showing a Chicago police officer shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The police officer was charged with first-degree murder. If your community is experiencing a lot of negative images right now stay strong and find the silver lining.


Everyone Wants a

HOVERBOARD BY DYLAN HUNTER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

Y

ou might have heard of Hoverboards from the Back to the Future movies, but now they actually exist. Just about everyone has one—Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Stephen Curry included. Hoverboards were even featured on “Good Morning America.” Now don’t get too excited because they don’t actually fly. They are just segways without the handle. They are popular partly because of how expensive they are. Antwon Howard, 12, is a fan of Hoverboards. “I think Hoverboards are creative and colorful,” Howard said. “I would buy one because I’m too lazy to walk, and I want to see why there is a lot of excitement.”

Hoverboards. This website also shows how different brands have different max speeds and which ones have a one-year warranty. IO Hawk has a 6 MPH speed and it doesn’t offer a warranty, but it has the highest priced.

Lydia Wordlaw likes the idea of getting a Hoverboard. “Yes, I would purchase a Hoverboard. I think that they are innovative and inspiring to technology,” the 12-year-old said. “They also make life more interesting and futuristic.”

Before making the purchase of these boards, you should take these things into consideration.

Companies such as Io Hawk, Phunkee Duck, Monorover, and Skywalker U.S.A. are selling Hoverboards ranging from $800 to $2,000. What is so special about them? The Hoverboard does not come with life insurance, so why are they so expensive? If you are trying to find a Hoverboard at a reasonable price, you should check out swagway.com, and amazon.com. There is a price chart on hov-board.com that shows the cheapest and most expensive brands of

• • • • •

Fires Fires More Fires Explosions Broken bones

There have been recent encounters with Hoverboards and fires. As of February 29, 2016, Oswego area schools (district 305) banned Hoverboards. They say that the boards were banned for the excessive fires. The fires are happening because of the lithium batteries. The lithium combined with heat causes explosions and fires. So, if you want to purchase a Hoverboard, take all these things into consideration first, the good and the bad. TRUE STAR JR. 17


HOT OFF THE PRESS

True Star Talks to

Austin Fryberger BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

S

ince Austin Fryberger’s acting career began, he has played a variety of roles. His latest part is in the series “Highston,” which debuted on Amazon Prime in November. He said he was very proud of his role. “Highston” is about a 19-year-old named Highston who imagines he’s friends with celebrities. Fryberger, 20, plays Highston’s brother Budd Liggetts. “It’s like hitting a new stage,” Fryberger said about being a part of the television series that streams via the Internet. Fryberger was in the Disney Channel movie “Invisible Sister” as The Coug, who is Molly Eastman’s (Paris Berelc) goofy and lovable boyfriend. The Alabama native has also been on many shows and movies including “Sam and Cat” (2013-2014) as Justin Fever, “Kirby Buckets” (2014) as Pearly Todd, “Awkwardness” (2015) as Ben and Mark the Bully, just to name a few. Fans can look forward to seeing him in the movie The Night Stalker, which is based on serial killer Richard Ramirez. The movie is scheduled to be released later this year. “Acting was something I really wanted to try out, but didn’t do anything about until I was 15 when I was in a play,” Fryberger says. When he’s not acting in front of the camera Fryberger enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends and cooking. He likes to cook shrimp fried rice, 18 TRUE STAR JR.

omelettes, and salads. He loves to watch football and play basketball. His favorite movies are The Revenant, The Big Short and Beasts of No Nation. Fryberger considers himself to be a pretty simple guy. “My family, dog, and computer” are the things he says he needs in his life constantly. Although simple, he does have a complex side. While children most often learn from adults. He said that those under 20 years old should be appreciated. “I think adults today really need to just understand the younger generation better.”


Alex Henderson

The One To Watch BY MAKAYLA IDLEBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

T

hirteen-year-old actor Alex Henderson is the perfect example of a hardworking kid who wants to do something in his life and has the right mind to do it. He even described himself as funny, cool and blessed, so he’s quite the charmer. Henderson wasn’t always set on acting, his first passion was actually sports. “Baseball was the first thing I ever got into. Acting kind of happened by accident. I went in with my cousin, who is an actress, for an audition,” the Chicago native said. “We didn’t get the part, but it sort of opened up my eyes to see that this is something I actually want to do. So, it started at the age of 6 and I just continued on to now.” Henderson has already worked on multiple movies and TV shows and still has more to come. These shows include “Empire,” “Creed” (2015), and “Supremacy” (2014). He said he loved working on “Empire” where he played the oldest brother, Andre, as a child. “Filming ‘Empire’ was pretty cool, meeting all the veterans like Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, so it was a great experience. When I first got there I didn’t have a lot of lines, but Terrence sort of took me in and added a lot of lines in there from the song. That wasn’t written in, so I felt that was really cool.” Henderson’s newest movie is the comedy “Meet the Blacks” with Mike Epps, and it comes out this spring.

“BASEBALL WAS THE FIRST THING I EVER GOT INTO. ACTING KIND OF HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT. I WENT IN WITH MY COUSIN, WHO IS AN ACTRESS, FOR AN AUDITION.” Despite his evolving acting career, Henderson is really a gamer. Some of his favorite games are NBA 2K16, Madden 16, and other sports games. His favorite sport is football and his favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers. He likes to watch the Food Network and he plans to someday open a restaurant along with acting. Henderson’s favorite superhero is Spider-Man and his favorite super villain is Lex Luthor. TRUE STAR JR. 19


INSIDE WITH

Miss Mulatto BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

W

hat kid who loves to sing, rap or dance doesn’t dream of being a star? Alyssa Stephens, aka Miss Mulatto, loves to do all three, and is lucky enough to have that dream come true. This female artist was a contestant on the Lifetime show “The Rap Game,” based around five kid rap artists looking for fame. The reality show announced Miss Mulatto the winner last winter during the final episode. As the top rapper, she won a record deal with So So Def Recordings, an Atlanta-based record company, owned by Jermaine Dupri. Dupri has produced multiple teen artists such as Kris Kross and Bow Wow who have sold millions.

art opposed to mere words rhyming to a fast beat. “Language arts...was my favorite subject in school,” she said. “So I was big into metaphors and similes. I entered myself into a lot of writing competitions.”

Miss Mulatto is an inspiration to all young girls. After having recently released the single “No More Talking,” available on iTunes, the rising star took time out to chat with True Star Jr. about how excited she is to be living her dream.

“I have a younger sister and my mom around, too, so they don’t have anything to do with the music. While we’re out traveling sometimes I go three, four, or five days without seeing my little sister or my mom, so it kind of puts a strain on everything,” said the Ohio native.

“It went from level two to level 10. But it was definitely worth it,” said Miss Mulatto, who has been performing since she was 10. It all began for her when she performed at a birthday party. After that, her career soon evolved. Now at age 17, she is well on her way to becoming a household name. Miss Mulatto said her love for writing fueled her creative passion. Coming up with different types of imagery makes her rapping a form of 20 TRUE STAR JR.

Though she is far from her family, Miss Mulatto thinks her newfound fame is a positive. However, she did say her family dynamic has been affected. On “The Rap Game,” Miss Mulatto expressed how she and her parents have been affected by racial prejudice. Miss Mulatto also said being on the road has affected her relationship with her younger sister, Brooklyn.

While she loves music, she really enjoys watching movies and said that her favorite movie for a good laugh would be White Chicks. And for a serious watch, her favorite would be Juice. Miss Mulatto is very active on social media. Check her out on Instagram @iammissmulatto or use her Twitter handle @missmulatto247. Expect to see posts about plans for her upcoming tour dates in the near future.


“I WAS BIG INTO METAPHORS AND SIMILES. I ENTERED MYSELF INTO A LOT OF WRITING COMPETITIONS.”

TRUE STAR JR. 21


Your Favorite FAMILY IS BACK!

BY JORDAN BEASLEY, LINDBLOM, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

F

ebruary 26, 2016. This was the day when our favorite 90s family came back on the air to show us what life was like for the Tanners 29 years after “Full House” ended. Wanna-be Tanners all over were anxiously waiting for Netflix to release it’s newest original series, “Fuller House,” featuring all the cast members except the twins we all know and love, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who played baby Michelle. However, the charming main cast we remember are still there. Danny (Bob Saget), Joey (Dave Coulier), Uncle Jesse (John Stamos), DJ (Candace Cameron), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), Becky (Lori Loughlin), and last but certainly not least Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). All of these different characters made the charming family sitcom what it was, and brought the same vibes to the new series, which has been confirmed to return with a second season.

help of his brother-in-law, Jesse Katsopolis and best friend, Joey Gladstone. The plot of “Fuller House,” is that the eldest daughter, DJ, gets help from her younger sister, Stephanie, to raise her three boys. With the first 13 episodes already

In case you’re not familiar with “Full House,” it’s about a young widowed man named Danny Tanner raising three young daughters with the

Next time you’re bored on a Friday night, throw on some comfy pajamas, turn on Netflix, and let us know what you think about “Fuller House.”

22 TRUE STAR JR.

out, mixed fan reactions occurred, but imbd.com gives a rating of 7.7 out of 10. “It’s a funny show. I like how it carries on everything that the older people did down to the little kids,” says Lindblom student Jamiyah Tylon, 12. However, Gabrielle Hill and Nadiya Muhammed, who also attend Lindblom, had different opinions. Muhammed, 12, said, “It was a bit of a let down because it was kind of boring. There was no major action in it like there used to be.” Hill, who is 13, said, “It’s not as good as ‘Full House.’ It has the same morals but it just doesn’t feel the same without the other characters on it. It doesn’t have that old feeling.”


Real TEENS

TRUE STAR JR. 23


SPRING Fashion

Creative Director -Joi Mitchell • Creative Assistant - Daneisha Goodman Photographer - Shelby Brown • Fashion Stylists - Nicole Parrott for Kaleidoscope by Kalaberri and Dutch Davis • Hair - Diamond Beach for House of Her • Make Up - Brittany Beach for House of Her Elijah: Hat - Top Man Jacket - PRSVR Shirt - Forever 21 Jeans - Zara Shoes H&M

Kylon: Shirt - H & M Pants - Top Man Shoes - H & M

Kylon: Hat- Top Man Shirt - H & M Pants - PRSVR Shoes H & M

24 TRUE STAR JR.


Jasir: Shirt- Kohl’s Shorts & Shoes H&M

Jasir: Tshirt: The Genius Syndicate Denim Shirt: TOP MAN Pants & Shoes: H&M

Elijah: Shirt, Shorts, Shoes H&M

TRUE STAR JR. 25


Kiana: Pink “I am a Genius” TGS T-shirt-www. wearetgs.com, Black & White Gingham Print Capri Pants-TJ Maxx, Black Patent Leather VANS- DSW

Kayla: Charcoal Grey Fitted T-shirt Dress, Turquoise Converse SneakersTJ Maxx, JewelryBurlington Coat Factory

26 TRUE STAR JR.

Maia: Black & White TGS Word Puzzle Sweatshirtwww.wearetgs.com, White & Black Floral Satin Skirt- Shop. Outfit101.com, Pink Hi-Top Converse Sneakers- DSW


Kiana: Royal Blue Tulle Circle Skirt-Shop. Outfit101.com, White S/S Collared Shirt-TJ Maxx, White w/Black Embroidered Circle Crop Top-TJ Maxx, Black & White Woven Flats- Burlington Coat Factory

Kayla: Black & White Striped Crop Top, Black Palazzo PantsUrban Outfitters, Black Wedge Flat Shoe- Calvin Klein, JewelryStylist’s Closet

Maia: Black & White Gingham Belted Tunic, White Distressed Capri Pants- TJ Maxx, Animal Print LaceUp Ballet FlatsBurlington Coat Factory, Colorful TGS Pins-www. wearetgs.com

TRUE STAR JR. 27


KEEPIN’ SCORE

Risk of High Contact Sports

ALTHOUGH THE SPORTS MAY BE FUN, WITH THESE ATHLETICS COMES THE RISK OF MANY BY YAHZURI ZEBULUN, KENWOOD ACADEMY

S

ome of the most top trending sports— football, cheerleading, boxing, and soccer—are indeed the most dangerous. Although the sports may be fun, with these athletics comes the risk of many injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and long-term brain damage. Kids all over the world have a special interest in sports but sometimes don’t know the complex conditions that they can put you in. According to WebMD, “In a lot of concussions, a kid might feel dizzy and confused, but there are no outward signs.” You can’t always be the safest when playing on a team sport. Most of the time you and your teammates have to trust each other. For example, in cheerleading if you are a flyer (the person thrown in the air), you are strongly depending on the spotters and bases (people who catch the flyer) to not let you fall. Also, in football, if you are a quarterback, you are depending on other players to protect you from getting tackled. According to Stanford Children’s Health, “Almost 215,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for football-related injuries.” 28 TRUE STAR JR.

INJURIES SUCH AS BROKEN BONES, CONCUSSIONS, AND LONG-TERM BRAIN DAMAGE However, in individual sports such as boxing where the goal is to knock out your competitor, there is no sure way of staying protected. Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) is a prime example. After a two-decade boxing career, Ali now suffers from excessive brain damage. Today at 73, the former champ has Parkinson’s disease. According to May Field Clinic, Parkinson’s “is a degenerative, progressive disorder that affects nerve cells in deep parts of the brain.” In 2014 it was reported that doctors could not directly link blows to the head suffered during Ali’s boxing career to the cause of the disease. There is a risk to playing high contact sports. While you may be enjoying them at the time, they do come with the possibility for long-term complications to your body. The best way to distance yourself from these complications is to always be aware of your surroundings and to hope for the best.


Curry or Westbrook?

Who’s Better?

BY ALEXANDER SHAW, KENWOOD ACADEMY

I

f you don’t know them already, Stephen Curry is the starting point guard for the Golden State Warriors. Curry, 28, is also the reigning MVP of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is slowly stealing the title of “Best player in the league” from Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. While some may think of Curry as the best point guard, people are totally oblivious to Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is the other guy on the Thunder that actually scores. At True Star Jr. press time, Westbrook, 27, lead the league with 15 triple doubles – the most this season. “I think Westbrook is obviously the better player because he literally can do everything,” said Donald Bolton, 16. “Why do you think he leads the league in triple-doubles? If you ask me, Westbrook is better because Steph Curry really only can shoot. Without his shot he would be another bench guard getting 15 minutes a game.” According to ESPN, so far in this season, Curry averages 30.5 points per game, 6.5 assist per

game, and 5.3 rebounds per game. And so far Westbrook averages 24.1 points per game, 10.3 assist per game, and 7.5 rebounds per game. Just by looking at those numbers there is a noticeable difference between Curry and Westbrook. Westbrook seems more well rounded and not as reliant on one skill. Curry relies on the three-point shot heavily. So, not only is Westbrook the better player, but he is in fact the better point guard in this comparison. But, to give credit when it’s due, Curry is a better scorer and the best scorer in the league right now. Both, however, are breaking records at the moment. Curry has the longest active streak of making a three-point shot in every game. He has done this for 141 consecutive games and counting. He also is the first person in NBA history to make 300 3-pointers in one season. While Westbrook has the record for most triple-doubles in a season and he is the quickest player in NBA history to 25+ triple-doubles.

TRUE STAR JR. 29


CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER

Word of the Day RELAX

BY SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

E

very day people are stressed out about school, work and grades. A recent study posted on the Frontiers in Psychology website said, “There is growing awareness that students’ experiences of stress may impede academic success, compromise mental health, and promote substance use.” Stress can have negatives effects on your body like causing headaches, insomnia, depression or frequent colds. These symptoms can affect anyone. Some students procrastinate on the work they have do the next day, but they don’t mean to. These same students are stressed out because of their progress reports, extracurricular activities, and the first and last report cards of the semester. Even though all these things are important, students need to find a way to channel that stress and learn to relax. 30 TRUE STAR JR.

You should be able to know how to relax in any language.

• Korean: 휴식 (hyu-shig) • Japanese: 休らう (yasumu) • French: se détendre • German: sich entspannen • Arabic: ‫( حرتسا‬aistarah) • Spanish: Relajete • Portuguese: relaxar • Somali: nasato • Chinese: 放松 (Fàngsōng) • Bosnian: olabaviti • Greek: χαλαρώστε (chalaróste) • Thai: ผ่อนคลาย (P̄ h̀ xnkhlāy) • Vietnamese: lỏng ra


Dragon Hunters BY NIGEL L. GRANT, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL

I

t started out a normal day. My Kiito (parents) were out hunting for food. Everything was going perfect until the leader of our pack, Inilé, warned us that the Dragon Hunters were coming with a giant war machine. Inilé said he didn’t know what the weapon could do, but it was enough to make our pack scatter in fear. Inilé tried to make us calm, but once he did, we could see the smoke from the Dragon Hunters’ craft approaching. Inilé took the strongest and bravest to fend off the bad people and told the rest of us to head to the Dragon King. I really didn’t want to disobey Inilé, but I knew where my Kita (mother) and Kité (father) were, and I had to warn them. I started to go where they were, but I could neither fly as fast nor as long as my Kiito. I grew tired and headed towards the top of the mountain to rest. Then, though far away, I could see my Kité flying towards our old nest. I screamed at him warning him of the Dragon Hunters but once he noticed, something flew towards him and he fell to the ground. I knew it was the Dragon Hunters’ new weapon Inilé warned us of, and that it could kill dragons, like it did my Kité. I had a hard time sleeping. What woke me up was a shiny light that was going up into the

sky. More light followed, all getting further and further away. I followed them because I knew it would lead me to my Kita. Once I reached the last one, I felt a sharp pain in my wing and I quickly fell to the ground. After I fell, the pack called humans was standing by me. I saw two things – one of their feet was on the head of my Kita and a shiny stitch was in her body. Before I fell asleep again, even though I didn’t know why I was tired, one human said, “See I told you there was one more.” TRUE STAR JR. 31


The Lost Art

BY NOVOTNA TALAVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​

Y

our eyes are locked on the clock, anxious for art class to start. Suddenly the bell rings, you spring out of the chair and head straight for the door. You finally arrive at art class. With a mind full of imaginative thoughts, you’re ready to create. Many will agree that having art education as part of every student’s school day is essential, but this idea of art being a part of every child’s curriculum is making its way into becoming a privilege. Having the opportunity to create through the arts is crucial to a young mind. Students must be ready to stand out, but with all of the discussions around art education, the reality looms over us. The Chicago Tribune reported earlier this year, “With looming budget deficits, the recurring theme in many schools is to cut arts programs, such as band, show choir, theater and art class.” If these statistics grow, cities in the United States will face the distinction of art education. Susannah Strang, a performance arts teacher at Lindblom Math and Science Academy for eight years, said that art is important in a young person’s life. “The arts offer us endless opportunities to challenge brains and bodies.” 32 TRUE STAR JR.

Strang added, “The arts are not enrichment, they are the foundation of understanding and communication.” It is educators like Sprang that fuel art programs despite the bleak path for art education that’s ahead. In addition, many studies suggest that arts help students in so many ways. “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork,” according to edutopia.org. Seventh grader Brynn Walker said, ”Learning about art education is fairly important to me.” According to lawstreetmedia.com, “In 2013, public schools in major cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are still struggling with budget cuts. Due to budget constraints, fewer schools offer art classes today than a decade ago.” Art programs can be large parts of students’ futures, so fighting to save the arts education is important for building futures and encouraging enjoyment of life.


A Storm BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL

H

i. I’m Ashlynn. My month has been pretty freaky. I recently found out something that will change my life forever. Let me tell you how my month went.

Freaky Monday I go to Hearst High. My best friend is Madeline, and my older brother is Brice. I also have a twin named Derrington, and two younger sisters, Zara and Maya. One day, I was walking to school with my boyfriend Lucas and my stomach started to hurt. It felt like cramps, but stronger. Then it stopped. But the feeling came back.

the most powerful child.” But before he could grab me, my uncle took out a gun and blasted him. I stood there frozen. My aunt told me, “I have to tell you something.”

Lucas asked me if I was okay. I didn’t answer. I decided to call my Uncle Sam to come and get me. I really needed to get home. I was feeling so weird. My uncle told me it’s not a good idea to go home now. I didn’t care. I told Lucas I needed to go home now. I started to run. When I finally got there, my uncle and aunt were yelling at this big muscular man wearing Men in Black sunglasses. “We don’t know where Heista and Brandon are! And we’re not gonna let you take their children!” my aunt screamed. I just froze. Heista and Brandon are my parents. The creepy man standing near my aunt and uncle started to smile. He said, “At least I’ll have

I said, “Yes, you do! And these cramps I feel have nothing to do with that time of the month.” When Brice, Derrington, Zara and Maya got home, my aunt and uncle told us the truth about our parents. Super what? “Here’s the truth,” my aunt started. “Your parents are superheroes. Your mom was Mrs. Storm and your father was Mr. Storm. They had to defeat Dr. Lee. When they tried, they got sucked into a black hole. But they left you guys with us, and we’ve assumed they are dead. But we don’t know. And because they had powers, you guys have powers.” To Be Continued… TRUE STAR JR. 33


DEEPER THAN SKIN

What’s the Deal with Natural Hair?

THERE ARE MANY GIRLS WHO LOVE THEIR NATURAL HAIR, AND AREN’T

BY YAHZURI ZEBULUN, KENWOOD ACADEMY

N

atural hair is beautiful, no matter the texture, but it isn’t always accepted. Natural hair can be seen as “unprofessional” or “untamed” leaving some girls feeling uncomfortable in their innate state of hair. Natural hair girls often change their look to fit one’s standard of how they should present themselves. Aside from this, all textures aren’t accepted. Loose curls and waves are heavily embraced, while girls with kinkier hair aren’t. However, there are many girls who love their natural hair, and aren’t afraid to rock it. Kenwood Academy 7th grader Amaya Newsome, 11, said, “ I love my natural hair. It is a way to describe who I am.” You can do so much with naturally curly hair, from twist outs, to braid outs, Bantu knots and even straightening it. Lydia Wordlaw, 12, says, “My favorite natural hair style is a simple wash and go.” Some may think that curly styles are too hard to do and maintain, but really, you just have to know how 34 TRUE STAR JR.

AFRAID TO ROCK IT.

to work with your hair. Sometimes adolescent girls don’t know how to do this well. There are a many online resources that can get you through your natural hair journey. There are famous bloggers like BeautifulBrwnBabyDol and My Hair Crush. Blogs like these have articles explaining why your natural hair won’t grow, and offer reviews on products that work well with natural hair. There are also famous YouTubers such as Naptural85 and My Natural Sistas. These channels give step-bystep directions on Bantu knot outs, twist outs, roller sets and more. There are also salons that specialize in natural hair. In Chicago there is Huetiful and Toss the Hair Salon and Spa. Salons like these are great if you want to rock a natural style but don’t feel like putting in the effort to do it yourself. According to CNBC, “Two-thirds of AfricanAmerican women wore a natural hairstyle in 2013.”


Weave. What’s The Point? BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

I

n today’s world, females between the ages of 12 and 29 wear weave. Heck, even girls under the age of 12 wear fake hair, but is it beginning to be too much? Even though it looks good (sometimes), weave has its disadvantages. “In general, I think weave is just a beauty enhancer, but if you think about it, it depends on what capacity the weave is being used,” says Aniela Newsom, who often puts her niece’s hair in twists. “For example, micro braids and extensions should have an age limit, but French braids and twists shouldn’t have a strict age limit.” On the other hand, Renee Edwards is not a fan of young girls wearing weave because they don’t know how to take care of it properly. In addition, Edwards says the girls wearing weave can suffer from hair loss. “I dislike it for medical reasons,” says the mother of an11-year-old daughter. “It causes alopecia fungal infection and it depletes self-worth.” According to sheniquemag.blogspot.com, weave traces all the way back to 3000 B.C. Egyptians loved to wear wigs or extensions, made of human hair, to fill out thin hair or just make regular hair more luxuriant. They also wore wigs to shield their shaved, hairless heads from the sun. After the Egyptians, weave traveled to East Asia. During the Chinese dynasties, Joseon Dynasty (Korean) and Japanese dynasties, wigs were rarely used except for traditional theatre and for an elaborate version of a hairstyle for a married woman.

Today, weave is used for the pleasure of just wearing it. It can be sewed, glued, or crocheted into original hair. There are various types, colors, and styles of weave and to be honest some are just plain stupid. According to essence.com, pre-teens are most likely to become weave dependent. At this age, girls tend to have insecurities about themselves, and wearing weave would make them feel prettier because of their views on what beauty is. A lot of people say, “If weave has a negative effect on a lot of things, then why wear it?” The real question is: Why do you? TRUE STAR JR. 35


SCHOOL SPIRIT

What is PBL?

BY ABIGAIL F. DIZON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

S

tudents throughout the Chicago Public Schools are now being graded with a brand new system called PBL. Proficiency-Based Learning (PBL) is a system where grades are weighted differently, so that newer assignments are weighted a little bit more than the previous ones. This allows a student’s grades to be based on their progress and improvement, using performance indicators (PI). Lindblom Math & Science Academy (LMSA) is one of the schools using this new structure. Instead of using the previous grade-book website to check on grades, faculty members are now using Jumpro.pe, which better supports the PBL system. “I feel like Jumpro.pe is good for us because it helps us actually learn and get better instead of focusing on just the grade,” said Maxine Hardman, 14. Many students like her believe the new system is giving them a better grade than what they would have with the old system, allowing students to benefit from PBL. 36 TRUE STAR JR.

Though the new grading procedure has so many benefits, there are negative sides to this too. Camille Mitchell, 14, another student from LMSA, argued, “I hate it. I understand that it’s supposed to help with mastery, but more recent assignments being weighed more isn’t helping my grade.” PBL may provide students with grades actually based on how well they improve, but it isn’t accurately based on progress. This is causing some of the students to do worse than what they usually get with the previous system. Although Proficiency-Based Learning is causing students who get better grades with averages instead of progress to do badly, those students who show growth are benefiting. The question being asked is, which is better, the previous, familiar grading system based on averages, or the new, unfamiliar PBL grading system, based on progress and improvement? The answer remains to be seen.


Why doesn’t Kenwood Canter Campus

Have Vending Machines?

BY SAGE BUTLER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

T

he Kenwood Canter campus needs vending machines! Although authorities argue that vending machines contain unhealthy snacks, Kenwood’s Canter campus can find a way to add healthier alternatives. Healthier snacks can satisfy both sides of the vending machine problem. The 7th and 8th grades both expressed strong feelings about not having vending machines. “It’s upsetting because I have to walk all the way to Kenwood to get snacks and my classes are in Canter,” says Alejandra Covarruvias, 13. “It’s unfair that we don’t have vending machines in our building,” says Myles Gillespie, 14. But 8th grader, Taylor Clark, 14, had a different view on Canter not having vending machines. “I think Canter doesn’t need vending machines because it takes time from students getting to class,” says Clark. “Students would be more focused on snacks instead of getting to class on time.” With no excess to snacks, there is a problem because many students participate in afterschool programs. Kenwood students are not supposed

to be allowed in the building if participating in the programs and would be forced to go hungry. According to a Debate.org forum, 75 percent of the voters say that schools should have vending machines. Bbajjp, a participant in the “Should middle schools have vending machines?” forum, says, “If you consult an actual nutritionist, then you would know that for the proper metabolism, a child needs to eat at least five small portions of food a day: a healthy breakfast, light snack, healthy lunch, light snack, healthy dinner and light snack. So having a vending machine will actually benefit kids more than it harms.” Many middle schools and Academic Center programs like Whitney Young and Lindblom Math and Science Academy have vending machines. If Kenwood Canter campus got vending machines, healthy snack options could be installed that would satisfy the students. Some of those healthy options could be baked chips, cereal bars, granola bars and more. So the question is, when should Kenwood Canter campus begin installing vending machines? This action should be taken as soon as possible! TRUE STAR JR. 37


Give Back Recess

BY ANTHONY JORDAN, DISNEY II MAGNET

K

ids just want to go outside and lose their minds for like 30 minutes. But that doesn’t happen at every school. Some students simply want to go out to get away from class and doing work. Recess is one period in the day that many students don’t want to miss. Disney II Magnet High School is one of the Chicago Public Schools that doesn’t offer recess for middle school students. But schools like Beasley Academic Center, George Washington Elementary School and Water Elementary do have recess, and that’s not fair. Disney II 7th grader Deaundre Johnson misses getting outside. “Recess is awesome,” Johnson says. “We need time to get our energy out.” When it’s lunchtime you have a lot of energy. If you don’t release it you will goof off in class because, what else can you do? In 2014, the report “Playing Fair” was published by the American School Health Association, 38 TRUE STAR JR.

“RECESS ALLOWS CHILDREN TO LEARN AND PRACTICE IMPORTANT SOCIAL SKILLS LIKE SHARING, COMMUNICATING, COOPERATING, PROBLEM SOLVING, CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND RESPECTING RULES AND ORDER.”

which says daily physical activity is important. “Recess is a part of the elementary school day with strong implications for school climate. Positive school climate has been linked to a host of favorable student outcomes, from attendance to achievement,” the study says. The researchers added that “...teachers and principals agreed that by the end of the year, recess offered opportunities for student engagement, conflict resolution, pro-social skill development and emotional and physical safety.”


Heather Morrison has been teaching at Disney II for two years, and agrees that kids need recess. “I think recess would be a good option. You kids have a lot of energy, especially the kids I teach,” Morrison says. She works at both Disney campuses and other schools around the city. “K through 5th grade had recess rain or shine. If it rained they went in the gym.”

Chicago Public Schools recommends 30 minutes of physical activity. According to the CPS site, “Recess allows children to learn and practice important social skills like sharing, communicating, cooperating, problem solving, conflict resolution and respecting rules and order.” TRUE STAR JR. 39


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