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The Oakdale Eagle Oakdale Elementary School Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Growing Minds are in Bloom

October 2012


By Miracle Colvin Staff Reporter HALT is a program that the Tuscaloosa City School System started. It means Harassment Awareness Learning Together. It tries to stop bullying. It helps students realize that bullying is not the key to solving problems. Due to bullying, students sometimes drop out of school

Do you know how bullying feels? For those who don’t know, it feels horrible. Bullying is bad. If you’ve been bullied or seen someone being bullied, it’s time to stand up. You can say, “Stop! Halt!” Bullying is wrong. If you bully others, it These HALT posters are shown will be permanent in Jailah Brown around Oakdale Elementary. your life. If they don’t stop when you ask them to, tell a teacher nearby. Do you know you can because they are terrified of be expelled for bullying? being bullied, and some are For all you bullies, it’s time to even hurt physically. Most kids stop. If you can’t stop, ask your mabully because once in their lifema, daddy, grandma, grandpa or anytimes they were once bullied. Most kids also bully because of one in your family and let them know that you need help. stress, depression, or a loved one’s death. I know that HALT Jailah Brown is a third grade student in Miss Spencer’s class. can help end this.

Stage set fo r Fa l l Fe s t i va l This Friday The Annual Fall Festival here at Oakdale Elementary School takes place Friday, October 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition to lots of food, there will be door prizes. There will also be a cupcake walk. We also will have a game of “Go Fish.” For more information on the Fall Festival, see Miss Spencer.

Students, teachers enjoy book fair By Jordan Ivory-Washington Staff Reporter Recently Oakdale Elementary held a book fair for students, teachers and parents. Mrs. Smith, a teacher at Oakdale Elementary, said that she enjoyed the book fair. She said she liked buying books for her daughter. Fourth grader Marjaylon Hawkins said that he attended the fair and that he likes buying comic books. On October 2, I went to the book fair. I bought two books there. I saw science books, books about wrestling, and many other books.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Fifth grade students win trip to Stone Mountain, Ga.….. Pg. 2 Mrs. Cook helps S.O.A.R. students …………………………... Pg. 3 Creative Corner: Not Cool for School …………………………. Pg. 6 Students Organize Jump Rope Competition ………………. Pg. 6 Mark Your Calendar …….. ………………………………………... Pg. 8

Anthony Fryer, a fourth grader in Mr. Tortorice’s class, is holding a book entitled G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Mix & Match. He got the book from the book fair. Fryer said he likes the book “because it has ninjas and it’s awesome.” Photo by Zamarria Tillman.

2 The Oakdale Eagle

5th graders’ writing wins them a trip to Stone Mountain, Ga. Congratulations to our 5th graders! They entered and won the essay contest, "Write Your Own Ticket," for the Stone Mountain Indian Festival and Pow Wow. Students wrote a creative literary work of 500 words of less on any subject pertaining to Native Americans and their culture. See excerpts from the prize-winning literary work on pages 4-5 of this edition of The Oakdale Eagle. Their prize for winning is a field trip to the festival in Stone Mountain, Ga. The Indian Festival & Pow-wow takes place Nov. 1-4, 2012. It’s one of top tourism events in The 5th graders will travel to the Indian the Southeastern United States. Photo courtesy: Festival and Pow-Wow in November.

Taking the National Stage

Third Grade students make presentation on Oakdale Eagle By Joshua Patton Staff Reporter

Members of The Oakdale Eagle staff told their story to a national audience this month. Third graders Josh Patton and Sean Smith made a presentation (see above) to those attending the National Outreach Scholarship Conference at the University of Alabama. Daniia Wills (third grade) and Quedasia Herrod (fifth grade) also assisted at the conference. After their presentation, the students took a “lemonade break” at the Bryant Conference Center, which was nearby.

On Oct. 2, four students from Oakdale Elementary went to Hotel Capstone. Third grader Sean Smith and I made a presentation on The Oakdale Eagle newsletter. We talked about starting the newsletter, and we explained how we interviewed teachers at the school. We also discussed photography and how to tell good photos from poor quality ones. The audience smiled and seemed to enjoy the presentations. There was a question and answer session following our talk. Several people in the audience told us that we did a good job. We had a great time.

The Oakdale Eagle




The S.O.A.R. (Students at Oakdale Are Ready) After-school Program began its second year on September 4, 2012 and meets each afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m.

Mrs. Gilliland teaches fourth grade, plans to head to Russia in 2013 Many of the teachers at Oakdale Elementary enjoy both work and hobbies outside of their teaching. One of those teachers is SOAR teacher Mrs. Gilliland. Now a fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gilliland has taught school since 1978. She majored in elementary education as a college student. “I like work at school, and I like the kids,” she said. Students attest to her commitment. “She is a kind teacher,” Indyia Scroggins said. Mrs. Gilliland told Oakdale Eagle reporters that she also enjoys reading and traveling. Her favorite book is the Pulitzer-prize winning novel, “The Good Earth,” by Pearl S. Buck and published in 1931 about life in China. Not only does she like reading about faraway places, she also enjoys traveling to them. She is planning a trip to Russia for next year. Students say that they like Mrs. Gilliland’s classes, in part, because she makes great jokes, is funny and gives incentives in the form of candy when students perform well in their subjects.

At right, Mrs. Gilliland talked to others attending an event at the University of Alabama College of Education.

Mrs. Cook helps S.O.A.R. students during second year as teacher She also has an 8-year-old daughter, Iraland. Mrs. Cook, who has taught at Several teachers who take Oakdale for two years, also has sevpart in the Students at Oakdale eral activities she enjoys. Are Ready program have hobShe told Oakdale Eagle reporters bies they enjoy outside of that her favorite song is “Every Time school. Mrs. Jack and Mrs. Cook I Close My Eyes.” Also, she said that are two of those teachers. her favorite color is pink. She also Mrs. Jack has been a teacher owns a dog and enjoys taking it on for 15 years. Her favorite color is walks. red. She likes doing computer Reporter Kevin Davis contributed to searches, shopping and this story. vacationing, she said recently. By Tywaun Smith & Shiya Lewis Staff Reporters

Mrs. Cook’s favorite color is pink. Photo by Daijah Brooks

4 The Oakdale Eagle

OAKDALE’S PRIZE-W Five Oakdale Fifth Graders wrote literary works for the 2012 “Write Your Own Ticket” to the Indian Festival Contest. The student works won As I learned about Native Americans, I couldn’t help but notice their fashions! My friends and I love jeans and cool caps. Native American men wore breechcloths. The men also wore leggings in the winter months. They also wore moccasins (sturdy leather shoes). The women wore long skirts but the length of the skirts depended on the tribe they belonged to. Many Native Americans are similar to my family and the people that I know now. They lived in homes that fit their lifestyles. There were many different types of American Indian houses in North America. They lived in teepees, longhouses, and wigwams. I sometimes wonder about many Native American hairstyles. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to that question. Typical hairstyles varied from tribe to tribe, but in most tribes, individual Native Americans wore their hair differently from one another. Just as there isn’t an “American haircut” today, there wasn’t really a “Blackfoot haircut” then. Different American Indian people chose different hairstyles. Today, our world revolves around technology. We have iPads, iPhones, PlayStations, and so much more. Today we have technology, stores, businesses, and so many other things that Native Americans didn’t have. I know if I were born in that era, my life would completely change.

—Ta’Miyah McKinstry

America the Melting Pot If I was born thousands of years ago, the same era as Native Americans, my life would be completely different. The luxuries I have now didn’t exist thousands of years ago. It somewhat makes me feel bad, yet grateful. Now, in 2012, we can go to restaurants for food, skating rings for enjoyment, and shopping malls for clothing and shoes. That was not the case thousands of years ago. Many Native Americans used buffalo to make their clothes. They also depended on buffalo in order to survive. Native American children didn’t have a skating ring like we do now. They didn’t have the convenience of going to a restaurant either. They didn’t even get the quality education that I am receiving now. I wonder how life was living in a teepee, wigwam, or longhouse. Wigwams were small houses that were easy to build. They were only 8-10 feet tall. Then there were teepees. I think of a teepee as being a small tent. Many of the Plains Indians lived in teepees. Its covering is made of buffalo skin. Finally, there were longhouses. Longhouses were long and it took the Native Americans quite some time to build them. Unlike teepees, they were designed for a tribe to stay for a long period of time. In order for Native Americans to get meat to eat, they usually went hunting and fishing. Can you imagine, depending on hunting and fishing in order to live? That makes me appreciate what I have. Most Native Americans ate a lot of meat. They ate rabbit, buffalo, deer, salmon, duck, and elk. They also had a strong belief in not wasting food. That’s a good belief to have. I’ve learned that Native Americans have a unique culture. It’s much different from mine. However, I believe our cultures make us who we are. They make us all different and unique. That’s why America is called a “melting pot”. — Gabreona Jones


I could only im

Sometime long ag

Before Columbu

Before there was

America’s first p No factories, no mac

With food like m

A teepee or longho

With skirts and leg

With painted, b

Cherokee, Creek

With rituals for healin

Oh how my life wo A heritage so r


The Oakdale Eagle


WINNING WRITING the entire fifth grade class to the Pow-Wow at Stone Mountain Park next month in Stone Mountain, Ga. Here are excerpts for all five entries:

The Life of Native Americans


magine if I lived here,

go, over a thousand years.

s discovered this place,

s any other type of race.

people roamed the land.

hines, things made by hand.

maize and buffalo to eat.

ouse was a place to sleep.

ggings as clothes to wear. raided, or flowing hair.

k, many different tribes.

ng the body, soul, and mind. uld change if I were here,

ich, so near and dear.

ermya Smith

Native Americans roamed America way before Christopher Columbus. That was over thousands of years ago. I could only imagine being born in that era. My lifestyle and way of living would change. I’d be considered indigenous. An indigenous person is a native or original inhabitant. As I compare myself to Native Americans, I discover they lived in teepees. I currently live in a brick house. Some Native Americans were called nomads. A nomad is a person that moves from place to place depending on the season. My family remains in our home regardless of the change of season. I begin to think of the places I go to have fun. Native American kids didn’t have that thousands of years ago. Now, in 2012, we have skating rings, recreational centers, movies, and state fairs. Native Americans didn’t restaurants, technology, and fashionable clothes to purchase out of a store. They made their own clothing from animals. That probably was a lot of work. Native Americans do have traditions, just like I do now. Some of the Native American traditions are pottery making, potlatches, and dances. These traditions were passed down from generation to generation. My family also celebrates traditions passed down from my ancestors too! Dances were very important to Native Americans. They danced at weddings and at harvest. As I think about my culture, we dance at weddings too!

— Xavier Chavers

I could only imagine if I were born thousands of years ago when only the Native Americans roamed the land. I just wonder about the changes I’d have to make to my daily life now! I’d have to deal with plagues. However, Native Americans had fewer plagues than Europeans. So, you may be wondering. Why did Europeans have more plagues than Native Americans? Well, the main reason is that historically, most of the European plagues originally came from domesticated animals, and Europeans had far more domesticated animals than Native Americans did so they had more plagues. Luckily, we have preventative medicine in the 21st century! I could only imagine how the Native Americans felt when the Europeans came to take over their home land. I’d be devastated! I don’t know what I would do if I had to give up a place I’ve known for so long to strangers. If I was a Native American that lived thousands of years ago, I’d probably be nomadic. A nomad is a person in a group or tribe that moves from place to place. I can appreciate America’s first people for the many trials they endured. It makes me grateful and proud to be a 5th grade American in the 21st Century!

-- Quedasia Herrod



AN EDITORIAL Trip to the University of Alabama inspires Oakdale student, prompts thoughts of college one day By Sean Smith

So learn what you wanna be…

In April several students who helped with The Oakdale Eagle went to the Hotel Capstone on The University of Alabama campus to receive an award. When I went, I had a wonderful experience. I imagined that I had completed elementary school and had started to college. It was as though I was a college student and was a reporter there. Just the thought of doing all I could to be a successful reporter was exciting. Everything had just changed for me. Being able to go there was inspiring.

Don’t matter, it doesn’t depend on me.

It was great!

If you’re in school, you’re super cool. It is not about the looks, it’s about taking out a book. Don’t ever say you’re too cool for schoolbecause you have to follow those rules. You can have fun different ways, don’t matter what anyone says.

—By Zykail Chaney, Fifth Grade

Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for community affairs at The University of Alabama, was interviewed by Sean Smith, a third grader.

Oakdale Students Take Lead in Organizing Jump Rope Program By D’kia Dent Staff Reporter One week ago me, D’kia Dent and other classmates started a jump rope program. One of my friends, Shermya Smith asked my group leader if it was okay to have this program. First, we got some jump ropes from Miss Jackson our P.E. teacher. Next, we all practice jumping. Then, we asked if Dr. Prewitt if she could announce the exciting activity. The last day it was here, the jump rope completion. We had so much fun having the competition . Brandon Clark, Daijah Brooks, and Ke’Eric Young did jump rope outside on the blacktop at Oakdale Elementary School. They did cool tricks with their jump rope.

8 The Oakdale Eagle



Book Talk Cafe, Tuesday, Oct. 30. Mystery/suspense is the genre. Five AR points are needed to be invited. "You do the math," said Media Specialist Melissa Kent. At left, Hillary Howard and her cousin, Kaleb Howard, both attended the book fair. They enjoyed looking at books. Above, Dr. Lucinda Coulter from Stillman College taught the Oakdale Eagle staff how to write and edit their stories.

*************** The Story Book Character Parade, takes place Wednesday, Oct. 31 Dress up as your favorite character from a book. ‘ "Remember, no scary costumes," Ms. Kent emphasized.

THE OAKDALE EAGLE Staff Gabreona Jones, 5th grade Jahniya Craig, 3rd grade Jailah Brown, 3rd grade Sean Smith, 3rd grade Jamya Farley, 3rd grade Daniia Wills, 3rd grade Joe’on Leatherwood, 3rd grade Khadira Gipson, 3rd grade Janiyah Jackson, 3rd grade Joshua Patton, 3rd grade Jamara McKinnon, 3rd grade Javon Hughes, 5th grade Zamarria Tillman, 3rd grade Quedasia Herrod, 5th grade Denaijah Williams, 3rd grade Anthony Fryer, 4th grade Mar’Jaylon Hawkins, 4th grade Amyl Gray, 4th grade Anton Leatherwood, 4th grade Jamya Smith, 4th grade LaSontee Lawson, 4th grade Toneva Tucker, 4th grade Jordan Ivory-Washington, 5th grade K’Unta White, 4th grade Kendall Williams, 4th grade Jasmine Childers, 5th grade Austin Merriweather, 5th grade D’Kia Dent, 5th grade Courtney Mosely, 5th grade Zykail Chaney, 5th grade Joe Crutchfield, 5th grade Bryena Reedy, 5th grade Tatiana Smith, 5th grade

Joshua Patton, 3rd grade Dijah Brooks, 3rd grade Kaleb Howard, 3rd grade Shiya Lewis, 3rd grade Dorian Pugh, 3rd grade Tywaun Smith, 3rd grade Kevin Davis, 4th grade Ke’Eric Young, 3rd grade Ebony Fryer, 4th grade Rylan Lewis, 4th grade Caleb Nails, 4th grade Eric Williams, 4th grade Jaylon Craig, 5th grade Travon Terry, 5th grade D’Mia Dent, 5th grade Makalo Harris, 5th grade Shermya Smith, 5th grade

Special thanks to Dr. Lucinda Coulter and the students of Stillman College as well Dr. George Daniels, the University of Alabama Society of Professional Journalists and the UA Department of Journalism for their assistance on this edition.

Growing Minds are in Bloom Miss Latrina Spencer and Mrs. Melissa Kent Oakdale Eagle Advisers

The Oakdale Eagle-October 2012  

This edition of the newsletter for the Oakdale Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. was produced during the First Nine Weeks of the Fall 20...

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