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Thursday, March 20, 2014

J.HOP TIMES

Plant operator

An old friend gets a new life

It’s one of the least appreciated and most important jobs at school. PAGES 12-13

Sylvia’s Restaurant in the historic Manhattan Casino serves up great food and a link to Midtown’s glory days.

Inside the stadium From cownose rays to Tampa Bay Rays — take a look inside Tropicana Field. PAGES 20-21

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John Hopkins Middle School St. Petersburg, Florida jhoptimes.pcsb.org

THE

WAR ON

HOMEWORK

How much is too much? Does it serve a purpose? Can I do it in my civics class when the teacher isn’t looking? We try to answer those questions and more. PAGE 3

DANTE WILKENSON | JHT


2 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

opinion CORRECTION: Ms. Underdue is a medical technician at JHMS.

J.Hop Times staff The J.Hop Times is produced four times a year by students at John Hopkins Middle School.

NEWSROOM 3 | PERIODS 1 & 5 Editor in Chief: Annie Gjineci and Rachel Gadoury Photography Editors: Bry-Anna Bani and Sophie Ojdanic Katelyn Angelis, Bry-Anna Bani, Ronald Britt, Kenshara Calhoun, Bailee Campbell, Bianca Collins, Sabine Diligent, Rachel Gadoury, Annie Gjineci, Caleb Gordon, Jiana Johnson, Zachery Kennedy, Griffin O’Neil, Sophie Ojdanic, Kyrsha Page, Veronica Sierra, Qeara Smith, Thayer Tymon, Dante Wilkenson, Destiny Young

NEWSROOM 2 | PERIOD 4 Christopher Anderson, Cameron Canfall, Jakyra Champine, Nyanna Dixon, Keyon Evans, Esmeralda Garay, Cesar Garrison, DeJa King, Amber Lemire, Alicia Lopez, Jennifer Marapoti, Michael McCarter, Thomas Pham, Eulie Roberts, Dovanta Rosebud, Marco Smiley, John Smith, Szeja Thomas, Shakera Thompson, Zoe Walsh, Delano White, Paris Williams

NEWSROOM 2 | PERIOD 8 Andrew Atwell, Angelina Capucci, Kaylen Carson, Jacob Clutter, Frank Gilliam, Nuriyjha Jackson, Andrew Johns-Hoffman, Tommy Mason, Seth McIntosh, Sandra Mean, Justin Moncada, Ashley Muse, Marcus Odajuste, Alicia Phandara, Maya Rivas, Timothy Smith, Rafael Tabera, Yon’Daijah Turner, Destiny Ulanoff, Brianna Walker, Miashia Walker

NEWSROOM 1 | PERIOD 2 Mikaella Alston, Nadin Antonova, Felicity Asencio, Kristi Chitphaiboon, Keondrick Davis, Tara Denson, Gary Ervin, Isaiah Fields, Damiano Gallina, Pedro Gonzalez, Kiara Harper, Vivianne Harrington, Patricia Holt, EJ’ramel King, Nicholas Madole, Demetrio Martin, Willow McCalpin, Lacy McKee, Antoniece Morgan, Draytavious Morgan, Legacy Phillips, Kaylee Pompey, Essex Potts, Chakiya Price, Julianna Raymond, Jostyn Rodriguez, Kalira Russell, Jarves Scruggs, Jaeden Slomic, Autumn Stipe, Amaiya Waters, Ay’Ria Webb, Christopher Wessel

Who tests the people who create the tests?

T

hey happen every year, keep getting harder, and some people argue that when it comes to measuring intelligence, they’re about as useful as a thermometer. Tests. Kids who have to take tests every week get reminded constantly that there’s still that one more test that everyone dreads. ANNIE They start in mid- GJINECI April, but every- J.Hop Times one’s been pre- Editor paring for them all year. You know what I’m talking about. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test: the FCAT. This test is huge. The FCAT scores students receive affect what classes they can or can’t take. Schools are also graded based on their overall FCAT scores, and extra funding, not to mention careers, are tied to those results. We’re given regular tests throughout the year. But just because you

did well on those tests doesn’t mean you’ll excel on the FCAT. The pressure that’s applied to students for these tests seems necessary, but are they really? These standardized tests are not just putting pressure on students, but on teachers as well. Taking tests is a very difficult task; sure, you can memorize the information and then spit it out on the tests. But there are always different questions and you have to understand what they are asking you in order to get the correct answers. The pressure heaped on us to do well on tests can make us feel like failures. The big question here is: Is that pressure needed and useful? We get constant pressure to do our best, and try hard. Sometimes that “harmless” pressure affects how we do on tests. “The pressure is too much,” said seventh-grader Alana Balloon. “I don’t just think it. I know it.” Sometimes the pressure gets to us. Sometimes it leads to test anxi-

“Some of this change is hard. It requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test.’’ PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN HIS 2014 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

ety, which doesn’t help, considering all the pressure we already have. Some students think the pressure is needed. They think that the pressure we receive is necessary and helps us. “The pressure helps us do better and achieve more,’’ said seventh-grader Gage Santiago. “If we didn’t have pressure, we wouldn’t even try.” In the end, it all depends on the student and how they handle pressure. We all have a desire to succeed, so that pressure is probably helping us. But how much pressure is too much? And what does a test really test — the students taking it, or the people who created it?

NEWSROOM 1 | PERIOD 6 Asia Arrington, Samora Brown, Asia Bryant, Nicholas Disbrow, Jakobie Elias, Zakiya Harper, Brenna Harrell, Charles Maddox, Simon McCray, Juwaun Monroe, Ashanti Morrow, Milton Sagastume, Syerra Simmons, Chamise White, Roishar Williams, Sayvon Wilson The opinions on this page are the opinions of the writers who try their best to get all sides of an issue before writing.

Here’s how you can be heard Write a column, letter or draw a cartoon (keep it clean, no profanity or name calling.) Spell and fact-check your work. We reserve the right to correct any factual or grammatical mistakes. Sign your work and bring it to our newsroom in Building 5-113. Note: There is no guarantee your work will be published. Journalism teachers: Cynthia Vickers, Tom Zucco Journalism assistant: Pearl Gopfert Newspaper designer: Brittany Volk Journeys in Journalism coordinator: Cynda Mort

JOURNALISM ADVISORY BOARD Chair, Gretchen Letterman, tb-two* editor, Tampa Bay Times; Program strategist and Tampa Bay Times liaison, Gelareh Asayesh, community volunteer; Stephen Buckley, Dean of Faculty, Poynter Institute; Beth Casey, attorney, Jenkins and Kaiser, P.A.; Goliath Davis, community volunteer; John Just, director, Precyse University; Marilyn Lusher, director of human resources (secondary placement), Pinellas County Schools; Shirmatee Ojah Maharaj, manager, economic development/business assistance, City of St. Petersburg; Mary Shedden, journalist and parent; Norm Smith, associate dean/director of special learning, Eckerd College; and Nancy Waclawek, director of corporate giving, Tampa Bay Times

John Hopkins Middle School 701 16th St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705, 727-893-2400 Principal: Barry Brown Assistant principals: Nicole Wilson, Dwight Latimore, Robert Florio (magnet coordinator)

The Buzz | Phones, trips and the school

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eing able to use smart phones, going on more field trips, the way the school looks, and too much pushing and shoving in the halls. That’s what I found many students are talking about at John Hopkins Middle School. First, the phones. Students want to be able to use their phones in class to do research. Or to play on them in lunch. Students are very attached to their phones these days, and that can RACHEL be a very good and GADOURY very bad thing. J.Hop Times “We should be al- Editor lowed to use our cell phones in class to search for things we need to know,’’ said Anthony Collins, a seventh-grader. “Otherwise you have to go to the library and get on the computer.” Students also want to use their phones outside of class and in the cafeteria. But Mr. Green and Mr.

Williams, campus monitors, said phones can easily be damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen, so maybe it is better to keep them at home. Next, field trips. Students want a way to make school more fun, but still be able to learn. More field trips are the answer. “School can get boring,” said seventh-grader Jack Toth. “We want a way to learn and have fun at the same time. That’s a field trip.” A field trip can also be just holding part of a class outside if the weather is nice. As for our school’s appearance, “The school looks like a county jail,” said a student who asked not to be identified. He’s right. Even after Mr. Florio, an assistant principal and the magnet coordinator, got the school district to landscape the front entrance, the school isn’t very welcoming. There are almost no trees and only a few bushes. “No one wants to come to a school that looks all boring and sad,’’ said sixth-grader Sierra Haas. “We want to come to a school that’s cheerful. Kids need motivation to learn.” On the inside of school, our plant

operators work hard to keep our school clean, but students often throw food and papers on the ground. There are garbage cans all over the campus so there is an alternative. If we want to raise school spirit and pride, making the school look good inside and out is a big step in the right direction. Have you ever gotten pushed, shoved or even fallen over in the hallway? I know that many students have gotten very hurt in the hallway because of kids playing around. “People horse play in the hallway too much,’’ said Sommer Pearson, a seventh-grader. “And then someone gets hurt, and that’s how fights start.’’ And we all know how fights can hurt a lot more people than those in the fight. Our reputation here at John Hopkins doesn’t need a black eye because of fighting. Students should just be careful in the hallway. All of these issues are very important to students at JHMS. If we can talk about them, and maybe try to do something about them, it could make John Hopkins Middle School an even better place to be.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 3

school news Some educators have their doubts.

Homework: Does it work? BY THAYER TYMON

J.Hop Times Literary Critic

I

f Oog drew three bison on the cave wall and Eiihh drew two, how many bison are on the cave wall? It’s a question that’s been debated since the first lesson was scribbled on a cave wall: Does homework really help? Over the past three decades the amount of homework students in the United States have received — and the amount of time they spend working on it — has risen, according to studies by the University of Michigan and Metlife. And yet, when compared to students around the world, those same American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math, according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a group that measures student achievement worldwide. Florida students did even worse, the Tampa Bay Times pointed out. Then there is a recent report published in the Economics of Education that says homework in science, English and history has little impact on student test scores. It does, however, have a positive effect on math test scores. “The positive effects of homework are largely mythical,’’ author Alfie Kohn wrote on his web site. Kohn has written several books critical of the education system;

one of those books is The Homework Myth. “For starters there is absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school,’’ he wrote. “Meanwhile, no study has ever sustained the belief that homework builds character or teaches good study habits.” Taken a step further away from homework, Australian researchers found that the more time spent on homework, the lower the grades the students received. What’s more, some researchers believe homework can even cause depression. “If a pupil is inundated with too much homework, their life balance is thrown out of all proportion,” according to a 2013 article titled Too Much Homework Can Cause Stress, Depression and Lower Grades. And finally, there’s this: The California legislature abolished homework for students in grades 1-8. Okay. That was in 1901. And it was because children were needed to help out at home. But it happened. Parents, the homework enforcers, are firm believers that homework is helpful. At least most of them are. A poll conducted in 2006 for the Associated Press found 57 percent of parents felt their children had a good amount of homework, 23 percent thought they were given too little, and 19 percent thought it was

Amount of time students spend per weekday on homework Total Base None 5 minutes 15 minutes 30 minutes 45 minutes One hour or more One hour One and a half hours Two hours Two and a half hours Three hours or more No answer

GRADE LEVEL

GRADES

3-6

7-12

Mostly As

Most As and Bs Cs and below

2101 6 percent 5 12 19 13

922 2 5 15 23 18

1179 8 4 10 17 10

558 4 3 12 17 15

961 5 4 10 19 12

749 8 7 14 21 15

45

37

50

50

50

35

18

18

18

17

20

16

10

9

11

11

10

9

8

5

9

11

8

6

3

2

4

4

4

1

6

2

8

7

8

3

1

-

1

-

1

-

Source: Economic of Education

too much. In the end, these are still only opinions on how the parents feel. Teachers feel a little differently. But not much. Mrs. Bresler, an algebra teacher at John Hopkins, says she tries to keep the homework she gives short and similar to what will appear on her tests. Homework, she said, is just practice for the tests that she gives. “Nobody mastered a sport or a musical instrument

immediately after being taught it,” she said. “Van Gogh didn’t just go from finger painting to masterpieces overnight. He practiced.” Mrs. Santarelli, a language arts teacher at J.Hop, believes that homework is useful when it is used to reinforce what is learned that day in class. “I don’t believe in assigning homework just to assign homework,” she said. “But I do believe it is necessary when it contributes to

a goal.” So the debate continues. Some researchers think homework doesn’t help and in some cases could even be harmful. But many teachers and parents feel homework is a useful tool to reinforce what’s being taught, and that outside projects are a huge part of high school and college. Oh, yeah. The answer is five bison.

Editorial cartoon by Dante Wilkenson Here’s a riddle for you. About one in four students at John Hopkins Middle School, more than 200 in all, made the honor roll or principal’s list in a recent grading period. But JHMS is a D rated school. Less than 40 percent of all students scored a 3 or better (proficient) on the reading, math and science portion of the FCAT last year. So what happened? Did the students at JHMS suddenly get really smart? For an explanation, we went to Ms. McIntosh, a behavior specialist at JHMS. “The question is, are the school standards parallel to the FCAT?’’ said Ms. McIntosh. “Do they match? We also have to ask if we have a universal grading scale countywide? We don’t. Each teacher grades differently.’’


4 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

school news

Take this math class … please Catching up with Mr. Brown

BY JIANA JOHNSON AND SHAKERA THOMPSON J.Hop Times Staff Writers

I

t was like the game show The Price Is Right. Stop by Building 5 and you never knew what was going to be behind door number 219. Classes in intensive math were supposed to be taught in that room. But that didn’t happen very often. What started as Ms.Wilson’s room, turned into Mr. Schneck’s room, which was turned into Mr. Kowal’s room, followed by a long string of substitute and regular teachers. Sometimes math was taught. But when it wasn’t, the nearly 100 students who take the class did work for other teachers or talked with their friends. Sometimes they just left after attendance was taken and didn’t come back. The students, who are mostly eighth-graders, were confused about what was going on. Some said they get work done in that class, but the constant changes made everything difficult. When students thought they finally had a permanent teacher in December, a note was put on the door saying that the class had to go to Mr. Butts’ room during his planning period. Mr. Butts is the JHMS chorus teacher. “Every day, depending on if a substitute teacher is there or not, they give us a worksheet or lesson and we had to literally teach ourselves,” said eighth-grader Jaelyn White. In the last few years, John Hopkins Middle School has not done well on the math part of the FCAT. Last year, only about 30 percent of the students were rated proficient or higher in math. So every class is important, especially intensive math. “I try to get a good grade in there, but there is no effort considering that we always get an ‘I” (for incomplete) on our report card,’’ explained eighth-grader Jaylen Jenkins. “There is just no use.” As 2013 slipped into 2014, students wondered if there would ever be a permanent teacher for the remainder of the school year. Ms. Williams, a co-chair of the JHMS math department, said that because all math teachers have a common planning period, it’s impossible to

have a math teacher who is on staff take over the class. That means hiring a replacement. “They’ve really been trying to do that,’’ Ms. Williams said in late January. “They want a quality teacher with the right qualifications. By school district standards and because we’re a Title I school, we have to have certain criteria. “It’s not going overlooked,’’ she added. “They really have been looking hard.’’ In the meantime, either a substitute or someone who teaches another subject takes over. “When we don’t have a teacher or even a substitute, we usually just leave and go to other teachers on their planning period,’’ said eighthgrader Tichaona Allen. “Sometimes that upsets them, but it’s better than just sitting there.’’ ••• It’s Monday, Feb. 10. A new math teacher, Ms. Sanchez, has

A quarterly “state of the school” conversation with the principal

TRAVANNA SULTAIRE | JHT

Ms. Sanchez explains a lesson to her Period 8 math class.

been hired. A Florida State graduate who grew up in the nearby Bartlett Park neighborhood, this is her first year teaching. “I thought this would be much simpler,’’ she said after her first week. “Not so much the classroom instruction, but the behind the scenes stuff like lesson plans, workshops, meetings and especially learning how to use Portal. “Finding out where everyone and everything is, and even getting used to the schedule has been a challenge,’’ she added. “I literally got sick my first week here.’’ She said most students respect her and only a few continue to test her. “But I think those few are catching on quickly to my rules.’’ “It’s a tough transition,’’ Mr.

Brown said recently when he introduced Ms. Sanchez to the rest of the JHMS staff. “She has got a difficult job.’’ Mr. Brown added that about 70 percent of the students in those classes “are doing well in core math.’’ Ms. Sanchez, who enjoys reading, dancing and cooking in her spare time, said she is impressed with the dedication of many of the students. “I definitely would not have come to school on a Saturday when I was in middle school,’’ she said, referring to the author’s camp program. “That speaks volumes about the mindset the Trojans have. “This school is nothing like how others describe it. “It’s a lot better.’’

When March and April roll around, Mr. Brown, the principal at John Hopkins Middle School, is usually focused on one thing — those high-stakes tests that create a grade for our school. Whether the test is fair, or whether it will be replaced by something else next year doesn’t matter. JHMS is now a D rated school. Our grade has dropped steadily since we were a B school in 2011. This year, Mr. Brown has set a goal of returning our grade to a B. That, he said, will take a lot of work on everyone’s part. And no one knows that more than Mr. Brown. “It’s crunch time and I feel the pressure,’’ Mr. Brown said recently. “I’m hoping the students feel pressured as well and that we all perform. “I think because of who we are here at John Hopkins we will perform,’’ he added. “Because we’re a school of performers. We’ll step up to the plate and do what we need to do to be successful.” How well we do on the FCAT is based on how well we prepare for it, Mr. Brown said. He also stressed that students who struggle with the FCAT can’t be ignored. “We have a large number students who got a Level 1 or Level 2,’’ he said, “but they’re just as important as the students who receive a Level 3, 4, or 5. “Our focus should be for everyone to improve from the year before. That’s the goal, for every student to make learning gains.” Annie Gjineci And Sophie Ojdanic, J.Hop Times Editors


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 5

school news

WANNA FIGHT? HERE IS A FIST FULL OF REASONS NOT TO BY SHAKERA THOMPSON, PARI S WILLIAMS, CONNOR MORSE, NADIN ANTONOVA AND DEJA KING

J.Hop Times Staff Writers

D

o you know what your values are? Do you know a good decision from a bad decision? If somebody came up to your face and said, “Do you want to fight?” what would you do? Walk away? Tell a teacher? Or would you fight? What if they hit you first? That’s a lot of questions, and how you answer them can have a huge impact on the rest of your school year. Fights happen, and they’re happening more often. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the number of outof-school suspensions for fighting in Pinellas County schools increased last year from 551 to 631. Sometimes those fights are front page news. That was the case in late January when two female students at Gibbs High School got into a fight that was recorded by another student who posted the video online. The teacher in the classroom tried to stop the girls, but it wasn’t until several minutes went by that help arrived. Whatever happens, the outcome of a fight is never good. Students at John Hopkins Middle School who take part in a fight, or who film it or egg on the people fighting, could face suspension. If a fight breaks out in class or in the halls, students should do what their teachers tell them to, JHMS principal Mr. Brown said. What students should not be doing, Mr. Brown added, “is egging on students, filming any type of altercation, or not following the instructions of the teacher.’’ As for what students should do to avoid getting into a fight themselves, Mr. Brown said is to act quickly. “Students need to report any disagreement or issue right away,’’ he said. “Don’t let things fester and get worse. Let someone know so we can assist you. Be proactive as opposed to reactive.’’ An’Trez Jackson, an eighth-grader at JHMS, said if

the artistry of

Kamylah Pena

J.Hop Times staff photo ZAC KENNEDY | JHT

he is about to get into a fight he thinks about what will happen after the fight is over. He or the person he is fighting could be seriously injured, he said, or they can get suspended from school and miss a ton of work. He also said that fighting doesn’t solve anything because both people will probably still hate each other. “I would walk out of class to avoid getting into it,’’ he said. “I’d ignore the person and if they still come at me, I’d tell a teacher,’’ said seventh-grader Maya Ramirez. “I’ve been at this school for three years,’’ said Ms. Marshall, a language arts teacher at JHMS. “My advice is that if somebody comes to you and asks, “Do you want to fight?” you should just walk away. Unless they put their hands on you first. You come to school to get an education, not to put your hands on people.’’ Mr. Florio, an assistant principal and the magnet coordinator at JHMS, and Mr. Green, a campus monitor, had several tips for avoiding a fight: • Walk away and tell a teacher, a staff member, or an adult. • Never react to gossip or what you see and read on social media • Don’t hang around people who fight and don’t say negative things about other people. Some of the best advice came from Ms. Rudd, a violence prevention specialist at school. “You should stop and think about what could happen to you,’’ she said. “What you decide to do could have severe consequences. Stop and think.’’ J.Hop Times staff writers Charnise White, Nick Disbrow and Roishar’E Williams contributed to this report.

BY CESAR GARRISON

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

A lot of things have to come together to make a great work of art. And to make a great artist. Kamylah Pena entered a contest at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg last fall along with thousands of other kids. Kemylah won. With just a pencil against a lot of other good artists, she came up with a work of surrealistic art by looking at a mermaid. Her drawing is a woman holding small keys in front of a giant key hole. Kamylah’s art was on display in January and February at the Dali Museum. This all started in school. The first piece of art-

Reading teacher Ms. Gambill consults with Brittney Adams during Author’s Camp while Bryonce Davis, rear, works on her story.

When it comes to publishing, these students wrote the book BY BIANCA COLLINS

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

Most of us have a story to tell. The problem is we don’t know the best way to tell the story, or who to tell it to. How about writing your own book and getting it published? Welcome to Author’s Camp, a Saturday program run by Mrs. Gambill, Mrs. Hedeen and Mr. McBride that’s now in its second year. “Students come out with a book that really expresses how they feel,” Mrs. Gambill said. “They come in with short stories, nonfiction stories, comics, and even love letters.” More than 25 students signed up for the program this year, which is more than last year. Some students are writing books about soccer, some about poetry. “We also have a lot of mystery and fantasy, too,’’ added Mrs. Gambill.

work Kamylah saw was at Gulfport Elementary. It was a painting originally done more than a century ago, and it almost took her breath away. “It was Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh,’’ she said. “I really like the way he used his short brush strokes to create the stars and swirls.’’ It wasn’t just a great master who inspired her. Kamylah’s first attempt at art was with her great-grandmother. “She drew beautiful paper dolls and we’d cut them out and draw on them,’’ Kamylah said. And it always helps to have creative, artistic parents. Kamylah’s parents are professional dancers (ballroom and Latin) and she said they are both very supportive. Finally, there is her determination.

Everyone has a different story idea. There are also stories about stalkers, love letters, and even personal experiences with their loved ones. Eighth-grader Isabelle Hughes is writing about her grandfather. “I am writing about my grandfather because his life is messed up. I feel bad for what he has to go through.” What everyone has in common is they are writing what they want to write about. They aren’t forced to write about a specific topic like they have to in class. Every detail counts. It all adds up to building this amazing story that gets published at the end of the camp. The press date for the student publications is May 8. “The students get great pride in publishing their own work,’’ Mrs. Gambill said. “They learn confidence because it’s structured like a college class.’’

Kamylah doesn’t have a studio at home, so she stays after class to work when she can. She has never been to the Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg, but she has read all about it and wants to go someday. As for the future, she wants to attend the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School next year. After that, she wants to be a professional artist. “I always doubt myself,’’ she said. “I’m not sure if what I do is good or not. But I try not to think about all that and just let it flow.’’ She may not know it, but she has a lot of fans. “She’s very a creative artist,’’ said her teacher, Ms. Smith. “She took to art focus like a duck to water.’’


6 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

school news

Being a sixth-grader isn’t easy You remember. Middle schools have more subjects, hectic lunches, stubborn lockers, and so many unfamiliar faces. Everyone else seems bigger, faster, and stronger than you are. Here are some impressions of what it’s like to be a sixth-grader from some of our J.Hop newbies.

Sixth-grader Isabella Catalina says her favorite J.Hop experience is dance because “it’s fun and I love to dance.”

“Being a sixth-grader is fun because the classes are intense,” says sixth-grader Sera Wentworth. ALECIA BUNAISKY | JHT

ESMERALDA GARAY | JHT

Looking forward to next school year, sixth-grader Leslie Murphy said, “I think I’ll feel good in seventh grade next year because it wasn’t that hard starting in sixth grade.”

Sixth-grader Kai Santiago says his favorite class is “ Ms. Forte’s gym class.” He also says that something that is very different from elementary school is the lunch.

ALECIA BUNAISKY | JHT

KAYLEN CARSON | JHT

Deja Hartzella says she will always remember,”My locker that will never, ever open when I want it to.”

Math is Keysha Pulley’s favorite class as a sixthgrader. “Next year, I hope the math is harder.”

ALICIA PHANDARA | JHT

KAYLEN CARSON | JHT

Eighth grade is a busy, hectic year So many things to finish up, FCAT writing to take, and the big question: Where are you going after JHop? Got plans? These J.Hop students do. By Ken’shara Calhoun

Jekeiria Hubbard says, “I plan to go to Gibbs High School because it’s my zone school. After that I plan on going to St. Petersburg College.”

Zion Moore says she’s planning on going to St. Petersburg High School, “for the Construction Technology program.” Zion plans to go to college, but she’s not sure where yet.

Garren Jones is going to Lakewood,”for the C.A.T. program and the football team.” He plans on attending a four-year college or university.

Eighth-grader Jennifer Marapoti will be going to Gibbs for high school. “I don’t know where I’m going to college, but I want to go to a four-year college.”

Boca Ciega is Luke Nasworthy’s choice for high school. “I’m going for the ROTC army training. I want to be an Air Force pilot.” Luke wants to earn a scholorship to a fouryear college.


I

J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 7

features

BY BAILEE CAMPBELL J.Hop Times Staff Writer

t started with a text from my stepmom. She wrote that Eva Schloss would be speaking that night at the Palladium Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg. She asked if I wanted to go. It was a Monday in mid-February. A school night. My first thought was “Who?” Then I read about her. Eva Schloss is a Holocaust survivor and was a childhood friend and stepsister of Anne Frank, the girl who wrote Diary Of A Young Girl before she died, at age 15, in a concentration camp at the end of World War II. In her book, Anne Frank described how she and her family hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam. Anne Frank is one of my biggest inspirations, so my reply to my stepmom was “Yes, please!” Eva Schloss was not Anne Frank’s biological sister, but after the Holocaust, her mother married Anne’s father, Otto Frank. Anne Frank’s diary was hidden away until after the war ended. In 1947, it was published in book form, and it changed the lives of millions, including myself. After reading the book, I became dedicated to learning everything about Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Anne Frank was a very brave and inspiring young girl. What I did not know was that her stepsister was just as courageous. I had always loved learning about the Holocaust, and I even visited the Holocaust museums in St. Petersburg and Washington D.C. Not only that, I have traveled to Amsterdam and visited the Anne Frank house. I had not known about Anne’s stepsister until I got the text from my mom. And I didn’t know Eva Schloss’s powerful, brave and inspiring story until I heard her speak that night. We arrived with only minutes left until the start of the program, purchased our tickets, and found a seat in front on the side of the small stage. There were two chairs, one for Eva Schloss and one for the interviewer. As the house lights dimmed and the stage lights brightened, a man took the stage to share about what an honor it was to have such a wonderful guest speak at the Palladium. A short film played, and then 83-year-old Eva Schloss shuffled onto the stage to take her seat with the interviewer by her side. I listened closely to every word she said that night. Every detail was stored in my mind. I was listening to the powerful, life changing story of a Holocaust survivor. Ms. Schloss shared her stories of her childhood friend, Anne Frank, and what it was like in hiding. There were stories of the death camps, and how Anne refused to lose hope the entire time until liber-

Bailee Campbell, left, poses with Eva Schloss at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Feb. 10.

A

Courtesy of Bailee Campbell

ation. Schloss shared her story of being set free from the camp, her feeling of tragedy, and it was as if you could picture everything she said in your mind. As the story wrapped to a close, another short film played, honoring Anne Frank and her diary. St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman came on stage to declare Monday as Holocaust Information Day. Ms. Schloss thanked and hugged him, and put her arm around him for a photo. Then she thanked the audience for coming to hear her story and she left the stage. I stood from my seat and watched as swarms of people exited the auditorium. As I walked to the entrance, I stopped at a table to purchase a book that had been signed by Ms. Schloss. I remembered I hadn’t gotten a program for the night, so I walked back to get one. I picked up a whole stack of them and headed toward the entrance again. That’s when my attention was caught by a small group of people crowded around a table. My first thought was that these people were just buying books, but then I looked closer to see that Ms. Schloss was taking photos with people and shaking their hands. Anne Frank had been my biggest inspiration throughout my life, and she had passed. This was the closest I would ever be to meeting someone who knew her, and who was one of her family members. I was not letting this chance go by. I fought my way to the front of the crowd and put my arm around Ms. Schloss for the photo. I smiled as she put her arm around me. As I turned to leave I said, “You are very inspiring.” Her reply was, “Thank you, thank you.” To have someone as courageous as Eva Schloss put her arm around me and thank me was an honor. It was a night I will never forget, and a story I will never hesitate to keep telling.

Monday

night

to remember

Meeting a Holocaust survivor and a woman who knew Anne Frank


8 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

features “They’re so good. They dance on your tastebuds.’’ TYLER GODSHALL, ABOUT HIS DOUGHNUTS

The Donut Man cometh BY AUTUMN STIPE, KRISTI CHITPHAIBOON, GARY ERVIN, PEDRO GONZALEZ, KALIRA RUSSELL, AMAIYA WATERS, ANTONIECE MORGAN AND CHAKIYA PRICE

J.Hop Times Staff Writers

F

KEONDRICK DAVIS | JHT

Disco Donuts owner Tyler Godshall brought his cart to J.Hop and conducted a clinic on what it’s like to be a mobile food vendor.

JAEDEN SLOMIC | JHT

Disco Donut owner Tyler Godshall sprinkles hot from the pan doughnuts with cinnamon sugar.

or a couple of hours around lunchtime, at the parent pickup area behind John Hopkins Middle School, it smelled like the Florida State Fair. And it tasted like heaven. Tyler Godshall brought his Disco Donuts cart to school Feb. 13 and conducted a clinic on what it’s like to be a mobile food vendor. He makes his doughnuts in a little well in the center of his cart. He can make nearly 2,000 mini doughnuts in a six-hour period. “They’re so good,’’ he said, “they dance on your tastebuds.’’ Disco dance, that is. It takes about 45 minutes for him to set up his cart, which he pulls behind his Nissan SUV. He said he

sells his doughnuts at food truck rallys, outdoor markets and food festivals. He even works the parking garage at Tampa General Hospital. Mr. Godshall started making and selling doughnuts less than two years ago. He had no experience in the food business, but he did have a good reason to try. “I was in the corporate world,’’ he said, “ and I got bored sitting at a desk looking at a computer. I had to do something different. “I saw a man at the Big Top flea market selling doughnuts and the line was a mile long. So I thought I’d try that. “I have no regrets,’’ he said with a smile. ON THE WEB

Check out the Disco Donuts page on Facebook: facebook.com/ discodonutstampa

Mr. Parks to students: ‘Pssst. Hey. Math can be fun’ BY SABINE DILIGENT

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

T

he World Trade Center. A sweet shop, The Empire State Building. A popsicle stick suspension bridge. A microwave. The Eiffel Tower. Can you get more varied than that? Students in Mr. Parks’ math class decided to make models of those buildings (and the kitchen appliance) as part of a learning exercise that includes math, geometry and even physics. It’s all part of Mr. Parks’ plan to make learning math more fun. And that’s not all. Mr. Parks bangs a hammer to get students’ attention, and he schedules an intermission in the middle of every class. Intermission is about 10 minutes long and students can do an activity completely off topic. They usually watch a short film. “It gives the students some-

thing to look forward to,’’ Mr. Parks explained. “And you have to make the lesson interesting. I add a lot of humor in my class because it raises the students’ attention level.’’ When asked how he would improve the classroom if he won the Lottery, Mr. Parks said he’d buy couches, lounge chairs, iPads and laptops for his classroom. The rest of the money he would give out to students as rewards. Who is this teacher? Mr. Parks was born in Asbury Park, N.J. He attended a Catholic school with the goal of becoming a doctor, like his father. His mother was a school teacher. His father died when Mr. Parks was just 12. He delivered pizza and started working as a substitute teacher. That’s when Mr. Parks found his calling. He earned his degree at legendary Morehouse College in Atlanta. It was at Morehouse that Mr.

Parks met Dexter Scott King, a son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We’re still friends to this day,’’ Mr. Parks said. “I never thought I’d follow in my mother’s footsteps and become a teacher,’’ he added. “But I was always very good at math and science.’’ This is Mr. Parks’ 20th year of teaching, his fifth at JHOP. He has also taught at a magnet school in Bradenton, and at juvenile detention centers in Pinellas and Manatee counties. One more thing. In his classroom are several photos of Mr. Parks as a young man, including one when he graduated from eighth grade. “I think it lets the students know,’’ Mr. Parks said, “that I was once a lot like them.’’ BRY-ANNA BANI | JHT

J.Hop Times staff writer Maya Rivas contributed to this report.

Mr. Parks works on a math practice exercise for his seventh grade math class.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 9

features “The most scared I’ve ever been, was when I jumped off of a 50-foot building in a rappelling exercise. If you get scared, don’t hesitate. Never be too afraid to try.” BARBARA JEAN NEAL, THE DAUGHTER OF MS. BELL, A READING TEACHER AT JOHN HOPKINS MIDDLE SCHOOL

A lot of growing up in just four months Seventhgrader Terrica McClenta shows off her rubber band bracelets.

DESTINY YOUNG | JHT

brace yourself J.Hop fashion

QEARA SMITH J.Hop Times Fashion Editor MAKE YOUR OWN BRACELETS

This website has tutorials on how to make them: http://tinyurl. com/ngo8otx

For this edition of the J.Hop Times we’re looking at bracelets. Students are making rubber band bracelets during every spare minute they have. They loop rubber bands together and keep doing it until they create a bracelet. “It’s very creative and fun,” said eighthgrader Asia Thomas. Some students make the bracelets by hand, some use a board. The board comes with the rubber bands. Bracelet-making kits are available all over the Internet from around $5 to more than $25. The bracelets can be made in a wide variety of colors. Sometimes students make a rainbow or they weave one solid color. It can be any color you want. Sometimes the kits come with key chains that read “I love you”, or you can create your own message. Here is a simple design you can try at home. The bracelet is called a single loom. This is how you do it with your hands: You take two rubber bands, pick one up and twist it. Then put it on your index finger and your middle finger. Take the other rubber band and do the same thing. Then take the bottom rubber band and pull it up and down from both sides. Now add another rubber band and do the same thing. Still with me? If you’re lost, that’s okay.

KATELYN ANGELIS | JHT

Army private Barbara J. Neal speaks to Ms. White’s class about basic training. Neal is reading teacher Ms. Bell’s daughter.

BY BAILEE CAMPBELL AND CALEB GORDON J.Hop Times Staff Writers

W

hen you think of a hero, you might think of Superman or Spiderman. Or a police officer, a nurse or a firefighter. But what about someone else who wears a uniform? What about someone serving in the military? ¶ Heroes are all around you, and some are fairly close to you. One who is closer than you think is Barbara Jean Neal, the daughter of Ms. Bell, a reading teacher at John Hopkins Middle School.

Ms. Neal, who is 18, visited John Hopkins Middle School recently to talk to students about life in the military. Ms. Neal graduated from Lakewood High School in 2013 and attended St. Petersburg College before she joined the Army last October. She did her basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., and is stationed now at Fort Lee, Va. She said she chose to go into the military because she didn’t want her mother to pay for things like her college tuition. Ms. Neal had never been away from home before, but she said she wasn’t lonely. “We’re all like a family,” Ms. Neal said about her friends in the military, the men and women she called her ‘battle buddies’. “If one person gets in trouble, the whole army group gets in trouble,’’ she said. “You’re with each other, not against each other. If you laugh at one of your battle buddies, you get in trouble. Yes, some of the things they do may seem funny, but you never laugh out loud.’’ When you’re in a military camp, you sleep on bunk beds in barracks and eat your meals at mess halls. You wake up at about 4 a.m. and have to do a series of exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, and running. Then comes the hard stuff. “The most scared I’ve ever been,’’ Ms. Neal said, “was when I jumped off of a 50-foot building in a rappelling exercise. If you get scared, don’t hesitate. Never be too afraid to try.” Ms. Neal said she likes being in the Army and that she’s pretty sure she’s not the same person who left St. Petersburg five months ago. Her mother is certain of it. “She’s very independent, and I didn’t see that in her,’’ said her mother, Ms. Bell. “She’s really learning how to manage herself in the real world. She’s neater, more organized and responsible. “She’s grown up a lot.’’


10 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

features

A summer I’ll never forget This past summer my grandparents, my father, his girlfriend and I took the trip of a lifetime. We went to Europe, and I kept a journal of the whole trip. Here is the third installment. BY BAILEE CAMPBELL • J.Hop Times Staff Writer JULY 7, 2013. DAY 8

Rome to London Today we flew Alitalia airlines again, but we were in first class this time so it wasn’t so cramped. When we got to the airport we picked up our luggage, and someone met us there to bring us to my cousin’s house. We just hung out with my family and talked about what we would be doing the next day. It was nice to just relax for a little while. JULY 8, 2013. DAY 9

London Today was one of the best days of our trip for me. We went to the Warner Bros. studio tour of The Making Of Harry Potter. I’ve been a pretty big Harry Potter fan since I was a little kid. So it was really emotional for me because I basically grew up with Harry Potter books. But before we went, my parents visited Stonehenge. It’s a prehistoric monument near Whitshire, England that consists of a ring of standing stones. The site dates back to around 2,500 BC and was probably a burial ground. Before we left for Harry Potter, we watched one of the Harry Potter movies. And when we got to the studio where the movies were filmed, it was really cool. They had everything from the movies costumes, props, and sets. They even had the flying motorcycle Hagrid drives. The strangest, most shocking part is that Hogwarts is actually about five feet tall. It’s not a real castle like I had always thought. They just film people, and then Photoshop them into it. We had a glass of butterbeer, and then it was time to go check out the gift shop. I bought a shirt and a book. My cousins bought some candy and were eating it the entire ride home. JULY 9, 2013. DAY 10

London Today after breakfast we headed to the

train to go into town. It took about a half hour, and then we switched and got on the subway. It’s amazing how fast those things travel. When we got off, we were in downtown London. We decided to take the Big Bus Tour of London. It’s a double decker bus. When you get on they give you a pair of headphones so you can listen as a tour guide explains landmarks and other interesting things about the city. The only problem with the bus tour is that it seemed like it never ended. We were on it for hours. When we finally got off, we looked around for a place to eat. We had a bit of a family quarrel over a few things, but we dusted it off our shoulders and enjoyed the time we had together. We ate some pizza, and talked about what we would do next. We decided to get back on The Big Bus Tour of London and finish the tour. Another hour of the bus tour, and it was finally over. It was nice, but it just seemed like we were sitting for too long. There wasn’t much more to do in the day, so we got back on the train and headed to my cousin’s house. We ate dinner and watched another Harry Potter movie. Then it was time for bed.

Courtesy of Bailee Campbell

Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station is a popular London tourist destination.

JULY 10, 2013. DAY 11

London Today we got on the train again. We were going to the Tower of London, which is a castle on the River Thames that’s been a lot of things since it was built in 1066, including a mint and the home of the crown jewels. But mostly, it was a prison. Now it’s just a popular tourist attraction. When we got there, we walked around a bit and explored the tower. It was interesting but tiring as well. We ate lunch at a barbeque restaurant, and then met my dad and his fiancé, who were out shopping. We parted from my cousins and went to go to King’s Cross railroad station. That was one of the main things that I had to see in London. I wanted to see it

ZAC KENNEDY | JHT

because of the Platform 9 ¾ from the Harry Potter movies. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the place where the students would go to get on the train to get to Hogwarts. They would run through the wall between platform 9 and 10 and call it platform 9 ¾ . I got a hoodie at the gift shop and a picture of me standing at the platform. After that, we went to eat dinner with my family because it was our last day

in London. We went back to my cousin’s house and talked for a bit, and then decided to go to bed because we were leaving the next morning. I really enjoyed London. Everyone there was nice and I loved their adorable British accents. I don’t know if I would live there, but I may think about it someday. There was still so much I didn’t get to see and do. Maybe next time.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 11

features 1

2

J.Hop Times scavenger hunt Do you pay attention in the hallways, JHoppers? If you do, it could pay off. Locate these ten places around campus. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, write where you think each of these photos was taken. Return your list to the JHop Times Newsroom (5-113) by Friday, April 11. The first 10 people to have all the correct answers will be entered in a drawing. The winner will receive a $10 Target gift card. So pay attention and start looking. PHOTOS BY JHT STAFF

3

6

4

7

5

8

9

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14 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

features Third in a series | My brother

couldn’t let go ZAC KENNEDY | JHT

Guatemala

A Christmas gift BY MILTON SAGASTUME

I

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

t wasn’ t your typical Christmas vacation. Last December, my family and I left St. Petersburg to visit relatives in Guatemala. My dad hadn’t visited his mom for 10 years, so we were all excited to go. First, a word about Guatemala. The country has a population of about 15 million, and the first people of Guatemala were Indians. They are called the Mayans. People from Spain taught the Guatemalans to speak Spanish, which is the language they speak now. On a map, Mexico is north of Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean is to the south. As we were flying in, my brother and I looked through the window to see how high up we were from the ground. The view was amazing. We fell asleep, and when we woke up we finally made it to Guatemala. From the plane, we could see that Guatemala has steep hills, tall grasslands, volcanoes and mountains. We also saw goats, cows, sheep and pigs. We all couldn’t wait to live the life. The plane landed in Guatemala City, the capitol. We took out our luggage and showed the

officers our passports. Outside the airport, we saw our whole family waiting for us. I saw my grandma, cousins, uncles and my aunt and my good friend Eduardo. We were all happy we came back home. We went in my uncle’s car and drove for six hours to get to his house. When we finally made it, we ate dinner — eggs, black beans, cream and tortillas. It was delicious. My aunt and uncle’s house is huge, and like the rest of the city, it is on top of the mountains. Around the city you could see many different makes of cars. You also see dogs on the streets day and night. On Christmas Eve we were up past midnight launching fireworks and opening our presents. For dinner we had quesadillas, which were awesome. The next day we went up to the mountains to break a pinata. Another day we went to the zoo. They had many amazing animals there, like pumas, elephants and more. It was a blast. Finally, the time came to leave Guatemala. We said our goodbyes and hugs and went to the airport. I hope we come back soon. This was the best vacation of my life.

Courtesy of Bry-Anna Bani

BY BRY-ANNA BANI

S

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

ome people say life is the best when you are the youngest in your family. You get spoiled, you get a lot more attention, and you get away with a lot more. But for me, it’s different. I don’t like being the youngest. Yes, I get spoiled and I get away with a lot more stuff. But I have to see what my brothers and sister are going through, and I suffer from their decisions. It’s so hard to see what they are going through. My mom always said, “When you do something, it never affects just you. It affects your family, friends, and the people who are really close to you.’’ That’s especially true when it comes to my brother. Our family suffers together. You would never think that your sibling would be in prison almost your whole life. You would never think that the person you are closest to wouldn’t be in your life most of the time. Sometimes it hurts just seeing my brother locked up. I just want him to come home so that we can be a family again. I just want to be nor-

mal. I just want my family to be normal. Every Christmas is the hardest. A normal family will have presents opened in the morning, laughing and having a good time. Then have a nice dinner and a little party. But my Christmas is always different. We open presents and mope around all day until dinner time. We always have a family dinner and it is always hard. Someone is missing, and we all feel it. Seeing my brother for the first time on a recent Sunday was like a breath of fresh air. Watching him walk through the doors and seeing his smile, my heart soared. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I hugged him. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to think about us having to leave him in a couple hours. I just wanted him to come home with us. When I hugged him, I didn’t want to let go. I just wanted him to hold forever. I miss him so much that when I see him, everything changes. I actually get butterflies because I know that in a few hours, we will have to leave. And when we leave, it will be another year before we see him again.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 15

features

thePIANOman

J

BY RONNY BRITT AND NADIN ANTONOVA

J.Hop Times Staff Writers

ANNIE GJINECI | JHT

Seventh-grader Tam Tran practices a piano piece during class on Feb. 14.

ust three years ago, Tam Tran was living in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. He spoke ver y little English a n d d i d n’ t know much about McDonald’s, baseball or bell schedules. Today he is one of the most accomplished piano players at John Hopkins Middle School. Tam is 13, he has a soft voice, and when he is asked a question, he takes a long time to think about his answer. He is asked if he wants to be a professional pianist when he is older. “That’s a very nice question,’’ he replied. “I don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet.’’ Tam said he and his family left Vietnam “to seek opportunities”, and that he enjoys living in America, even though many of his relatives still live in Vietnam and he is not sure when he can see them again. He has been playing about five years, and comes from a long line of piano players. Tam’s father plays

and teaches piano, and his brother can also play. Tam practices about one to two hours a day. Tam says that playing the piano helps him relax. He likes playing Beethoven, Mozart and Bach and he has written two songs. He’s also a big fan of Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift. When he’s not playing the piano, he’s reading action, comedy or horror novels. One of Tam’s favorite books is To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. As you might have guessed, Tam is straight A student. It’s not easy being really good at something, or being from a different part of the world. There are times when Tam said he is picked on at school. “But I’m used to it,’’ he said. Ms. Hartley, Tam’s piano teacher, said he is “extremely talented but his future depends on what he decides to do with it. He has a quick mind and can understand new songs and learn them quickly. He also has quick, elastic fingers”. As the interview with Tam ended, he leaned forward and added something. “Ophthalmologist,’’ he said. “That’s what I want to be when I’m older. “Play piano at night, and be an eye doctor during the day.’’

Okay, so what do teachers like to read? H THAYER TYMON J.Hop Times Literary Critic

ow does someone become immortal in a world of mortality? One way is to write something memorable, something that stands the test of time. The greatest authors are remembered for showing us that there are still amazing and extraordinary things in the world. Ask someone who loves to read to name their favorite author, and chances are you’ll get an immediate response. Ms. Serne, a language arts teacher at John Hopkins Middle School, didn’t miss a beat when she was asked that question. “C.S. Lewis.” Lewis is well known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he also wrote philosophical and spiritual

book. Ms. Serne’s favorite book by him is The Great Divorce. “It tells about how the people of the world get on a bus to go to heaven,” Ms. Serne said. “But in order to enter heaven, they have to let go of what made them human down on Earth. For example, if someone on Earth was a great artist, they would have to let go of their talents in order to enter.’’ Mr. Memmer, a seventh-grade civics teacher at JHMS, has a great love of books. One of his favorites is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. He enjoys the book because it examines how people judge others before they meet. Hurston’s writings inspire Mr. Memmer to be a better

person, he said. Mrs. Rubin, the librarian at JHMS, said she couldn’t pick just one favorite author. She named three: J.K. Rowling, Kristen Hannah, and Caroline B. Conney. Ms. Rubin said she adored the Harry Potter series; it actually got her started reading when she was younger. Without that series, and other books, Mrs. Rubin said there is a chance she might not have become a librarian. Kristen Hannah, another author Mrs. Rubin likes, writes about the relationships between siblings, and about married couples. These pairing between people who care about each other usually face an issue in the relationship that challenges them. They discover

ways of overcoming their difficulties. Mrs. Rubin’s favorite book by Hannah is Night Road. As for Caroline B. Cooney, she wrote the Face On The Milk Carton series. Mrs. Rubin read the books when she was younger and re-read them when becoming a librarian. She said that re-reading the books “helped remind me how middle school was.” Without authors, we wouldn’t have the books that shaped generations, that changed the way we think and see the world. And without authors, so many fantasies wouldn’t exist. That’s why the stories are so important. They show us the worlds where we can laugh, cry and wonder why.


16 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

features

Get the drop on a thrilling new ride The location of the Polercoaster has yet to be decided. BY RONNY BRITT

I

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

t will stand about half as tall as the Empire State Building, and riders will hurtle toward the ground at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour. Amusement park lovers and thrill seekers will be happy to know that the world’s tallest roller coaster (for the time being anyway) will be built in central Florida in the spring of 2016. The exact location of the Polercoaster has yet to be decided, but it will be unlike any coaster ever produced, says the Orlando-based company that will build it. The Polercoaster is part of a new breed of roller coaster. We’re talking tall here. Instead of a traditional horizontal layout that typically requires lots of land, the new ride’s track will hug a giant metal pole. Single-car coaster trains will slowly spiral up the massive

Top 10 spring break locations (for college students) 1. South Padre Island, Texas 2. Miami Beach 3. Cancun, Mexico 4. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 5. Bahamas 6. Puerto Rico 7. Jamaica 8. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 9. Sanibel Island 10. Playa del Carmen, Mexico Source: U.S. News and World Report

tower to reach the top. The Polercoaster will be 520 feet tall, or as high as a 52-story building. Since 2005, Kingda Ka, located in Jackson Township, N.J., holds the record for the world’s tallest rollercoaster at a staggering 456 feet tall. But the Polercoaster will be 64 feet taller than Kingda Ka. According to the U.S. Thrill

Top 10 theme parks in North America by attendance

Top 10 spring break locations (for JHMS students) 1. The fridge 2. Netflix 3. Tumblr 4. To sleep 5. St. Pete Beach 6. Disney World 7. Not here (school) 8. Universal Studios 9. To get pizza 10. Narnia Source: J.Hop Times staff writers Bailee Campbell, Zac Kennedy and Annie Gjineci

PEARL GOPFERT | JHT

Rides website, the Polercoaster’s “operation is simple. Trains are boarded by guests. They are then driven to the top loading them with enormous potential energy. Gravity then takes over … aided by designers skilled in wringing every ounce of adrenaline out of that stored energy. Thoroughly exhilarated guests disembark at the bottom. The result is a guest experience sure to drive repeat visitation and word of mouth promotion.” Two glass elevators will take people to an observation tower at the top, which will be either a restaurant or shops. The tallest roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa is SheiKra, which stands at 200 feet tall and reaches speeds of 70 mph, which is 10 mph faster than the Polercoaster. But Polercoaster’s extra 320 feet will probably make riders forget how fast they’re going.

ZAC KENNEDY | JHT

Rank Park Name

Location

2012 attendance

1

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

17,536,000

2

Disneyland

Anaheim, Calif.

16,140,000

3

Epcot

Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

11,063,000

4

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

9,998,000

5

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

9,912,000

6

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando, Fla.

7,981,000

7

Disney’s Californian Adventure Anaheim, Calif.

7,775,000

8

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando, Fla.

6,195,000

9

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal City, Calif.

5,912,000

10

Seaworld Florida

Orlando, Fla.

5,358,000

Source: Themed Entertainment Association – Global Attractions Attendance Report


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 17

features

Accomplishing My Dream A regular series BY KEN’SHARA CALHOUN J.Hop Times Staff Writer

S

ome day, if you ever go to one of those mystery dinner theaters where the actors mix with the diners while they’re performing a play, you might see Carol Hurtubise. That’s where she wants to start her acting career. Carol, an eighth-grader in the drama program at John Hopkins Middle School, started acting in elementary school. She entered a talent show where she performed a magic act. That’s all it took. Being on stage brought something out in her, she said. Something wonderful. Since then, Carol has been in several plays, including The Music Man and Once On This Island. She said she especially likes duet acting, “because I do them with my friends.” Duet acting is when two actors perform a short scene using only two characters. It’s often used in drama competitions. Carol, who wants to go to the PCCA program at Gibbs High next year, said she’s good at acting because she loves it. And because she loves it, she throws all of her energy into it. “If you love to do something,’’ she said, “it shows.’’ She knows her journey to Hollywood or Broadway might take some time, so first she wants to work in dinner theater. Carol said she can get a chance to stand out from other actors by taking different and challenging roles. And by trusting her ability. “If you can be yourself,’’ she said, “you can stand out.”

KEN’SHARA CALHOUN | JHT

Eighth grade drama focus student Carol Hurtubise studies her script outside the John Hopkins Performing Arts Center.

A journey to the

stage


18 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

features

Beep! Beep! Beep!

a day in the life of a figure skater BY SABINE DILIGENT J.Hop Times Staff Writer

iStockphoto.com

I groan, roll over in bed and slam the snooze button. My eyes spot the only source of light in the room. It reads 5:45. A.M. I shoot up, realizing I only have 15 minutes to get ready. I scramble out of bed and race to the bathroom. I brush my teeth, wash my face and put in my contacts. I change out of my pjs and put on my tights, pants, shirt and jacket. Then I dash to my parent’s room to wake up my mom. Time to go to the office. I pack my bag, slip on my socks and put on my UGGS. I roll out the yoga mat and stretch my splits. “Mom, I’m ready!” I yell. From somewhere, I hear a faint reply. “Okay … okay. I’m coming.” This is my Saturday morning ritual. As we open the back door the darkness fills our eyes. We feel our way to the car. Of course, we pull into a Starbucks. My mom can’t function without her coffee. “Can I have a vanilla macchiato?” I have learned to not complain about how long it takes. Finally the barista hands her the coffee. She takes a sip. “Let’s go!” she screams. In the car I pull my hair up into a high ponytail and attack it with hairspray. The parking lot at the ice rink has little pieces of gravel that used to be the cement. When you pull in, you hear a crushing sound. I drag my bag behind me. It’s a certain bag that basically every figure skater has, not only at our rink, but all around the world. It’s called a zuca bag. It’s a rolling sort of suitcase that you can sit on while you put on your skates. If you flip it on its back, you can ride it. I walk through the automatic doors. My friends call to me, and I start to walk towards them. “Sabine, sign in!” yells Ms. Phyllis. I always forget to sign in, so she is my reminder. I sit on the bench with the girls from synchro. Synchro is short for synchronized skating. It’s a type of skating that you do with a large group of people. You hold on to each other’s shoulders and do footwork in synch. My rink has two synchro teams: youth and teen. I am in both. At 6:45 is teen synchro practice. I take my skates out of my bag and pull the soakers off the blades. Soakers are like towels that you put on your blades when you’re done skating. It keeps them from rusting. I shove my feet into my skates and pull on the laces with all the strength I have.

Ms. Shannon is screaming. “You have 30 seconds! Hurry!” We all run and squeeze through the door and hop on the ice. I stroke around the rink to warm up. “Did anyone eat this morning?” Mrs. Megan asks. Everyone shakes their head no. Nobody dares to eat before synchro, or else your stomach won’t thank you. After synchro we have a 15 minute break. I find my mom and get an energy bar and some water. We retie our skates and adjust our hair. And then break is over. “Time for circuit!” Ms. Marianne shouts. We head to the ice and are welcomed by blasting loud music. We know the drill. Everyone skates towards the coaches. We huddle and receive our assignment. Usually it’s swizzles. Swizzles are when you start out with your heels touching and then you create a diamond shape and then your toes are touching. You’re not supposed to pick up your feet. The coaches have a specific playlist that matches the exercises we do, so we have to do it to the rhythm of the music. We do an intense workout and then we are split into groups based on skill. The next 15 minutes are spins, jumps and footwork. “Tiptoes!” Ms. Gail yells. My face goes from a smile to a large frown. Tiptoes are when you have to walk across the ice on your toe pick (the spikey part on the top of your blade). Some people love it and others (like me) hate it. After the dreaded tiptoes, my sore feet move onto spins. I attempt my Frattie Annie spin and fail. A Frattie Annie is when you’re on one foot and bending almost to the ice and your other leg is straight in front of you. And you’re trying to touch your nose to your knee. Next it’s time for jumps. I skate away from my group for my axel. I, of course, fail miserably. Axels are one of the hardest jumps to land. It takes some people years to get it. After about 100 attempts, it’s time for footwork. Footwork is personally the hardest and most boring. After footwork, it’s time for the Zamboni to redo the ice. We get another 15 minute break. I try to rest because after this, I have my private lesson. Then I teach little kids, and then, finally, I go home. I realize the time and rush to the ice. You can’t be late to a private lesson because you pay a dollar a minute. I only do 30 minutes. All I want to work on is my axel, but my coach wants me to work on my footwork. Ugh. After my lesson I have an hour and a half break. I sleep in the car. I am awakened when my friend Haley knocks on the window screaming, “Sabine! Wake up! You have 10 minutes until tots!” I burst out of the car and run back into the rink and tie my skates. Finally it’s time to go home. I look at the clock by my bed. It’s 1:30 p.m. Good night.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 19

puzzles Bring it on down to Riddleville By Amber Lemire Hello again my fellow brain teasers. I decided to be a lot more generous this time around, and I hope you enjoy your new set.

1

The title of a person, that people call them by, and when people ask you it, you should never ever lie. It is given on your birthday, and used almost forever, and should you think of getting rid of it, that will be a never.

2

Pronounced as one letter, but written with three. Two letters there are, and two only in me. I’m double, I’m single, and I’m black, blue, and gray. I’m read from both ends, and the same either way. What am I?

3

Unseen, Unheard, Not a whisper, nor a word. Creeps in, as the sun fades away. But alas, in moonlight it holds no sway! Yet I shall return, the very next day.

4

With pointing fangs it sits in wait, with piercing force it doles out fate. Over bloodless victims proclaiming its might, externally joining in a single bite.

5

There is something that is nothing, but it has a name. It joins our walks; it joins our talks; it plays in every game. What is it?

6

What can you keep without ever touching? What can you hold without ever using your hands?

7

Hit me hard and I will crack but you’ll never stop me from staring back

8 9

What is so delicate that when you say its name it is broken?

The strangest creature you’ll ever find: Two eyes in front and many more behind

10

The man who invented it doesn’t want it. The man who bought it doesn’t need it. The man who needs it doesn’t know it. What is it? ANSWERS 1. Your name; 2. “Eye”; 3. Darkness; 4. Stapler; 5. Shadows; 6. A secret. Your breath.; 7. Mirror; 8. Silence; 9. Peacock; 10. A coffin

Source: www.riddlers.org

Word search


20 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

sports

a trip John Hopkins students visit the Tampa Bay Rays stadium in SOPHIE OJDANIC | JHT

The view from the press box at Tropicana Field shows preparations for Fan Fest, which was Feb. 22.

KATELYN ANGELIS | JHT

A sculpture depicting a Rays outfielder bursts through the wall at center field.

St. Petersburg.

SOPHIE OJDANIC | JHT

The Rays dugout will soon be full of activity when the team opens the home season on March 31 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

BY THAYER TYMON, QEARA SMITH, BIANCA COLLINS, BAILEE CAMPBELL, RACHEL GADOURY AND RONNY BRITT J.Hop Times Staff Writers

m

ost of us can see it from our classrooms, that huge spaceship of a sports dome just down the street from John Hopkins Middle School. It’s where you can find home shows, high school graduations, boats shows and bowl games. But more than anything, it’s the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Tropicana Field. This year the St. Petersburg/ Tampa area is celebrating 100 years of baseball spring training. The Trop is just 24 years old — a rookie by comparison. “But the Trop is one of the main destinations for people visiting the area,’’ said Geoffrey Schmidt, coordinator of marketing and promotion for the Rays. “It’s got the second largest collection of baseball memorabilia next to Cooperstown. “And, of course, it’s got one of the most exciting teams in baseball, the Rays.’’ Nearly 30 journalism students from JHMS toured the Trop last month to explore the place that besides the Rays, has over the years hosted tennis matches, horse shows, basketball and hockey games, and RIGHT: Tampa Bay Rays Marketing and Promotions Coordinator Geoffrey Schmidt explains how operations work inside the Rays Vision Control Room.

VERONICA SIERRA | JHT

Morning light shines into the atrium just inside the Gate One entrance to Tropicana Field. ANNIE GJINECI | JHT


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 21

sports

to the Trop motorcycle races. It’s even hosted ping-pong tournaments. The students also wanted to learn what it was like to be a reporter who covers the Rays. On a typical game day at Tropicana Field, Mr. Schmidt said, baseball beat writers sometimes show up as early as 9 a.m. when the game doesn’t start until 7 p.m. “They might need to talk to a player who is coming in early for rehab,’’ Mr. Schmidt said. “Or they might be working on a bigger story that takes lots of interviews.’’ About 75-80 media members cover a typical Rays game, including print, TV and radio broadcasts in English and Spanish. Most reporters watch the game from Level 4, an area above and right behind home plate. When the game is over, reporters take elevators to the home and visitor’s locker rooms to interview players and coaches. The reporters then go back upstairs and file their stories or finish their broadcasts. Another key part of the Trop is the Rays Vision control room, the computer room that runs the contests, the D.J. Kitty video, the player profiles and everything else that shows up on the giant screen in centerfield. Two JHMS students were allowed to push a handle on a control board that put Rays star Evan Longoria’s picture on the giant screen. “Everything is scripted,” said Mr. Schmidt. “But the timing is really important.’’ After every game at the Trop, Rays manager Joe Maddon sits in the dugout and answers questions from reporters. This time, Mr. Schmidt and Rays fan host Ted Ciske took the questions from J.Hop Times reporters. Someone asked where the Rays will be playing 10 years from now. “Right here,’’ said Mr.Schmidt. “We have a lease until 2027, and unless something changes and we get a new ballpark, this is where we’ll be.’’

About the stadium π The Trop is the world’s only

professional sports facility that has live cownose rays. The Rays Tank opened in 2006 and is located just behind the right center field wall. There are more than 30 rays and some horseshoe crabs that fans can touch and feed. π Fans may notice K2, S23 and 143-B painted in centerfield. Those are the call numbers of three St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty in recent years. Many SPPD officers work security at the Trop. π The Trop just turned 24. When it opened on March 3, 1990, it was called the Florida Suncoast Dome. The name changed to the Thunder Dome in 1993. It has been Tropicana Field since 1996. π Tropicana Field’s eightstory tall rotunda entrance was designed from the same blueprints used for the rotunda at legendary Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. π The largest crowd at the Trop was 47,150 for a New Kids on the Block concert in August, 1990. π The Trop is the second largest completely domed stadium in America (the Georgia Dome is the largest.) The fiberglass roof at the Trop is lit orange after the Rays win at home, symbolic of the ballpark’s title sponsor, Tropicana Dole Beverages.

KATELYN ANGELIS | JHT

ABOVE: The visitors’ clubhouse is ready for baseball season to begin in April. LEFT: Rays Fan Host Ted Ciske, front, and intern Derek Dye lead a tour for J.Hop Times journalists on Feb.19.

SOPHIE OJDANIC | JHT

Source: Tampa Bay Rays

“It’s (Tropicana Field) got the second largest collection of baseball memorabilia next to Cooperstown. And, of course, it’s got one of the most exciting teams in baseball, the Rays.’’ Geoffrey Schmidt, coordinator of marketing and promotion for the Rays

Stadium seats await opening day at the Trop. ANNIE GJINECI | JHT


22 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014

sports

UPCOMING EVENT | South County District Track Championship: Tuesday and Wednesday, April 8-9 at Lakewood High School

WATCH YOUR HEAD CONCUSSIONS ARE ON THE RISE IN CONTACT SPORTS. BY ROISHAR’E WILLIAMS

Sports injury facts

J

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

ust about everybody likes football, especially the tackling part. Fans cheer when a player makes a big hit. The National Football League even puts microphones on some players so you can hear the sound of their pads slamming into another player. But there is a price to be paid. Tony Dorsett, Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Junior Seau are just some of the pro football players who had concussions and other head injuries during their careers. A few of them, like Seau, later died. Many students at John Hopkins Middle School play contact sports like youth football. Go to any rec center on a Saturday in the fall and you’ll see football games and practices. And players getting hurt, including concussions. More than 248,000 children visited hospital emergency rooms in 2010 for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries related to sports and recreation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But if parents and schools make sure students have good coaches and safe equipment, the chance of head injuries goes down, said Ms. Forte, a physical education teacher at JHMS. She had no big problem allowing her son to play football.

π Approximately 8,000 children in America are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries. π Among children, those aged 15 to 17 were most likely to make an emergency room visit for a sports injury. π There are three times as many catastrophic football injuries among high school athletes as college athletes. π Close to 65 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practices. π Nearly 16 percent of youth and high school football players who sustain a concussion severe enough to cause loss of consciousness return to play the same day.

Illustration by Dante Wilkenson

to play. Because the kids are going to play. They’re taking a risk every time they do.’’ It’s not just football and other sports that can cause head injuries. Students who ride bikes or skateboards should always wear a helmet. But many don’t, and not because they can’t get one. “Our school has tons of helmets that we tried to give away, but no

He was a starting defensive end for the University of South Florida who recently graduated. And he never had a concussion. “But it (a concussion) is always a concern,’’ Ms. Forte said. “You have to think about how well constructed the helmets are, and how well trained the coaches are. I would alert parents to be concerned about who’s teaching their kids how

Source: Clearedtoplay.org

one took them,’’ said Ms. Forte. “They’re brand new and still in their boxes. They’re in my closet. Nobody wanted them.’’

Are kids less physically fit than their parents? About 12 percent of American children were obese when they started kindergarten, and about 15 percent were overweight. But by eighth grade, 21 percent were obese and 17 percent were overweight. • From kindergarten to eighth grade, the number of white children who developed obesity increased by 65 percent. The increase for Hispanic children was 50 percent, and for Asian children it was 40 percent. The increase for black children was 120 percent. • Obesity was least common among children from the wealthiest families. It was most common among middle-income families. •

By the time they reach high school, 64 percent of children are no longer physically active. • In a recent middle school survey, half of all students said they want more time for physical education. • About 40 percent of U.S. school districts have either eliminated recess or are considering eliminating it. • Nine out of 10 parents think their kids are fit; only one in three actually are. • The top three states with the most overweight people: Mississippi, West Virginia and Alabama. The leanest: Colorado, Hawaii and Connecticut. Florida ranked 34th. •

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Planning for the future is great, but this …? BY CHARNISE WHITE, ROISHAR’E WILLIAMS AND NICK DISBROW

J.Hop Times staff writers

Why wait until high school? Zadock Dinkelmann, a 14year-old eighth-grader who plays quarterback for Somerset (Texas) Junior High, made an oral commitment last month to play football at LSU. If he does suit up, it would be four years from now. Zadock, a 6-foot-4, 190pound nephew of former Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, won’t be able to sign his national letter of intent until Feb. 7, 2018. He has yet to play a down of varsity high school football. “LSU is a top program, and Zadock has liked LSU for a long time,” said Zadock’s father, Johan Dinkelmann (“long time” being a relative term). “It was an opportunity that we, as his parents, wouldn’t let him pass up if that’s what he wanted.” LSU made national headlines in 2012 when it offered a scholarship to Dylan Moses the summer before his eighthgrade year at Baton Rouge (La.) University High. This is the earliest known commitment in college football since 13-yearold David Sills committed to USC in 2010. Several students at John Hopkins Middle School said they thought committing to a college while you’re still in middle school is a good idea. “It’s something they really want to do,’’ said seventh-grader Sommer Pearson. But not everyone felt that way. “I don’t think middle school kids should commit to play college football,’’ said Ms. Griet, a French teacher at JHMS. “Academics are no longer important, and you have to put your studies first.’’ Source: Associated Press, ESPN


J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 20, 2014 • 23

sports

Dream season ends victorious Paris Williams and Ashley Frazier lead Lady Trojans to 10-0 record and the South District title. BY CALEB GORDON

T

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

hey started out fast and didn’t slow down until the last game of the season. And by then, it didn’t matter. The John Hopkins Middle School girls’ basketball team began its season Dec. 2 with an easy victory over Azalea Middle. Two months later, the Lady Trojans capped their season by beating Bay Point in overtime. In between, they won all their games to finish with a 10-0 record and the South District championship. Using a strong defense and the scoring of eighth-grade point guard Paris Williams, the Lady Trojans steamrolled through the season; they outscored their opponents 397-125. The team’s last victory was their finest. The Lady Trojans went on the road to defeat Bay Point 44-39 in overtime Jan. 23. Led by Paris’ 25 points, the Lady Trojans battled Bay Point for almost every rebound and loose ball. “Paris got beat up and knocked down,’’ coach Forte said. “They (the Lady Falcons) were trying to hurt her.’’ The tactic didn’t work. Paris, who is headed to Boca Ciega High School next year, scored five points in overtime to seal the victory. “They had one player whose

job was just to guard me the whole game,’’ Paris said. “It was hard, but we had to win that game. Paris said she practices at the Wildwood and Campbell Park rec centers, and at home. “My daddy taught me a lot,’’ she said. “And it was great that teachers and students came to our games. That helped us a lot.’’ “This is my third year coaching,’’ said Ms. Forte. “We’ve gotten better every year. But this year is the ultimate.’’ Ms. Forte said Denise Hall, Macey ZehArndt, Jo Thomas, Alize Bryant, Ashley Frazier and Shakera Thompson also contributed to the final win, along with the rest of the team. Ms. Forte said she has five sixth-graders and a seventh-grader coming back next season. But for now, she’s just happy to enjoy her dream team and their dream season. “The night we won was so exciting,’’ she said. “I didn’t want it to end.’’ As word spread around school, everyone offered congratulations. “I went to most of the games and they were outstanding,’’ said Ms. Bell, a reading teacher at JHMS. “The games built character and self-esteem for all of those girls. “Coach Forte, her staff and the parents went above and beyond for this team. They were all amazing.’’

Lady Trojan’s captain and point guard Paris Williams jumps for the rebound during a game against Tyrone.

Photos by KATELYN ANGELIS | JHT

Trojans’ power forward Griffin O’Neil leaps for a shot in a game against Azalea.

J.Hop Lady Trojans huddle during a game against Baypoint Lady Falcons.


24 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, March 24, 2014

features

An old friend gets a new life Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food Restaurant anchors the reborn Manhattan Casino. BY BAILEE CAMPBELL

I

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

t was the place everyone had to go to, especially on warm summer Saturday nights, when legendary musicians like Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn and Louis Armstrong rolled into town. For more than 40 years, the Manhattan Casino was at the center of the black community in St. Petersburg. Built in 1925, people flocked there for dances, weddings and other social events. But by 1968, it was closed. An interstate highway, integration and changing tastes helped shut the dancehall down. For another 40 years it just sat there on 22nd St. S., like an old friend who was down on his luck. But you should see it now. Located just a few blocks from John Hopkins Middle School, the Manhattan Casino, with Sylvia’s Restaurant in the ground floor, reopened last November. When journalism students from JHMS toured the building recently, the people who run the restaurant, and the people who manage the Casino, shared a mission. They want the two new businesses to bring the neighbor back to life. “This building used to be the hub of the southside,’’ said Casino event manager Ms. Adrienne Reddick. “We want to make it that again.’’ Ms. Reddick said the ballroom in the Manhattan Casino can hold up to about 250 people for banquets and social events. She said there have been about 20 events held there since the Casino reopened. Ms. Reddick said you can almost feel the history of the building. Mr. Larry Newsome, who runs the company that manages the Casino, said there are only a few other famous buildings, like the Royal Theater down the street, that remain from when 22nd St. was the center of the community. People don’t have to wait for a party upstairs at the Casino to enjoy the good food downstairs at Slyvia’s. “It started with the original restaurant back in Harlem,’’ said Mr. Newsome. “It was just a lunch counter, but it grew into a city block. “President Obama, Whoopi Goldberg and a lot of other famous people have eaten there.’’ Among the items on the menu are chicken

KEN’SHARA CALHOUN | JHT

VERONICA SIERRA | JHT

Artis Nettles, Sylvia’s manager, explains the restaurant’s operations.

livers, barbeque salmon, short ribs, catfish, mac and cheese (Are you hungry yet?), chitterlings, oxtails and chicken and waffles. The restaurant is named after Sylvia Woods. She was a waitress at the Harlem restaurant for eight years and eventually became the owner. She died last year, but her family continues what she started. Mr. Newsome said Sylvia’s makes their own products, such as beans, peas, and sauce that will soon be on the shelves of supermarkets. Executive chef Dan Mitchell said all the food is made from scratch, and that the restaurant is also famous for its cornbread. “It’s the first thing you get when you sit down,’’ he said. In the back of Sylvia’s there is a small VIP table for business meetings and other gatherings where people might need a computer. There is also a special counter for tak eout. Behind the counter is a photograph of Caroline Kennedy and Al Sharpton having dinner at the Sylvia’s in Harlem. “Soul food has kind of lost its rank with society,’’ said Mr. Artis Nettles, the manager at Sylvia’s. “And we want to bring it back. This is cooking from the heart. We want to pass on the traditions and this restaurant keeps that authentic soul food theme alive. “And along with the Manhattan Casino,’’ he added, “this means a rebirth, a revitalization, of this part of St. Petersburg.’’ J.Hop Times staff writers Griffin O’Neil, Ronny Britt, Thayer Tymon and Qeara Smith contributed to this report.

Morning customers enjoy breakfast at Sylvia’s. The restaurant is open seven days a week.

Richard Walker preps for the lunch crowd at Sylvia’s.

ANNIE GJINECI | JHT

Sweet potato pie, top, and yellow layer cake are some of the tempting desserts at Sylvia’s.

KEN’SHARA CALHOUN | JHT

Sylvia’s dining room is set for the lunch crowd.

ANNIE GJINECI | JHT

Sylvia’s sells its own line of products, everything from barbeque sauce to black eye peas is available in the take-out section of the restaurant.

KEN’SHARA CALHOUN | JHT

JHT March 20th Edition  

The fourth issue of the 2013-2014 school year. http://jhoptimes.pcsb.org

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