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Charlotte UNCC 49ers

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Wheelin’ Their Way To Glory Athletes with Disabilities

RILEY NASH Rushes Towards New Hockey Season

Soccer Mom Steps In

to Coach Varsity Boys at Ardrey Kell

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OUR DENTISTS Pediatric Dentists David H. Moore, DDS, MS, Diplomate Cecilia Hwang, DDS, Diplomate David Thome, DDS, Diplomate General Dentist (Practice Limited to Children)

Carrie Dunlap, DDS Orthodontists Samuel J. Burrow III, DDS, MS Stephen T. Saks, DDS, ABO Anesthesiologist Charles Cangemi, DDS, MS, Diplomate

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4 – My School Rocks!

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• New Patients Always Welcome We take great pride in • New Patients Always Welcome • Same Day Appointments providing excellent dental • Same Day Appointments care whether it is a minor • In-Office & At-Home Whitening • In-Office & At-Home Whitening restoration or a complete • Veneers, Lumineers & Bonding • Veneers, Lumineers & Bonding smile makeover. Our state• Most Insurance Accepted of-the-art facility allows • Most Insurance Accepted • Free Consultation us to ensure that you are • Free Consultation • Complete Family Care pleased with your new • Complete Family Care • Cosmetics Emphasized beautiful smile. • Cosmetics Emphasized • Payment Plans AvailablePlease call 704-895-3858 • Payment Plans Available • Invisalign® Orthodonticsto schedule an appoint• Invisalign® Orthodontics or stop by and let •WeAlltake Porcelain Crowns great pride in ment • New Patients Always Welcome • All Porcelain Crowns you and your family excellent •providing Emergency Care dental us• give Same Day Appointments • Emergency Care

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care whether it is a minor something to smile about. • In-Office & At-Home Whitening restoration or a complete • Veneers, Lumineers & Bonding smile makeover. Our stateWe take great pride in providing excellent dental care Whether it is a minor restoration or a complete smile makeover. of-the-art facility allows • Most Insurance Accepted our stateWe -of-thetake -art facility usthat to ensure that you are pleased With your neW beautiful smile. please call usgreat to alloWs ensurepride you in are • Free Consultation 704-895-3858 to schedule an appointment or stop by and let us give you and your family something to smile about. pleased with your new providing beautiful excellent dental • Complete Family Care smile.

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Contents Issue #74 2012 The Sports Issue www.MySchoolRocks.com

Tim Hausmann, CFP 2313 Randolph Rd. Charlotte

(704) 332-0011 3401 South Blvd., Suite A Charlotte

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THANKS for Making Us #1 in North Carolina

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20 Publisher’s Note...........................8 Features: Wheelin’ Their way to Glory......10 Soccer star Steps In....................14 Cover Story: Riley Nash Rushes Towards New Season .......................................20 School Features: Bain Elementary School............28 McKee Road Elementary .........30 Stoney Creek Elementary..........32 Chalkboard: Not Sliding By...........................34 History Fun: Game On!..................................40 Story Time: The Cheer-Ful Competition.....42

10 14

Game & Puzzles: UNCC 49ers.............................44 Why is That?: Don’t Rub It In!...........................46 6 – My School Rocks!

34


In Loving Memory

Don’t Let a Day Go By

Even though this is our sports issue, I have decided to stray away from the norm and reflect on how short life is. You always hear about people telling you to hug and kiss your parents every day. You should cherish each day as if it was your last. Many times we say “I love you” but are we saying it because it seems the right thing to say at the time or because someone else says it first. On Thursday, September 20th my father became ill. He was only 74 years old and had just received a clean bill of health from his doctor. Two days later, I found myself in the emergency room with him unresponsive. He had slipped into a coma (a deep sleep) and never woke up. It turned out to be a case of Bacterial Meningitis, which affects the brain. Unfortunately he did not recover.

I did speak with my father on Saturday morning and we talked about my work, his work, his grandkids, etc. It was then time for me to go to work and I told him I would talk to him later. What I failed to do was tell him how much I loved him and how so very grateful I was for all the things he had done for me in the past. You always think you will have tomorrow to let them know but this was not the case for me this time.

Robert Paul Phillips My Dad - by Leah Hendrie If I could write a story It would be the greatest ever told Of a kind and loving father Who had a heart of gold

It is important that each person makes sure they take time out of their busy schedule and their own problems, pursuits and desires to wish well to all those that they care about most.

If could write a million pages But still be unable to say, just how Much I love and miss him Every single day

Don’t let a day go by without telling someone “thank you” for all she has done. Don’t let a day go by without telling someone he means a great deal to you and that you love him. Don’t let a day go by without apologizing for any wrong doings you may have done or forgiving those that have wronged you. Don’t let a day go by.

I will remember all he taught me I’m hurt but won’t be sad ‘coz he’ll send me down the answers And he’ll always be MY DAD

Sincerely, Michael Phillips, Publisher, mphillips@myschoolrocks.com

Staff:

|

Production Design: Reema Patel

Contributing Writers: Bea Quirk Courtney McLaughlin Kimberly P. Johnson Resa Goldberg Virgina Franco

Financial Manager: Shari Sobolewski Illustrator: Zoe Ranucci

On The Cover: Riley Nash

Publisher: Michael Phillips Copy Editor: Resa Goldberg

8 – My School Rocks!

Sales: Sales@MySchoolRocks.com

Cover Photo By: Photo Courtesy of © Charlotte Checkers

MySchoolRocks.com

www.KidzBizPublications.com

My School Rocks! is paid for by the sponsors located within the publication and NOT by CMS, or government funds of any kind. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. Send

mail to My School Rocks!, P.O. Box 78734, Charlotte, NC 28271-7040; fax 704-973-7863. Photographers: Copyright 2011-2012 by Kidz Biz Publications, LLC. Printed in USA. My School Rocks! is published by Kidz Biz Publications, LLC. Emily Mattos Submissions are welcome, but the editor assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material and may use them at his/her We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Articles do not necessarily William Brown discretion. reflect the opinion of the publishers. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written permission from the Checkers action shots publisher. For more information or comments call: (704) 401-5268. Courtesy of © Charlotte Checkers and Dan Nied, Mike McCarn, Gregg


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9


by Nadine Rosen

Whe y r o l e G l i n o t A t hl ’ s T y n h a e i r W o s ete les s with disabilities learn lifelong from year-round sports

by Virginia Franco

More than one in five Americans have a disability that leaves them unable to participate in traditional recreational sports. The Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats Wheelchair Basketball Program is proud of its role that changes all that—giving kids and adults with physical disabilities an opportunity to be part of a team, and proving that physical disability doesn’t mean you can’t be active and competitive in sports.

Mike Godsey, it all began when he and two others had children with physical disabilities. Wanting an option for them in the sports arena, they quickly realized that cost was a big obstacle. “We wanted to start a program for those who couldn’t afford to play,” Godsey says. “Kids at the YMCA need $100 shoes to participate,” he notes, “while a wheelchair costs $3,000.”

For Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats Founder, Director, and Coach

Furthermore, Godsey wanted to instill some important

10 – My School Rocks!


lifelong lessons taught by sports participation. “I’ve always been a firm believer in team sports,” Godsey says. “Efforts as part of a team always bring greater results than those made individually.”

A Team is Born The Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats joined the National Wheelchair Basketball Association in 2005 as the only team affiliated in part with an NBA team. To fundraise and support their efforts, they formed the private non-profit Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas. Beginning with just one “Prep” team for ages 12 and under, today the Rollin’ Bobcats field two junior teams for older children as well as adult levels that compete regionally and nationally. Although teams practice at Providence Presbyterian Church in South Charlotte and at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center off of Tyvola Road, they travel to compete nationwide October through April in cities like Nashville, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix, and Tampa.

Worth the Sacrifice Traveling around the country with a team is a financial sacrifice not to mention a huge time commitment. However Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats coaches, players, and family members, don’t seem to mind. “It is well worth the effort,” says Tracey Backus,

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My School Rocks! –

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that includes events like archery, weight-lifting, and even table tennis, explains Godsey. The organization is extremely proud of its college participants active in basketball and track. To participate, children must have a permanent lower body disability. This can include wide ranging conditions including brittle bone disease, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries. The levels of severity within these conditions vary significantly, as do the ages of the children on the team. “Our youngest basketball player is four years old,” says Godsey. mother of 11-year-old Bain Elementary School student Caroline. Assistant Coach Lottie Godsey, sister to a JV player and daughter of the program’s director, agrees. “It is so rewarding when they figure things out and to watch them grow in their athletic abilities,” she says. “I can totally picture them growing to be as great a player as my brother is!” From a player’s prospective, playing is just pure fun. “It’s my favorite sport,” Caroline says, and in her opinion is something that anyone with a disability can play. “I love that you get to play together as a team, and experience the way real basketballers play.” Her favorite thing about playing is hearing the cheers. “Our families and our teammates all cheer for each other,” she says. “We have a great fan base,” Godsey says. “The whole family comes and they are the loudest in the crowd whether we are playing in Charlotte or Atlanta.”

12 – My School Rocks!

Godsey’s take on this wholehearted family support? “Disabilities truly affect the whole family good or bad,” he explains. “When it comes to disability sports the impact is positive and everyone wants to be a part of it.” “We even had a child who drove for five years from Roanoke to Charlotte,” Godsey says. “That’s how much playing meant to him.” This particularly inspirational athlete currently attends the University of Illinois on a wheelchair basketball scholarship.

Year Round Sports In addition to basketball, athletes affiliated with Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas can play sports year round by participating in wheelchair track and field, swimming, golf, and softball as part of the Carolina Cruisers team. Almost half of the basketball athletes also participate in track and field

“Disabilities truly affect the whole family good or bad,” he explains. “When it comes to disability sports the impact is positive and everyone wants to be a part of it.”


National Success In the past six years, Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats Wheelchair Basketball teams have registered in 55 regional and national tournaments, and compiled an overall record of 120 wins and 63 losses. Their national success includes several Top 10 finishes. A crowning highlight was the Junior JV team’s second place finish nationally in 2008, only to return and win the National Championship in 2009. The Rollin’ Bobcats have recently sent six athletes to college on basketball scholarships, and they are proud of their three players and two coaches on USA teams. Furthermore, the Junior Rollin’ Bobcats have had players selected as part of the “Academic All-American” team on 13 separate occasions. The performance of the Carolina Cruisers is equally impressive. Athletes have competed and finished their respective seasons at National Championships across the country in cities like Tampa, St. Louis, and Chicago. As a result, Godsey notes the names of many athletes who compete in the Paralympics are familiar.

Fundraising “We are a 100 percent volunteer-driven grassroots organization,” explains Godsey. “When someone makes a donation, all of it goes to our players and our league.” In addition to paying for site usage and portions of travel expenses, funds acquired through private donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships go toward purchasing wheelchairs as well as to scholarships. Special fundraisers including The Rollin’ Bobcats Golf Classic also contribute to funding the bottom line. “Our annual operating budget is $75,000,” Godsey explains. The cost of a monthly trip is $5,000 alone. To instill the notion of hard work in return for generosity, the organization’s athletes support the NBA Bobcat’s Thanksgiving Food drive, sell pucks at Checker’s games, and participate in other creative fundraising efforts from gift cards to basket shoots. Throughout the regular basketball season, the Rollin’ Bobcats often

provide half-time entertainment at many of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats home games, as well as at regional universities including UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte’s home basketball games. According to the Rollin’ Bobcats website at www.rollinbobcats.org/rbc, funds also go to improve the lives of others outside of the organization. The group has improved equipment (walkers) used by disabled community members, provided ramps to enhance home accessibility, and has even provided emergency financial assistance to a family with a disabled child who lost their belongings in an apartment fire.

Room for More In total, the program provides services to more than 45 in the Carolinas and Virginia, and they’d love to support more. Anyone interested in playing sports or contributing to these programs can call 704.651.9900, go to www.rollinbobcats.org send an email to info@rollinbobcats.org.

My School Rocks! –

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Soccer Mom Steps In

To Coach Boys’ Varsity Team At Ardrey Kell By Virginia Franco Ardrey Kell’s Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer Coach Kim Montgomery’s, formerly Kim Yankowski, name may be familiar to many soccer fans–as she has accrued an impressive amount of accolades during her two-decade athletic career. Montgomery replaced Coach Jeff Mercado who also coached both boys and girls during his tenure with the school, and led the Knights to great heights since taking over when the school opened in the fall of 2007. Montgomery admits she was at first not sure if as a 40-year-old mother of two, the boys would provide her with respect right off the bat. She was pleasantly surprised and sorely mistaken. “I laced up my cleats and said ‘we’re going to play a little possession,’” she recalls. “I gained their attention and respect from there.” Hired to coach the girls’ team, Montgomery agreed to coach the boys’ workouts throughout the 14 – My School Rocks!

summer while they continued searching for a full-time coach. “After those workouts, they wanted me to be their coach,” she explains “It all just worked out.” Bumps in the Road While highly confident in her coaching ability, the road to success has not been without its challenges. “We’d lost seven boys to graduation and seven more to academy-level soccer that prohibits players from playing for their school concurrently.” While the team certainly had some ground to make up, the changes has given other players the chance to shine. “Many are starting and scoring goals or are defending. More kids are getting playing time than they otherwise would have and I’ve seen an increase in their confidence levels.”


A Championship Resume After winning two state championships as a star player at Point Pleasant High School in NJ, Montgomery earned three All-ACC honors at N.C. State University, and was an all-American her freshman and senior years in college, leading the team to the NCAA tournament each and every year. Among Wolfpack soccer aficionados she is something of a rock star with three impressive top-ten standings: she still ranks fifth on their all-time scoring list with 95 points, seventh in goals (32), and third in assists (31). She was named to the ACC’s Top Women Soccer Players of All-Time team, and then competed on the U.S. Women’s national team from 1990 to 1999. As a semi-pro player for the Raleigh Wings, she won three championships and was their 1998 MVP. In 2000,

My School Rocks! –

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this tenure that opened her eyes to the importance of high school sports, she told a South Charlotte Weekly reporter in July of 2012. “In high school you have freshmen and seniors on the same team where the older kids have to teach the younger ones,” Montgomery says. “The experience teaches kids to become better leaders and helps them make decisions on and off the field,” she says. When it comes to being a kid at a big school like Ardrey Kell with 2000-plus kids, being a high school athlete serves an additional purpose. “When you’re an athlete at a big school it makes you special and makes you stand out,” she explains. “You have to keep your grades up, you have a couple of hundred people watching you at each game . . . it’s a really big deal.” Keeping the Bar High Montgomery knows she is filling some pretty large shoes. Ardrey Kell predecessor Mercado advanced the girls’ team to three state finals in just four years. Montgomery plans to keep the bar high on both teams. For the girls, she’d love to help the school reach the pinnacle at the state finals. “To win a state championship here would be special,” Montgomery said. she was the sixth overall pick of the Carolina Courage and helped to get the league off the ground. In 2001, her team defeated the Washington Freedom led by Mia Hamm to win another championship.

even a student. While earning her Master’s degree from Virginia Tech, she served as the team’s assistant coach, and in 2009 the Women’s Premier Soccer League’s (WPSL) Florida Surge hired her to coach.

Her love of the game naturally evolved into a love of coaching, and Montgomery has since coached teams at the high school, club, college, and semi-pro levels while serving double duty as a player and

High School Athletics and Student Leadership While playing semi-pro in Florida she coached as an assistant at Lake Mary High School. It was during

On the boys’ side, Montgomery notes that they have never won the conference. “The varsity boys’ team started out pretty shaky with last minute losses in overtime,” she notes. The team has since learned to win and is now three and three in the conference, and she remains hopeful they’ll peak and be playing at their best to win it this year and go 10-3. To quote a former colleague, “Nothing matters ‘till the playoffs,” she says, although admits the challenges Continued on page 18

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Continued from page 16

are exciting while grueling. “It is a 12-round boxing match every single game whether we win or lose,” she says. “I have to coach my butt off from the start of the whistle to the end of game.” A Parent and a Coach Montgomery blends parenthood with coaching expertise, she says, which helps her relate to parents and their concerns. “Being a Mom I get it and know that as a parent you often only see one kid on the field,” she explains, “but as a coach I can see 20.” She believes this blended knowledge helps her with parent communications and to resolve issues. “I’ve not been faced with anything I can’t handle,” she says.

She believes this blended knowledge helps her with parent communications and to resolve issues. “I’ve not been faced with anything I can’t handle,” she says.

Kim Montgomery with her two girls Madison on left and Carly on right. 18 – My School Rocks!


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Riley Nash Rushes Towards New Season By Resa Goldberg

20 – My School Rocks!


Riley Nash had been moving towards one moment his whole life. It all began when he was three years old and his mom took him and his brother and sisters to the rink near their house in Kamloops, British Columbia. He parlayed his passion for the ice into organized hockey as he played during his school years for the Thompson Blazers, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the Big Red. Riley remembers idolizing his hero, Shane Doan, a well-respected NHL veteran and captain of the Phoenix Coyotes. And then, finally, there Riley was, playing in his NHL debut, ironically facing off against Shane and Phoenix in Carolina on Dec. 21, 2011. Riley had always put Shane high above himself through a decade or more of offseason training, but there they were together, on the ice during warmups in Raleigh and Shane was talking to him as a peer, a friend, a viable competitor before the game. “It was a dream come true,” says Riley about the game that night. “I was like a kid who finally got to walk through the doors of the candy store.” Riley Nash is entering his third pro season playing center for the Charlotte Checkers. He was acquired by the Carolina Hurricanes organization in June 2010 and then sent to Charlotte to develop. All 30 NHL teams operate this way, drafting players and sending most to “farm teams” to work on their skills. Mid-way through the season last year, Riley was given his first chance and feels fortunate that he was able to play five games with the Hurricanes. His goal is My School Rocks! –

21


He was the first round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft to shoot that up to 10 or 15 this year, assuming the NHL lockout that was in place at the time of publication, has ended. Riley, 23, grew up in Kamloops, a small town about three hours east of Vancouver. He is the second youngest of four children with an older brother, Brendon, whom he always had to compete against. “I was always competitive with my brother,” says Riley. “I was always the little brother who had to play with Brendon’s friends when they were playing road hockey and I was always the last pick. No one ever wanted me on their team because I was the young kid. I always felt like I had something to prove.” He discovered a love for hockey early on, despite being proficient at other sports such as soccer, lacrosse, basketball and rugby. During the 2005-06 season, he played major midget hockey with the Thompson Blazers, followed by a season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks—where he was named team MVP and Rookie of the Year. He was the first round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL draft and went on to Cornell University with his brother, who now plays for the Montreal Canadiens organization. Riley finished his three-year career at Cornell with 102 22 – My School Rocks!

points and 101 penalty minutes in 102 games. He was named both ECAC conference and Ivy League Rookie of the Year as a freshman and named to the ECAC First Team and earned honorable mention All-Ivy League honors during his sophomore year in 2008-09. Critics have cited his defense as one of his strengths. But he is interested in continuing to work on his offense this season, even if it means shaking things up a bit, moving past the image of the nice guy, the little brother. Maybe not being so cautious all the time. Clad in a black T-shirt and pants, he pushes an imaginary lock of pale red hair out of his eyes and says, “Yeah, I’ve been to the penalty box a few times, but I haven’t gotten into a fight during my first two years.” He pauses, as if gauging the reaction from the Rockin’ Reporters. “I think that might be one of the one of the things I want to do this year! My mom won’t be happy about that but…” A hint of a smile. He says he believes the Checkers are a good enough team to win their division, make the playoffs and possibly win the

league. And, oh yeah, don’t forget the call that’s coming from the Hurricanes. RR When did you first learn how to ice skate? RN I first started ice skating when I was three or four years old. My mom had me on these two-blade ice skates. I think I learned to ice skate before I even learned how to ride a bike. RR How old were you when you started playing hockey? RN My first real year of playing hockey I was five or six years old, so I was pretty young. It was the first sport I ever played. I’ve loved it since then. Below: Riley Nash with Rockin’ Reporters Lauren and Ben


RR When you were a kid, was there something else you wanted to do when you got older, other than playing hockey? RN I’ve always been amazed by airplanes. I always wanted to be an airplane pilot or fly a plane one day. I still hold onto that dream because it still might happen. You never know. I think that would be pretty cool. RR How did you manage getting your homework done and practicing hockey when you were in school? RN I just didn’t do my homework. No, just kidding. My mom was really strict on us. If we didn’t have our homework done, we didn’t go to hockey or go to our sporting events. School was number one and sports were sort of a bonus. I’m pretty thankful to my mom for keeping me on that type of schedule because it has helped me later in life.

Being traded to Carolina was a big part of my decision too. I really liked the Carolina organization and thought it would be a good opportunity.

RR Why did you decide not to finish out your senior year at Cornell? RN You sound like my mom grilling me with these questions! I just felt like it was a good opportunity. Hockey will only last so long and I just felt like there is a time limit to how long I would be able to play. I wanted to give myself a chance to play in the AHL or the NHL. I think I will be able to get my schooling done and then move on to a different profession at another time. This is what I want to do with my life right now. Being traded to Carolina was a big part of my decision too. I really liked the Carolina organization and thought it would be a good opportunity. RR Describe a few of your favorite highlights from your first season with the Checkers? RN I think making it to the third round of the playoffs was really cool. We were so close to winning it all. My School Rocks! –

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RR When did you get that concussion? How did it happen and how long did it take to recover? RN It was in a game in Milwaukee. I took a hit to the wrong part of my head. I blacked out. It was scary. I don’t want to do that again. I was out for just over a month. When you have a concussion you just have to stay home and watch TV. But that’s not fun all day every day. RR Why are you passionate about hockey? RN I love everything about it. I like that every time you go out there you get to compete against someone. Even if you were better than them yesterday, they can be better than you today. You have to prove yourself everyday. I think that’s good. It’s a good life lesson. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. It’s what you do today. 24 – My School Rocks!

RR What do you do during the “off” season?

RR How many NHL games have you played?

RN I go back home to Kamloops. That’s something you guys will need to do. Go find Kamloops on a map. It will be tough to find. We have a river that goes through town; my brother and I just enjoy being out on the water.

RN I played five last year. It seemed like a lot to me. In one of the games, I was credited with a goal, but I knew right away that I didn’t score it. It bounced off the goalie, then off another guy and then in. But everyone thought I scored so when I got out of the rink that night I had received 100 texts from friends. Then I had to tell them I actually didn’t.

RR What do you like about living in Charlotte? RN I love living in Charlotte. It’s warm. It’s summer for nine months out of the year and you don’t get any snow. It’s rarely below freezing. You guys should go live in Kamloops for a season and see what winter really is.

RR Do you see big differences between pro hockey in Canada and the USA? RN I think in Canada, everyone knows hockey. Everyone loves hockey. They eat, sleep, breath hockey. When I go home in summer, everyone knows about hockey, how I did, how all the NHL teams did. They care about hockey. Continued on page 26


Continued from page 24

Down here its football and basketball. Hockey would probably be the fourth sport that people pay attention to. But interest is growing and that is good. RR Have you ever played against your brother’s team, the Montreal Canadiens? RN No, I’ve been waiting. It would be during the playoffs if it happens.

RR What is your plan this season? Will you play for the Checkers and/or the Hurricanes? RN I hope the lockout ends so I have a chance to play for the Hurricanes. The players and owners are in negotiations. They need to make up a new collective bargaining agreement. Preseason should have already started. Hopefully they figure it out soon. Though it isn’t so bad being around here.

Rockin’ Reporters in Their Own Words

Ben, 7th grader, Jay M. Robinson Middle School: During my interview, meeting Riley Nash from the Charlotte Checkers was amazing. I was happy to ask questions I wrote to him and hear his answers. The photo shoot was fun because we got to go on the ice and take pictures with him. I hope I get to do this again because it was really fun. After school, Ben enjoys playing soccer and mountain biking with his friends.

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Lauren, 5th grader, Providence Spring Elementary School:

I thought it was really cool to be a Rockin’ Reporter and meet Riley Nash. The interview was my favorite part because it was interesting to learn about him. The pictures were fun but it was really cold out on the ice. We got to watch them practice and play each other. They were doing goal practice and pucks were flying everywhere. I thought it was really fun! Lauren likes to swim, jump rope, play guitar and sing, play basketball and watch movies and hang out with her friends.


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Bain Elementary School Embracing the Past, Present and Future by Bea Quirk

Although it has an enrollment of about 1,000 students who attend classes in two different buildings, Bain Elementary School in Mint Hill – also known as the Bobcats -remains very much a small town school. Founded in 1889 as Bain Academy, the school “has a long and storied history, and the town takes a lot of pride and ownership in it,” says principal John LeGrand. “Some of our John M. LeGrand teachers were students here, so there is a lot of stability and long-term relationships.” Indicative of that kind of that deep connection between the town and the school, each year, residents – even those who don’t have children at Bain – come out in droves for the annual Spring ArtFest, when the artwork of every child in the school is on display. In addition, visitors are greeted by students singing and playing instruments outside the building. “We are part of the community,” LeGrand says. “Our culture is that everyone comes together to make things work, even if it doesn’t directly include them.” That includes parents, too. Says Kai Bobbitt, chair of the PTA’s Fundraising Committee, “Our parents are committed and give time and money. It’s a wonderful family-centered

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environment, and parental involvement makes it a great place to be. As big as the school is, it feels small. Everyone knows each other. “And our principal listens to us PTA parents and supports us fully – he works hand-in-hand with us,” she adds. Even students are aware of how special those relationships are. Camille is a fourth grader at Bain. “The teachers and students here are kind and loving. Teachers Camille understand our problems, and you can talk to them. They’re like a close friend, not just a teacher. “This is a good place to be,” she continues. “Everyone has a great time – even if we are not at recess all day.”

Janet Barnhardt

Students learn as they are having fun, and Bain is proud of its academic achievements. It has been a North Carolina Honor School

of Excellence for the last four years, and its student achievement growth is among the best in CMS. “I’m excited about the direction we are moving in,” LeGrand says. “We keep pushing the bar higher and higher. I am so impressed with the staff – they are never content. They increase their expectations each year.” Notes teacher Janet Barnhardt, “Anyone can go to anyone for help. There’s a desire among everyone to help every child who walks through the door. We are a huge team working for the same goal.” Bain’s ESL program is also highly successful, and LeGrand says they are very close to meeting their goal of having every student exit the program before they reach middle school. Most of the ESL students are Russian-speaking. Bain is on the cusp of a major milestone in its 123-year history. Next fall – at the start of the 2013-2014 school year – students will attend classes in a brand new school now being constructed on the same site.


Students currently go between two buildings: one dating back to the 1950s and another to the 1980s. A third building, part of the original school and constructed in the 1920s, still stands on the Kai Bobbit site and was used until last year when it was condemned for being unsafe. “I am ecstatic about this new building,” Bobbitt enthuses. “It’s a phenomenal daily show to watch it being constructed.” Adds Barnhardt, “By watching it go up, we are embracing both the past and the future.” The new structure will bring many exciting changes to Bain. One is a cafetorium, which encompasses a cafeteria and an auditorium. When schoolwide assemblies are held, the wall between the two rooms can be removed, and everyone in the school can attend at the same time. Currently, there is no area big enough for that to happen. The cafeteria will feature a flat screen TV to broadcast school news and announcements, and the gym will have a rock climbing wall.

Presbyterian Church across the street because there isn’t enough room at Bain to hold students, faculty and proud parents and family members. In 2014, it will be held at the school. At the ceremony, students perform skits they have written themselves. The construction means that the parking lot has been reconfigured, which creates some logistical issues. But it has also meant that the students can watch their new school take shape. However, says LeGrand, “Our focus will remain on what is going on inside the school building.” One of those focuses is a new literacy program called “Balanced Literacy,” which will be used in all grades, K-5. But as Camille says, “We also learn things outside the classroom.” There are clubs for photography, knitting, fire safety and chess. Artists often visit and talk to students, who also enjoy performances by outside groups such as Taradiddle Players. “They put on ‘Cinderella’ last year, and even the boys liked it,” Camille says.

“This is going to be such a change from what we have now,” LeGrand observes.

The school also sponsored a student talent show last year which was a big hit. Students danced, played instruments, did karate demonstrations and showed off their hula hoop skills.

For example, the Fifth Grade Promotion Ceremony is now held at Philadelphia

Technology is also being introduced into the classrooms. The school has just three

SMART Boards for its 43 classrooms, and instead is focusing on classroom projection systems that will eventually enable teachers to project what is on their computer screen -- including access to the Internet – on large screens in the front of the classroom. Wireless keyboards and mouses will be added down the road. “It’s a work in progress,” LeGrand says. “The PTA is raising money so we can buy those screens to turn classroom projection systems into SMART Boards.” Bobbitt says the PTA raised $55,000 last year and hopes to raise $75,000 this year. One the favorite money-raising events is ‘Boogie for Bucks,’ when students collect pledges and then dance in the gym for 30 minutes, collecting prizes along the way. This year, in conjunction with the new school construction, the PTA is “selling” bricks for the school walkway. Contributors will have their names engraved on bricks when they make a donation. The PTA will not just approach parents in this effort, but also local businesses, townspeople and alumni. In addition to fundraising, putting on family-oriented events and the annual endof-school Field Day, the PTA works hard to recognize teachers during the year. “We do a lot for teachers to keep them motivated – they go above and beyond in their efforts,” Bobbitt says.

Bain Elementary School 11524 Bain School Road Charlotte, NC 28227 PH: 980-343-6915 http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/ bainES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: John M. LeGrand My School Rocks! –

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McKee Road Elementary Shooting for the Stars by Virginia Franco Hall signs that read “Never Let It Rest until the Good Is Better and The Better Is Best” serve as an inspiration at McKee Road Elementary in southeast Charlotte. The goal however lofty seems attainable in this school that continues to achieve academic growth year after year and is now under the leadership of Principal Beverly Newsome, a CMS veteran and a graduate of West Mecklenburg High School. Following years as a teacher and nine years as Lake Wylie Beverly Newsome Elementary School’s principal, she served at Endhaven Elementary School before former Superintendant Peter Gorman’s handpicked her to serve as a Strategic Staff Principal at Druid Hills Elementary. Newsome joined McKee in 2010, and immediately recognized some of its special qualities. “I tell others I’ve died and gone to school heaven,” Newsome says. “McKee has everything you want a model school to be,” because of the tremendous parent support, superior teachers, and engaging children. A School is Born

McKee Road Elementary opened its doors in 1989 with Bill Tingle as its first principal. The school can readily trace its name to its McKee Road address. In keeping with the times, the school transitioned its mascot from an Indian to a star, and today students are proud to be the McKee Road All Stars.

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When Tingle began interviewing he knew exactly what he was looking for, Third Grade Teacher Elizabeth Bryant, the school’s only remaining charter member, recalls. “He had high expectations of children and of his team.” Exceptional Child Assistant Nellie Pettis came to the school during year two, and like Bryant has witnessed the school’s evolution first-hand. “The school has changed, but the changes have been Nellie Pettis for the better,” she says. “I was here when the school grew from empty classrooms to need 30 trailers for 1300 students and then back down again,” Pettis recalls. She is also proud of the school’s increased diversity. “When I

joined we probably had only five African Americans,” she recalls. Today the school boasts diversity in its student body totaling 500 plus. Master Instruction with a Love of Learning “McKee is special because there are so many master teachers—teachers that are natural in the classroom and who love children,” Newsome explains.

Bryant concurs. “Our teachers are extremely dedicated with an impeccable work ethic,” she says. “I don’t know what it is – even new teachers just step right in and rise to the occasion.” Achieving academic progress in an already high-performing school is no small feat. Newsome credits the school’s success to its teachers’ willingness to continue evolving their instructional methods, as well as to the children who share a love of learning and who want to do their best. Bryant puts it more simply, “Teaching is more than putting something out of a book,” she explains, “you need to inject a


little humor, a pinch of sarcasm, and go the extra mile.” A Phase III Model School

For the 2012 – 2013 school year CMS

selected McKee as a Balanced Literacy Phase III school based on staffing and the school’s ability to make changes. The school will serve as a model institution as CMS includes more schools in this program.

Language Arts under Phase III includes more time for Readers’ Workshop as well as increased read aloud time, small group book conferencing and lesson instruction, and additional literacy processing that calls on students to engage in higher order thinking. Although the program targets language arts, science and math also reap rewards as the curriculum requires more reading than ever before. Phase III remains aligned with CMS’ introduction of a national core curriculum, and participants have access to the Response to Instruct (RIT) online assessment tool providing a K-5 baseline screening. RIT gives teachers a goal for each student to achieve by year-end, according to Newsome. “Everything we are reading tells us the program is aligned with predicting student success,” she notes, “which makes it extremely beneficial.” Extra Curricular Student Leadership

Under Newsome’s leadership the school has experienced a dramatic increase in extracurricular offerings. Students can

choose from a variety of clubs ranging from chess to recycling and community service, as well as Girls on the Run, Odyssey of the Mind, and yearbook. Students this year can also audition for chorus and the musical production “Annie Jr.” These offerings help to strengthen the school’s community feel, while offering students ample opportunities to show leadership. A School of Character

McKee has always been and remains today school of good character, Bryant notes. To continue in the school’s tradition, Newsome instituted the highly-coveted Principal’s Award Elizabeth Bryant awarded to students each month based on adherence to distinct character traits outlined in the school’s agenda and discussed in the classroom. Newsome selects award recipients based on teacher and student feedback.

Newsome also tweaked the school’s discipline system last fall following a faculty book study of 1-2-3 Magic. The school’s “All-Star Way” outlines common sense expectations across all classrooms, and rewards students and classes for good behavior. The results have been extremely positive. “I’ve noticed a decrease in

student suspensions, and I see children striving to earn rewards and receive acknowledgement.” A Bright Future Although the school has always been good, in Newsome’s opinion a good school can always get better. She plans on continued innovation and excellence in education until 100 percent of students have achieved full proficiency as well as growth.

Teachers appear up to the challenge. “We’ve always been a great school with kids striving to do their best,” Bryant notes, “and teachers do their best to exceed CMS expectations.” Together with small differences that start the day off right – whether engaging the students in morning calisthenics or a patriotic sing along via the school’s televised broadcast system – staff, students, and parents should have no doubt the school will achieve its goals.

McKee Road Elementary 4101 McKee Road Charlotte, NC 28270 980-343-3970 http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/ mckeeroadES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: Beverly Newsome My School Rocks! –

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Stoney Creek Elementary A Great Neighborhood School by Bea Quirk Just beginning its fourth school year, Stoney Creek Elementary School in northeast Charlotte is working to create a sense of community and school spirit among the Cardinals. It has already come a long way. For example, every morning, principal Gina Smith greets and speaks to students (in Grades K-5) and their parents when they arrive.

Gina Smith

“Ms. Smith takes the time to greet and smile at each kid and their family in the morning,” says parent and school volunteer Lynda Freely. “She’s always available – I commend her for that. “The teachers and staff are wonderful, too,” Freely adds. “They are dedicated to making sure each child is learning, and they encourage parent contact. I appreciate that. There’s a real sense of being part of a team.” About 75 percent of Stoney Creek’s students are AfricanAmerican. Although technically not a neighborhood school, many of the 850 students live nearby, and nearly 10 percent of them walk to school. Kim Albertson

“It’s like a family, a home here,” says science facilitator Kim

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Albertson. “So we’re very big on inviting parents to the school.” Last May, an Evening of Excellence was held, an open house for families when students’ work was on display. There’s also an annual talent show put on by the approximately 100 students enrolled in the after-school program. The school also holds science and book fairs. “Our parents are happy, and they tell me their children like to come to school and feel cared about,” Smith observes. “Our teachers feel cared about, too. I want to stay focused on that and keep all of that alive.” Teacher turnover is low. Some 85 percent of them started with the school in 2009, as did Smith. “I opened the doors to the school and am focusing on building a community that works together. There’s a strong focus helping each other at Stoney Creek,” she says.

Julie Konarski, First Grade Teacher says “This is a great learning community. There’s a lot of collaboration. Everyone is positive and upbeat. It’s a happy place to work.” Because the school is new, there are computers and LCD projectors in the classrooms. Fundraisers have helped the school purchase some SMART Boards, and a grant has enabled staff to buy iPads. “We all share the technology,” Smith notes. But the achievement Smith is the most proud of is “our teachers’ focus on academics and instruction. They go above and beyond to find out what each student’s learning needs are.” And they are encouraged to be innovative. “We’re not afraid to try new things here,” Smith says.

Julie Konarski


For example, while most classes use small group reading instruction, the children in Julie Konarski’s classes are encouraged to read and improve their reading skills with the help of Deiter, a certified reading therapy dog owned by the Setzer Family. (Konarski says there are few – if any – other schools in CMS that use a reading therapy dog.) Deiter, a black Labrador, comes to class once a week for 90 minutes, when each child gets one-on-one time reading to him. Konarski used the dog with her first graders the last two years; now she is teaching second grade. She plans to introduce Deiter to special needs students this year, “By listening so attentively to the children, Deiter engages them, helping to build their fluency and confidence,” says Konarski, who wrote her thesis on reading therapy dogs. “Research has shown that these dogs can help improve students’ reading scores. “At the end of the year, we have the children write thank you letters to Deiter. They tell him he has made them a better reader and has made reading fun,” she adds. Freely’s daughter, Kayla, a second grader, was one of Konarski’s students last year. “She loved reading to the dog,” says Freely. “It geared her up and made her excited about reading, made her motivated to read.” In addition, Konarski says, “The dog’s presence creates a calm and nurturing

environment.” She praises Smith for letting her bring Deiter to the school. “We are encouraged to think creatively, outside of the box, be unorthodox,” Konarksi says. For instance, last year Konarski’s first graders held a peace march around the school in honor of Martin Luther King Day. This year it may become a schoolwide activity. Students are also encouraged to read by participating in Read Across America Week when everyone dresses up as Dr. Seuss characters and in a contest called “Who Wants To Be A Reading Millionaire?” This year, the school’s goal is to have students read 2.5 million minutes. The fun learning activities are not just limited to reading. As the school’s science facilitator, Albertson plans hands-on, interactive activities each week, such as making motorboats and rockets. Third graders create aquariums, and kindergartners watch caterpillars blossom into butterflies. The school hopes to soon have a butterfly garden, so when the butterflies are released, they will stay near the school. Fourth graders create compost piles to learn how long it takes items to decompose. Seeing how long it takes plastic bags to decompose, students now encourage their parents to use cloth bags when they shop. Students also sell popcorn in re-usable cups instead of in bags.

Rosie the super reader - Kara Rosenberg Albertson Einstein - Kimberly Albertson Martha the Mathematician - Valerie Joseph

The emphasis on being sustainable and green is schoolwide. Last year, the Cardinals received a $1,000 award from the Carton Council as one of the top five CMS schools for recycling milk and juice cartons. (Systemwide, CMS students recycled eight million juice and milk cartons last year, making it a national leader in the effort.) A school garden is being dedicated in October to the memory of Nicki Radosevic, a former Stoney Creek teacher who passed away from cancer. Students have been raising money for it through a recycling contest and by buying stepping stones that will feature their handprints. Stoney Creek also has an art club and a safety patrol, and the first student council will begin meeting this fall. Fundraising efforts make sure that every student gets to go on field trips regardless of their family’s ability to pay the fees.

Stoney Creek Elementary 14015 Mallard Roost Road Charlotte, NC 28262 PH: 980-344-1030 http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/ stoneycreekES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: Gina Smith My School Rocks! –

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NOT SLIDING BY

By Courtney McLaughlin

CHARLOTTE CHECKERS SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS THROUGH EDUCATION PROGRAMS, FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITIES. Like most sports teams, the Charlotte Checkers determines a successful – or unsuccessful - season by its win/loss record. Last year the team’s record was 38 wins, 29 losses and nine overtime/shootout losses. What isn’t counted in those stats, however, is the difference players and staff made in the community and how many people and organizations were touched by the team’s outreach efforts. The Charlotte Checkers put much of their time, energy and star power behind local schools. They offer fundraising programs, award technology grants and educate students about good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. Despite a hectic schedule - which includes over 70 games - Checker players made over 55 player appearances last year.

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Tera Black, chief operating officer of the Charlotte Checkers, hopes the team’s extensive philanthropic projects and community involvement sticks in the minds of fans. “We don’t want to be remembered just by our win-loss record,” she says. “Rather by the good that we have done for those around us.” On the team’s Web site, www.gocheckers.com, you’ll find tons of information about all the good the Checkers are doing. That is a testament to what is important to Checkers management, staff and players. “Our community initiatives are the foundation of our business,” adds Black. All in a day’s work for this professional sports team with a big heart.


STAFF AND FAN Inspire Program Elle Bund was searching for a way to combine her passion for healthy living into her responsibilities with the Charlotte Checkers as marketing and fan development coordinator. A former pageant contestant, Bund believes staying healthy is important and that good eating habits are learned at an early age. She found a way to make her idea reality via Checkers season ticket holder and physical education teacher Keith Kraemer. Originally from Connecticut, Kraemer teaches at Weddington Elementary School and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Charlotte Checkers. Last season Bund spoke with Kraemer about her idea for bringing nutrition education to students. “He is an incredible PE teacher and cares about what he does and cares about the kids,” she says.

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The two discussed the program and piloted PowerPLAY at Weddington Elementary during the 2011-2012 school year. For four weeks, fifth graders created fitness and nutrition goals and logged their success in a wellness log. “Staying healthy isn’t jut about physical fitness,” says Bund. “It’s about what you put in your body.” The students who successfully completed the program were treated to a Checkers game. This year, the program expanded to six schools. Checkers staff and players also get into the PowerPLAY fun. Players are on hand for the kickoff bash, check in mid-way through the program and follow up at the end with a celebration. The kids love the visits from the hockey players, says Kraemer, especially when it means a pick-up game. “It’s not everyday kids get to see professional athletes,” he says. The students aren’t the only ones who enjoy a little healthy competition. “Those guys were covered in sweat from head to toe,” laughs Bund. “Then the students got autographs; we have a wonderful group of guys.” Their hope is after four weeks of logging and thinking about nutrition in a critical way it will become a habit for students and influence the choices their families make. “It’s not just about going

from a ballpark and eating fast food, or if they are, they are making a healthier choice from that menu,” says Kraemer. WE ‘LIKE’ The Checkers Dr. Rhonda Gomez became one of the Charlotte Checkers biggest fans when her school, Endhaven Elementary, received $5,000 in technology upgrades from the Charlotte Checkers Charitable Foundation in partnership with Microsoft. Twentyfour schools with technology needs were identified; then students, parents, friends and family from those schools were asked to ‘like’ the Checkers on Facebook and vote for the schools. More than 12,000 votes were cast over 14 days with Endhaven Elementary and Cornelius Elementary schools coming out on top. Both schools received products and software from Microsoft including

36 – My School Rocks!


Kinect for Windows, Xbox 360 with Kinect, Visual Studio Pro, Windows 7 and Microsoft Office. Checkers staff and Chubby, the team’s mascot, delivered the $2,500 financial donation and techno tangibles this fall. “We see the need for technology when we visit schools,” says Mike Lappan, director of media and public relations for the team. Dr. Gomez, Endhaven’s principal, says the technology products will continue her school’s quest to ensure students are prepared for the future. Only four years ago Endhaven’s technology program consisted of one computer lab and a handful of classrooms with computers, says Dr. Gomez. Today the school has over a dozen SMART Boards, utilizes iPad technology and hosts Technology Tuesdays for teachers and staff. “I want our students to be prepared not only in the hardware of technology but also looking at it in an effective way,” she says. Dr. Gomez is especially excited about the addition of the Xbox and Kinect products. She knows they will allow teachers to captivate students in a new and innovative way. “Teachers are beginning to see the benefit of technology, especially with students who need that extra engagement. It’s still a traditional teacher classroom,” she notes. “This just adds some flavor to it.” The schools will receive a follow up visit from Microsoft trainers who will show teachers how these typical gaming devices can become powerful teaching tools.

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FUNDRAISING WITH ‘Sweat Equity’ What’s better than going to a Charlotte Checkers game? How about going to a game and raising money for a school or organization at the same time? Last year, more than 25 schools raised money by selling tickets to Checkers home games. Any school can be part of the program, says Lappan, with $5 of every $15 going to the organization. Leigh Northrup is middle school director of academic technology for Cannon School. He says the relationship between Cannon and the Checkers took off when his students came to him wanting to do something for the victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. That March, middle school students sold 921 tickets contributing to the final total of over $11,000 donated to the cause by the school. Additionally Cannon middle schoolers raised

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an impressive $7,000 by selling nearly 650 tickets to a single game for its Heroes for Houses community service project that helped two Kannapolis families who lost everything in a devastating house fire. The fundraising opportunities with the Checkers is a perfect fit for the school that believes in fostering solid a work ethic. “We try and teach these kids to work for something they want to achieve,” says Northrup. “We want the kids to put some sweat equity in it.” There is a lesson beyond just asking for cash donations, he adds. “When they are selling tickets or Chuck Bucks they are working for it.” The Charlotte Checkers are back on the ice this fall and return to Charlotte for a home game November 4 against Chicago. Keep an eye out for this team with a big heart--there’s no telling who they might help next.


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History Fun

By Resa Goldberg

Three years before Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Inc., he was a scruffy, long-haired 18-year old kid from Silicon Valley who talked his way into a position as a video game designer at Atari. It was 1974, and video arcade games had gained commercial success at amusement parks, bars and arcades. When the games became successful enough, demand grew for home versions. While many people think Atari was the first to introduce the home video game console, Magnavox beat them to it with the release of the Odyssey. It had a peripheral light gun for a shooting gallery game, but featured crude graphics and crude controller response. It was powered by batteries and had no sound. Meanwhile, Jobs and company were working on several different games at Atari, including “Touch Me” and “Breakout.” Then Jobs brought in his friend, Steve Wozniak, who was working for Hewlett-Packard at the time. Atari founders, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney were also pushing the release of a home-version of a game called “PONG.” “Home PONG” was released in 1975 and became an instant hit.

40 – My School Rocks!

The company’s Atari VCS (for Video Computer System) --later known as the 2600-- quickly became synonymous for video games. There were rival companies, such as Intellivision or ColecoVision, but most people just said they were playing Atari. Because it was simple to hook up and easy to operate, Atari became extremely popular with new and experienced gamers. Their Atari VCS  was released in 1977. The initial price was $199 with a library of nine titles. It had a wooden base (kind of like the old wood-sided station wagons!) and came with two joystick controllers, a pair of paddle controllers and a copy of the game “Combat,” which actually wasn’t so popular. But when “Pac-Man” and “Space Invaders” came out? The competitive game era was off and running! With the inception of Activision, Atari had been fighting to keep other companies from selling cartridges. They felt like these “third parties” were stealing profits from them. But in the early 80s, when Atari agreed to third party manufacturing in exchange for royalties, software


companies began producing a glut of games. So much so that poor sales were happening all over the country. A video game crash was occurring. Atari stayed in business through the 80s, introducing new titles such as “Donkey Kong.” The last game was produced for the Atarti 2600 in 1989. The Atari Lynx handheld games console was released that same year to compete with the Nintendo Game Boy and Sega Game Gear. It didn’t receive commercial success due to several manufacturing problems. This was followed with the 1993 release of the Jaguar, a 64-bit home console, which failed due to a lack of software support. Since then Atari was merged with various companies and the brand name has all but disappeared from the marketplace.

Here are some of the top video games of all time, as ranked through the years by publications such as Nintendo Power Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Edge Magazine and Guinness World Records: Gamers Editon. Match each game with its corresponding (original) publisher and the correct date that it first hit the stores. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Nintendo

1998

Namco

2007

Squaresoft

1975

Final Fantasy VII

Alexey Pajitnov

1997

Call of Duty 4

Rare

Tetris Super Mario 64

Grand Theft Auto IV Activism Goldeneye 007 Pac Man Guitar Hero Pong

Rockstar Games

1996 2008 1987 1997

Nintendo

1980

Atari

2005

Harmonix

The original Magnavox Odyssey, released in 1972, couldn’t keep score so players had to do it themselves. • The word atari comes from the ancient Japanese game Go and means "you are about to be engulfed." In other words, it is the word used by a player to inform his opponent that he is about to lose, similar to "check" in chess. • The original Atari Football game was first created in 1973, but it wasn't released until 1978 because the game couldn't scroll the screen -- players couldn't move beyond the area shown on the monitor. When the game was finally released, it became the first game to utilize scrolling, a key part of many games today. • Nintendo's Game Boy was the most successful game system ever, with more than 100 million units sold worldwide. • The PlayStation 2 was the first system to have graphics capability better than that of the leading-edge personal computer at the time of its release. • The Microsoft Xbox was the first video game system to provide full support for HDTV. Source: Facts adapted from an article entitled “How Video Game Systems Work,” by Jeff Tyson. ANSWERS 1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo, 1998 | 2. Tetris - Alexey Pajitnov, 1987 | 3. Super Mario 64 - Nintendo, 1996 | 4. Final Fantasy VII - Squaresoft, 1997 5. Call of Duty 4 - Activism, 2007 | 6. Grand Theft Auto IV - Rockstar Games, 2008 | 7. Goldeneye 007 - Rare, 1997 | 8. Pac Man - Namco, 1980 9. Guitar Hero - Harmonix, 2005 | 10. Pong - Atari, 1975 My School Rocks! –

41


Story Time

By Kimberly P. Johnson • Illustrated by Zoe Ranucci “Don’t push yourself if you are tired,” Mr. Johnson advised. Jennifer knew that her cheerleading coach would not let her continue with an unsafe move, so she took his advice. She climbed down from the four- person tower and proceeded to the stretch bar. Jennifer knew that cheerleading was not a simple task,; it took lots of practice, skill and determination. Jennifer’s brother Marcus was a football player and often teased her that cheerleading was a sport that only “girls” liked. He was quickly proven wrong when Trevor Reynolds, who was an awesome gymnast, decided to try out for their cheerleading team. Trevor had helped the Dancing Dragons win two state championships!! “Hi Jen” Trevor blurted out between sit-ups. “How did the stunt go?” “Not too great,” Jennifer informed him, “I’m just not ready yet.” “Don’t worry”, he assured, “It will happen. Just make sure that you stay focused and always keep safety first.” Jennifer nodded as she walked away. All she was certain of was that she wanted to get the stunt done perfectly. The routine was difficult but she was confident in her ability to learn all of the steps and keep her arms tight and rigid in order to make exact moves. She practiced holding her arms straight over her head with palms facing the sky. This move would mark the end of the routine and it had to be perfect!! Her cheer partner, Sydney, had always watched out for her and kept her safe. Since Jennifer was the fly42 – My School Rocks!

er for the team she had to be flexible, balanced and strong. The flyer was the person who performed from the highest point of the stunt. Jennifer was proud to be at the top of their routines. Learning this routine would really show what she was made of and how well she could “yell” from her stomach. Yelling was also a huge part of leading the crowd and Jennifer was excellent at yelling!! She practiced for another thirty minutes then headed home. Once she arrived home, Marcus was already there. He had finished practice, cleaned up and was working on his last minute homework assignments. “I don’t know how you can say that cheerleading is not tough; you always seem to get home before I do”, she exclaimed. “That’s because I’m better than you at everything – so it doesn’t take me so long to practice,” he teased. She knew that it would be hard to convince some people that cheerleading was really a sport. However, she knew it was and so did all of the thousands of athletes who competed in the organized routines. Jennifer decided to convince her brother that she was possibly in better shape than he could ever imagine. “Why don’t we get a couple of my cheerleading friends and a couple of your football friends and have a little competition to see who can hold their own?” Jennifer suggested. “Why, so we can beat a bunch of girls and make them look bad?” he inquired. “Oh no,” she suggested. “Remember, we have some very strong guys on our team too.” You


could see the excitement melt off of Marcus’ face. He had clearly forgotten about the powerhouse gymnast who ruled the cheerleading program. “No big deal,” he snickered, “We will still put you all to shame.”

early to create a safe, yet challenging array of activities. Once both teams discussed their strategy, it was time for the relays to begin. Both teams started out strong, but Marcus was quite surprised that his team was having any trouble at all keeping up on the obstacle course. The scores stayed close durThe following day, Jennifer gathered her cheerleading the whole event. The football team lost a few ing team and asked for five volunteers to compete points when it came to some of the climbing activiwith her brother’s football team. She had no probties. However, the cheerleaders ruled that activity. lem finding a group of participants. They began Their ability to bounce around and not miss a step stretching and preparing for the competition. Marallowed them to race cus’ friends focused through the jump rope on strength exercises activity, spring their Think About It only. The competition body through tires and • Why don’t some people consider was scheduled for climb over obstacles. cheerleading a sport? the following Saturday at the local When the final com• Do you think cheerleading should be recreation field. The petitors stepped up a mixed boy and girl squad? competition would to the line, the score Why or why not? consist of climbing, was tied. Marcus was • What specific skills or habits would stretching, and liftabout to race against you need to have in order to be a ing relays. his sister; now he good athlete? could finally prove to Jennifer spent the • Is one sport more important than her that cheerleading next few days pracanother? Tell why you think that way? was not a real sport. ticing, stretching and • What is your favorite sport? Why? When the whistle blew, eating healthy. She Marcus took off! Adtook the challenge mittedly, he did leave seriously and decided to get plenty of sleep the Jennifer in his dust for about six seconds, then she night before. Marcus sat up late munching on chips sprang into action. Flipping her body into the air and playing his video games. He considered himself OVER the mound of tires and beanbags put her to be such a seasoned athlete that he would have ahead in the race. As they approached the last task, no problem racing against a bunch of cheerleaders. they were required to do a handstand to the finish Besides, he considered cheerleading to be a fun line. Marcus had a hard time lifting and keeping his sport and not a real one. well-formed body into the air, but Jennifer stiffened The morning of the event, Jennifer bounced out of her arms and flattened her palms – just like she had bed well rested and ready to prove her point. The practiced in her routine!! She zipped to the finish stakes were quite high. If Marcus won, Jenline and bounced to her feet. The crowd whistled, nifer would have to clean his room for a cheered and yelled. Jennifer stood there waiting for month. The idea of smelly gym socks, her brother to reach the finish line. Once he arrived, half eaten pizza and cluttered shelves she gave him a huge hug and told him what a did not excite her!! However, if she won, great job he had done. Marcus was disappointed Marcus would have to practice a cheerleadbut he was happy that his sister had excited the ing routine and perform it in front of both the crowd of onlookers. “Well, I guess you football and cheerleading teams. will be learning a cheer,” Jennifer teased. “Yea, I guess you are right,” The word had gotten out about the friendly Marcus agreed, “but I know the perfect competition and the recreation field was athlete to teach me!” They hugged again full of students and curious onlookers. The and walked off of the field together as the cheerleading coach and the football coach, crowd cheered in the background. who had been friends for a long time, agreed to help with the activities. They had arrived My School Rocks! –

43


BAC DEF FOU SHO

Enter to Win

(Charlotte 49ers Basketball Tickets)

Color the picture above for a chance to win 4 tickets to see the Charlotte 49ers Basketball Team at Halton Arena. Send your completed picture to: My School Rocks! Attention: 49ers, P.O. Box 78734, Charlotte, NC 28271, along with your name, school, grade and phone number! Entries must be received by 11/30/12 ___________________ Name ____________________________ Grade __________ School _____________________ _________________

Phone Number _____________________ Parent/Guardia n Signatu re _____________________

_________________

Address ______________________________________________________________________

44 – My School Rocks!


Find The Basketball Terms on Right

A

49ers

Do your best to find all the words listed for our WORD SEARCH puzzle. Circle each word (hint: you’ll have to look forwards, backwards, diagnol, up and down!)

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CKBOARD FENSE UL OT

BASKETBALL DRIBBLE OFFENSE TURNOVER

BACKBOARD BASKETBALL COURT DEFENSE DRIBBLE DUNK FOUL OFFENSE OFFICIALS SHOT TURNOVER

COURT DUNK OFFICIALS

Created by Puzzlemaker at DiscoveryEducation.com

My School Rocks! –

45


Why is That?

by Resa Goldberg • Illustration by Zoe Ranucci

What pesky little problem could these four burgeoning athletes have in common? There is the temperamental golfer with the subpar grip; the weekend basketball enthusiast who sweats a lot in his thin, cotton socks; the young gymnast who wants to excel on the uneven bars; and the neophyte runner who purchased shoes two sizes too small! Did you guess blisters? Then you would be correct! It is a common condition, not just for athletes, but for anyone whose tender skin has rubbed up against the hard surface of a shoe, a rake or even the strings of a guitar. The friction between the skin and the sock, excessive moisture due to sweaty feet or wet conditions can also lead to blisters.

Fluid Filled Blister Fluid Filled Blister

With a little forethought, blisters are fairly easy to prevent altogether. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: • To avoid blisters on your hands, wear gloves or protective gear. • Shop for new shoes in the afternoon because that is when feet are at their largest. • Your running shoe should be at least 1/2 a size bigger than your street shoe size, since your feet swell when you run. • Try on shoes in the store and walk around to make sure both the right and left feel comfortable. • Look for socks made of synthetic fabrics (not cotton!) such as Teflon or CoolMax, which wick moisture away from your feet, preventing the sock from bunching up and causing blisters. • Wear the same socks you’ll be wearing with the shoes when trying them on in the store. • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day.

The result is a pocket of skin with a watery liquid inside. Sure, it hurts, maybe a lot, but blisters will usually heal on their own. Just keep it dry and cover it with a bandage until it goes away. While it heals, try to avoid putting pressure on the area or rubbing it. 46 – My School Rocks!

As for the golfer with the bad grip, the best advice? Pros say that sometimes a golfer needs to “feel” his club, so gloves may not always do the trick. Sounds like that guy needs a lesson!


My School Rocks! –

47

Halloween Treasure Hunt

Presents

Festival Info 704-896-5544 or Toll Free 877-896-5544

RenFestInfo.com

It’s Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights at the Renaissance Festival! Bring this map to the Festival on October 27 & 28, and kids ages 5 to 12 are admitted FREE (Under 5 always free). Get a goody bag, enjoy free treats at over 100 locations, and get your Halloween Treasure Map stamped at the Treasure Stops! Bring your completed map to The Royal Pavilion and discover a treasure chest filled with prizes to choose from – straight from the King’s bounty!

Play The Halloween Treasure Hunt! • October 27th & 28th!

X

Marks the Spot for your Treasure Stops!


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