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Portage Elementary transforms into the Mean Green Reading Machine newspapers

Vol. 116 No. 5 USPS 439-000

By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspaper

Get ready, get set, and put on your battle gear; the Portage Elementary students are taking action. They are no longer just students. Banded together, they make up the Mean Green Reading Machine. Under the direction of Portage Elementary staff Emily Horn, Tobi Burkett, Sue Shevock, and Fran Ressler, the program took shape. Traveling from conference to conference, the Portage Elementary teachers decided to create this voluntary, at-home reading program to encourage their students to read. The program is strictly voluntary, and the students get to pick which books they would like to read. To meet the requirements of the program, the kindergarten and first grade students have to read 10 minutes each night of the week. The second and third grade class is required to read 15 minutes a night. Each student who completes their requested minutes, gets entered into a drawing

Portage, Pa.

every Friday. A new Mean Green winner is chosen each week by the teachers. All of the names are put into a container for a random drawing. All of the Mean Green winners receives a prize, if selected. “This is the first year for this program, and I hope we can continue it for next year. The kids get so excited. Their names are on the announcements and they even receive a Mean Green shirt,” said Horn. The Portage students enjoy the program, and they even share the books they read with their fellow classmates. Book suggestions are always being passed from student to student. Instead of talking about what television show they watched last night, the students are talking about what books they’ve read. “When we first started this program; we weren’t sure how many students would want to participate, but the numbers continue to grow. Some of the students see how much fun their fellow class-

Thursday, January 30, 2014

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Portage first-grade students (front row, from left) Sophia Rodriguez, Payton Smith, Ava Bienvenue, Valon Koss, Haylet Watt, Layton Munyon, Kelsey Kunko, Jazmine Boland, (back row) Jacob McCoy, Anthony Lawerence, Isaac Willinsky, Nathaniel Klein, Bode Layo, Bailey Smay, and Nicholas Baker show their love of reading by participating in the Mean Grean Reading Machine program. These students won the reading competition. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

Portage Township discusses possibilities for drive-in sign By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

Friday, Jan. 24, the Portage Township supervisors and the Bar Ann Drive-In manager Dustin Grush met with Cambria County judge Patrick Kiniry to discuss the drive-in sign’s location. Both parties’ attorneys were present, and the judge decided to speak with each party individual-


ly to hear both sides out equally and fairly. Both the drive-in manager and township supervisors agreed that they would like to work this situation out, instead of closing down the drive-in completely. The drive-in has been around for nearly 60 years, and the sign has sat in the right-of-way for several years until a complaint arose from one of the neighbors

Holy Name students, Celia Barnish, Cami Myers, and Carlee Harvey take a quick break from playing games at the YPCC for the Catholic Schools Week kickoff. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

in the community. Currently, both parties are looking into moving the sign to one of the sides of the right-of-way. The only situation holding them back is the fact that PennDOT and Portage Township jointly own the right-of-way. The township needs PennDOT’s approval before the sign can even be touched. The township supervisors have addressed in the past that they

must take care of the concerns of the community. They never wanted to close the drive-in; they simply wanted to remove the sign from the right-of-way so it would no longer be a hazard to the community. “I am very optimistic that we can come to compromise with this sign after Friday’s meeting,” reported Rick Olshavsky, township supervisor. Olshavsky went

on to add that the township’s attorney, along with the drive-in’s attorney, are still checking into the liability issue, as well. At the last township meeting, Grush discussed putting the township on the drive-in’s policy. This notion is still being discussed to see if it could be a possible solution. “There needs to be enough coverage to protect both the drive-in SEE SIGN, PAGE 18A

Kennedy McConnell is ecstatic for Holy Name’s Catholic Schools Week kickoff. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

Holy Name students kick off Catholic Schools Week at YPCC By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

Get your buzzers ready, it’s time

to play Jeopardy! On Friday, Jan. 17, the Holy Name students held their Catholic Schools Week kickoff at the Young People’s Community Center in Ebensburg from 6 to 8 p.m. Students, family, and staff gathered in the gym on Friday night to play Jeopardy, Minute to Win it games, and have a faculty versus student volleyball game. As the students entered the gym with their par-

Wyatt Barosky and Tobey Becquet hula hoop as they wait for Catholic Schools Week to begin. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

ents, they received a free Catholic Schools Week T-shirt. Before the activities started, the students entertained themselves by hula hooping, playing basketball, and testing out their volleyball skills for the game later that evening. Once everyone was registered, Monsignor Lockard said the opening prayer, and then teachers and staff lined up to play a chal-

lenging game of Jeopardy. This game was unique to Holy Name because it featured several different questions about staff members, along with some historical trivia to test of the student’s knowledge. “What is Monsignor Lockard’s first name?” “What is Mrs. McMullen’s favorite treat?” “Which president had polio?” “What was the name given to the severe winter storm that affected

our region in 2014?” These questions kept the students on their toes. Students and staff played Jeopardy for half an hour, and then they entered into the Minute to Win it games, which were held at each corner of the gym. These games were set up for the younger students to get them involved, as well. Every age group had a specific game set SEE YPCC, PAGE 20A

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