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The Amazing Otter Walk

November 29, 2017

Otter Walk illustration by Daniel G.

By Amoria B.
Illustration by Daniel G.

I think Otter Walk is the best time of year at our school.

This year’s Otter Walk theme was Science. “It was great – the prizes were good. The theme was great, too,” said one student.

Some people liked Otter Walk and some people didn’t. “I just go because of the prizes,” said another student.

I hope you loved the Otter Walk, too. Why is it called the Otter Walk? It is because our mascot is an otter.


The School Lunch Line

November 29, 2017

Detail from The Lunch Line by Jaden L.
See the full Lunch Line cartoon here!

By Investigative Reporter Jaden L.
Illustration by Jaden L.

Students at Montclair Elementary are getting free breakfast and lunch all this year. “Montclair is one of several schools that got the privilege of a free school lunch,” said Dr. Saddler, Principal of MES.

Because it’s free maybe more people want to eat it. The more people that want it, the longer the lunch line gets. Because of this some kids in the back are getting their lunch late and by the time they get there, lunch is already over. This seems like a problem for 3rd graders more than 4th and 5th graders because they get lunch first. I am a 3rd grader.

P.S. I don’t want free lunch to stop. I think it’s cool to have free lunch from school.

Cafeteria worker Geraldine Meeks said “I think the kids should have more time to eat.” Her favorite school lunches are “The nachos and cheese and the stir fry and rice.” I asked her why free lunch is important. “Nutritional value, it supports your immune system and helps you to learn,” she said.

Ms. Sharon, MES Lunch Monitor, said, “On some days it can get a bit long, but as long as the children cooperate, they will get their lunch on time.” She said lunch from school is “important to get enough energy to do what you do later in the day.”

Ollie D., a 3rd grader, said he thinks the long line is a problem. “There’s a lot of people and if you are last in line when you get your lunch the bell rings.” His favorite school lunches are the nachos and the pizza.

Dr. Saddler agreed the long lines are a problem said she is working on it. Her favorite school lunch is the pizza. She said school lunch is important because “it helps improve your brain and not every kid can afford a lunch from home.”

People suggested possible solutions for the long lines.
Ollie: “Maybe we could alternate lunch times.”
Dr. Saddler: “I think that we should have more than two lines so the kids can get their lunch. We might have to have some recesses at different times and start lunch a bit earlier.”

Restaurant Review: Barcote: A Wonderful Ethiopian Eating Joint

November 29, 2017

Ethiopian food illustration by Miriam R.

By Soleil C.
Illustration by Miriam R.

Looking for a change in cuisine? Check this one out! Barcote is an Ethiopian restaurant that has plenty of things for meat eaters and vegetarians.

Even though it is a relatively new restaurant, Barcote has something that is unique: welcoming people and a menu that excels in mixing spices, seasonings, and more! This makes Barcote stand out from the crowd.

Whether you want a meaty plate of kitfo (spiced minced beef cooked in butter), a samples of vegetarian stews like spicy misir wot (lentils simmered in berbere sauce), or hearty atakilt (cabbage, potato, and carrots stew with turmeric), you’ll be engulfed by the layers of flavor and smells.

A few of my favorites are the Vegetarian Combo, the injera, and the lentil samosa. They are delicious and tasty! You will be momentarily speechless as your tongue will be in heaven.

Here are a few questions I asked Ms. Mulu Reda, one of the owners:

Q. Where did you learn how to cook?
A. When I was little, my mother taught me.

Q. Which food do you like the best?
A. The Vegetarian Combo is my favorite dish!
The space is clean and simple, but offers friendly service and a tree-shaded front patio allows customers to kick back and enjoy a leisurely meal. I hope you will visit it sometime.

6430 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland

Book Review: This Book Is Not Good for You

November 29, 2017

By Allegra B. and Maya G.
Illustration from Wikimedia

“This Book Is Not Good for You” by Pseudonymous Bosch is honestly not good for you – it is the best book for you.
Mystery book
If you like a mysterious journey, this book is definitely for you. Travel deep into a mystery with Cass and Max-Ernest. Help the Terces Society defeat the Midnight Sun. Find the fork and keep it for yourself.

When Señor Hugo kidnaps Cass’s mom, Cass, Max-Ernest, and Yo-Yoji team up to find her. Along the way they rescue Simone, a 14-year-old girl captured by the Midnight Sun.

My favorite part is when they find the Midnight Sun’s hideout. It had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they will get captured sneaking around the hideout.

This book is the third book in a series. If you like it, read the other books in the series, too: “The Name of This Book Is Secret,” “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” “This Isn’t What It Looks Like,” and “You Have to Stop This.”

Fabulous Football

November 29, 2017

Football by Adriaan R.

By Leila M.
Illustration by Adriaan R.

Football season is here! I asked the 4th grade students about their favorite football team. The students took a moment to decide their absolute favorite team.

My favorite team is the Raiders, which just happens to be the most popular team in the 4th grade.

Do you have a favorite football team? Are you excited for the heart-racing season ahead? I am!

Fourth Graders' Favorite Football Teams

Recipe: Cream Scones

November 29, 2017

Homemade cream scone photo by Maggie via Flickr

By Celeste Cooper
Adapted by Lily G.

The holidays are coming! It is time to make some food (in this case, scones).

Makes eight large scones.

3 cups of flour
1 and a half tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
Stick of butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

If you want a savory mix, you could try mixing in three sticks of thick-cut bacon diced, 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of shredded white or yellow cheddar cheese, and two stalks of minced scallions.

For a sweet mix, you can use 3/4 of a cup of your favorite fruit. But do not use citrus fruits.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Sift the dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter, rubbing together with your hands until butter lumps are odd sizes ranging from sprinkle to pea-sized.
  • Add the cream and toss the mixture to combine.
  • Add savory or sweet ingredients if wanted.
  • Turn the dough out onto the counter and flatten into a rectangle.
  • Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and then fold into thirds, by folding one third from the left then covering it with one third from the right. Press the dough down into itself. Do not overwork the scones or they will be tough.
  • Form the dough into a fat log and cut into four even squares. Cut each square in half diagonally so there are two triangles
  • Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking pan.
  • Brush the top of each scone with the heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for eight minutes and then rotate the pan. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Photo: Maggie via Flickr / Creative Commons

The Lunch Line

November 29, 2017

By Jaden L.

The Lunch Line, a cartoon by Jaden L.