Story by Maggie Motl
Fiction is truly something most kids and staff members enjoy within Clay.
In a randomized survey of eight Clay seventh graders, students spent an average of seven hours per week reading.
Some of the books, that Clay students recommend are "Hurts Go Happy," "Harry Potter," "Wings of Fire," "Rifka" and "Alex Rider. "
Asritha Chittimireddy, a seventh grader, recommends "Hurts Go Happy" by Ginny Rorby. This novel is based on a true story with a deaf boy and his new friend, a baby chimpanzee. Realistic fiction is meant to have the reader relate and connect to the story. Character development is almost always the main focus in the book.
Asritha Chittemireddy also recommends "Rifka" by Karen Hasse is based on a true story. It shows a Jewish little girl’s new life in America after the horrors of World War II. “It just shows how brave a little girl could be in dark times and how much potential she has,” said Asritha.
Another book Asritha recommends is "Harry Potter" by J.K Rowling, the well-known fantastical thriller series of novels with wizards and magic. Fantasy Fiction is whimsical and interesting-- meant to take the reader to another world.
“'Wings of Fire' is a series with dragons at war, with character development along the way,” said Marlowe Bacon, a seventh grader.
Eric Zhu, a seventh grader, recommends "Alex Rider." Alex Rider by Anothony Horowitz is a thriller sci-fi series about a young a spy. Eric said he liked it because it had lots of adventure. Science Fiction often shows an imagined future, technological advancement such as gadgets, or extreme environmental changes.
Story by Ariana Regalado
The deceased president of Venezuela, Chavez, was in office when he announced that Venezuela was in an economic war due to increasing shortages. Venezuela’s economy has failed in the years since Chávez became president. He was in office from February 2, 1999 to March 5, 2013. He was president for 14 years until he died from cancer on March 5, 2013.
After Chávez, the current president, Nicolás Maduro was elected. The majority of people can’t come to an agreement about whether or not he is helping the corruption in the government and the money laundering.
According to the Miami Herald, “Venezuela’s elite face scrutiny in $1.2 billion money laundering case.” Such issues alert people even outside Venezuela.
Mr. Snyder, Clay seventh grade social studies teacher, recognizes this, saying “It’s in a rough spot, the hyperinflation is crippling the economy and increasing poverty at an alarming rate.” He also says that the reason that Venezuela is doing so bad “has to do with the government and the president.”
Student Sofia Morales, eighth grade, comments on how Venezuela’s economy is doing, saying, “It's not that good because right now it's been really corrupted and I never thought a country like that would be in these circumstances.” She thinks the ones at fault are “both the government and the people because the government isn’t doing anything about it but the people don’t want to realize that the problem is the president they have right now…. they are in misery right now.”
There are few people in our school who know about this, the majority of people surveyed didn’t know anything about what is happening in Venezuela right now.
Mrs. Elliott, Clay French teacher, did know a bit about it and said, “My opinion is that it’s terrible. My understanding is that Venezuela was overly reliant on oil and that the economy shifted over the last 20 years because the prices of oil were high and the economy was hyper-dependent on oil.” Who is to blame? Mrs. Elliott said, “It’s a combination of an economy that became too focused on oil and poor leadership.”
All of Venezuela’s problems aren’t getting solved anytime soon. If awareness can be raised then maybe slowly through time Venezuela can be helped into prosperity again.
Story by Kendall Ash
Long before the days of fidget spinners, squishies and slime, we had lots of other cool toys to play with and Tech Decks was one of them.
In the 1970s, fingerboards were first created to be toys and then they were created to be keychains that kids enjoyed collecting.
After a movie called “Future Primitive” showed someone using a fingerboard (or Tech Deck) as part of a major scene in the movie, kids started buying more and more fingerboards.
The first fingerboards that were created were barely “rideable” for your fingers. When “Tech Deck” brand mass-produced the toys they were bigger and became a more “rideable” miniature skateboard.
Bratz Toys started creating licensing brands of Tech Decks using powerful marketing giants like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Speed Race and NASCAR. Suddenly Tech Decks were everywhere. Tech Deck kept producing “collections’ for kids, depending on what movie or brand was in style and they had skater shops producing unique designs for the skate professional to feel a connection to. No matter what your lifestyle was, urban or suburban, there was a Tech Deck board for you.
Tech Deck went on to sell its licensing to major retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS and other major retailers. In 1999, it became trendy to collect one of each design as it was produced and sold in limited quantities.
Today, Tech Decks feature interchangeable wheels and trucks (the flat part of the skateboard) and they are fairly accurate in scale compared to regular skateboards. You can even buy accessories like ramps, half-pipes and grind rails. Everything you could imagine at a skatepark, but finger sized.
There are people who sell Tech Decks and people who keep them and learn new tricks with them. Joe Largura, Clay seventh grader, is someone who sells them and says, “I do it to make money.” Riley Putnam, also in seventh grade says, “I don't own one but I can do tricks with them like an ollie.”
Recently, students from Clay Middle School and around the county are using Tech Decks as well. There are kids who simply love to collect them, there are kids who enjoy designing their own Tech Decks by swapping out the wheels and artwork and there are kids who simply use them for a fidget. Carmel High School just opened a Tech Deck club, they use it to spend time with their friends, learn more about the skateboard industry at a miniature level and practice new tricks with their ramps, rails and miniature skate parks that they create together.
Story by Moody Homsi
Making a business is something many people aspire to do, building up a company from nearly nothing in your own vision, in your own way. With DECA Jr, this dream can become a reality.
DECA Jr. is a club at Clay that lets kids better the community by finding a problem and creating a solution through the business process.
Groups of people will create a business plan to help better the school community. Of course, there will be obstacles in the way.
DECA Jr. allows kids to learn teamwork, problem solving, and patience.
"DECA Jr. makes me really think outside of the box and see other solutions," Grant Ramsey, eighth grade, said. All these skills can be taken from a simulated business to the real world; as an employee or an employer.
The possibilities of businesses in DECA Jr. are almost endless.
“All ideas have value in DECA Jr, but there are some that really stand out, like a snack cart to go around or holographic greeting cards," Mrs. Michelle Janson, club sponsor.
Keshav Singh, Eddie Sun, Arjun Purohit, Charles Ding, Kent Fujita, and George Huang came up with the winning idea last year.
“We wanted to get shoe cleaners in the locker room to improve the cleanliness and hygiene of the schools floors, and give less work to the janitors as many people would track dirt, grass, and mud into the building from their gym shoes,” Singh said.
Meetings are held every two weeks in the annex lab. Just arrive during the first few meetings, and you’re in!
There is something similar to DECA Jr. at Carmel High School called DECA. This is a more advanced version, but the same idea. DECA Jr. is the perfect club for those aspiring to start a business or change the world.
By Camryn Hoehne
The Clay eighth Grade basketball team has been working hard inside and outside of school to be successful.
Drew Grogan, eighth grade, has been working hard at practice and with his extra time goes to the Monon Center and practices to gain reps and get ready for his games. Grogan’s favorite part would be playing with his teammates that are his good friends and working together to get better as a team. Grogan grew up playing basketball, which is one of the reasons he plays for the Clay team this year.
Playing on the court isn't the only job on the team, team manager and eighth grader Will Simmonds plays an important part as the team manager.
“Some of my jobs as the team manager include during the game I keep the stats, keep score, clean jerseys and fill the water bottles,” Simmonds said.
As the season goes on, Simmonds feels the team will learn off of their wins and losses and use them to become better as a team. Simmonds was also the manager during the seventh grade basketball season last year and enjoyed it. Simmonds enjoys being the team manager this year also.
As the head coach, Jordan Cole has been through tough practices and hard games with the Clay eighth grade basketball players. Coach Cole has coached for eight years for the Clay Trojans and is his first year as the eighth-grade head coach.
Coach Cole has been an assistant coach for the seventh-grade team and has also been an assistant coach for the eighth-grade basketball team for six years.
"When looking at some of the team's strengths and weaknesses, the first and probably most important, strength that this team has is every single one of them is a good person," Cole said. "It makes spending time with them enjoyable because I know they care about each other. But, in terms of weakness, it's always difficult as a coach to get eighth graders to completely buy into the process and give their best effort each day.”
Story by Brooke Littell
Clay Middle School has just begun a new fitness program hoping to get the students more in shape, and the students that attend this school may have different thoughts and feelings on this topic.
“I like the new program because it gets me back in shape,” Elliott Sell, sixth grade, said. “My favorite part of gym is getting to have fun with friends.” He said his favorite sport to play in gym is basketball.
In the past, students used to spend a certain amount of weeks in a wellness unit learning about a specific sport, and they would spend about two weeks a quarter focusing on a health unit. This year, the wellness department decided to switch it up and start to include fitness days, which are more based on physical health instead of just learning sports.
I like the current unit racket sports. If I could only do one sport the rest of my like it would be basketball," Sell said. He said he likes to engage in the fitness program to become more in shape.
“I like doing fitness days because it gives me a variety of things to do during gym class," Leah Seah, sixth grade, said. "My favorite part of having/ doing gym class is getting to do exercise while being able to hangout with and talk to friends. We do things like running on the treadmill and yoga. My favorite sport is soccer."
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.