Our school is proud of the traditions, high expectations, and inviting atmosphere that make it a good place to learn and grow.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Report Cards by MAIL

If you would like to receive your child's report card by mail, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the school before May 28th. Students who do not bring in the required envelope and stamp will have to pick up their report card at the school after May 28th.
All missing books or library fines must be paid before report cards will be mailed or given out.

Summer Challenge....READ!

The “summer slide” and research about summer reading losses are two of the reasons that Scholastic has create the Scholastic Summer Challenge. As always, Scholastic has created tons of fun for kids as well as great resources for parents and teachers.

Stop the “Summer Slide”Research shows that by reading four or five books during the summer, elementary students can avoid read achievement losses that normally occur over those months. The “summer slide” and research about summer reading are two of the reasons that Scholastic, Inc., is joining forces this summer with The National Center for Summer Learning (Johns Hopkins University) to present the Scholastic Summer Challenge.

For more information, go to, and JOIN TODAY . You will find a great list of the top favorite books sorted by age levels, here:


Friday, May 22, 2009

Ambassadors...R. L. Young Loves You!

There is a student group close to the heart of the principal...our AMBASSADORS! This trustworthy group helps make R. L. Young run smoothly on a daily basis by serving at the school store, sprucing up the walks and stairs, assisting with the flags and pledge, and so much more

To show my appreciation, the Ambassadors and I traveled to Birmingham to enjoy a day away from school. Although they were not on campus, there was plenty of learning taking place because our destination was the McWANE CENTER. Take a peek at our fun trip...

Thanks so much for your assistance, wonderful attitudes, willingness to help, and being a role model for others. You will be hard to replace!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wisdom from Children

I love to spend time with children each day. Often they share a joke, riddle, or even a bit of wisdom. Just recently, sixth grader Clint B. passed this handwritten poem along. Very inspiring...

Nothing is as real as a dream.

The world can change around you,

But your dream will not.
Responsibilities need not erase it.
Duties need not obscure it.
Because the dream is within you,
No one can take it away.

Thanks for sharing this, Clint!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Sixth graders were not the only students on Earth Day busy making improvements to our grounds. If you have visited the school lately, you probably noticed the front of the school looks terrific, thanks in part to the efforts of our fifth grade students and Mrs. Nelson, their teacher.

Mrs. Nelson offered both groups a turn pulling weeds, picking up trash, and distributing bark among the landscaping.

It was a fun activity, but one that made a huge difference at the school. Thanks for taking pride in your school!

Monday, May 18, 2009

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and R. L. Young

Not only do these students care about children you are sick, they are also good at math!

After completing a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Math Workbook and getting pledges from family and friends, they were able to raise $1, 456.20 to help support children seeking medical treatment. Congratulations to each of them and their parents for reaching out to help another.
A special thanks to Ms. Cathy Thornton for sponsoring this event. Excellent job!

For more information on St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, click this link:

Forever Young Field Day

Sunday, May 17, 2009

EARTH DAY 2009 at R. L .Young

Students at R. L. Young take pride in the school campus, especially our sixth graders who will be leaving after graduation. Kaitlyn Shaddix, one of our best, summed up Earth Day.

Kaitlyn's thoughts:
Sam Thomas had a wonderful idea to plant a tree for Earth Day and in memory of the sixth graders that are leaving this year.

We went outside and there are little Bradford Pear trees sitting in the grass. Mr. Jim Armstrong, local landscaper, explained how to plant a tree. Then we started digging.

Everybody took turns, even Mrs. P. Thomas and Mrs. Shirley. After that several students picked the tree up and set it in its place.
We all gathered around and started scooping dirt in the hole. Now every morning a student waters it. This tree will forever be at R. L. Young giving off oxygen in memory of sixth graders.

Great idea and wonderful reminder of a super group of students. You will be missed! A special thanks to Jim Armstrong for his patience and guidance in our efforts to improve our campus.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Special Thanks

One of the reasons R. L. Young is so successful as a school is the strong support from parents and our PTO. The faculty and staff recently celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. That Monday was made extra special by a luncheon for all employees.We want to thank those who took a leadership role to make this event possible. I'd like to share my employees' comments:

It was absolutely wonderful! Thank you so very much! Mrs. Bittle

Thank you for all you do for us. Mrs. Brooks

Thank you for the tremendous things you do for the students and staff. Teacher Appreciation Week was great! Mrs. Vincent

The decorations as well as the food and hospitality were great. Thanks, Mrs. Hodnett

Thank you so much. Coach Stephens

Thanks for everything. Mrs. Morrow

Thank you for all the wonderful things you do for our school. Mrs. Harris

Thank you for all you do. You make a difference. Mrs. Gurley

Thank you for the wonderful lunch. I appreciate everything you do for us. Mrs. French

Thank you so much. You guys are the best! Mrs. G. Thomas

It was great. Thank you so much. Love you, Mrs. Beard

Thanks for the delicious meal. You always out do yourself. Also much appreciation for a great year. Mrs. Shirley

Thanks for the delicious lunch. I appreciate everything you do for us. Mrs. Nelson

Thanks is an understatement. Y'all are awesome! Mrs. Armstrong

Thank you for the great food! Mrs. Winn

Thanks so much for lunch. It was great! Mrs. Haynes

Thank you so much for the super lunch. we appreciate it so much! Mrs. Thornton

The food was delicious. Can't wait until next year. Mrs. Lane

Thank you so much. Mrs. Wilson

Thank you for all you do. Sheryl Gaither

Thanks! Mr. Jemison

Thank you for all you do! Mrs. Diane

Thank you for everything. You are all great! Mrs. Lamberth

Thanks for the lunch. It was great! Mrs. Liner

Thank you so much! Mrs. Belcher

The food was great! Thanks so much for your hard work! Mrs. Nunn

You are the best! Mrs. P. Thomas

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Field Day is this Friday, May 15th. The opening session will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the front lawn.

Alicia Holbrook, PTO President, is in need of workers to man the games. The concession stand, a favorite with the children, helps raise funds for the school. The current project is purchasing trophies and medals for Awards Day (May 22). Please send your donations this week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Case You Missed the Daily Home Coverage

R.L. Young has provided 80 years of education to Talladega's children
By Chris Norwood

TALLADEGA — The world was a different place in 1929. Herbert Hoover was president of the United States, Bibb Graves was governor of Alabama, and what we know as Alabama 21 South was a dirt road.
Just outside of Talladega, off that dirt road that would become 21 South, the Bemis Brothers Bag Company was building a plant and a surrounding village to house it’s employees and their families. That village included a school, which was built for about $53,000.

That school is now 80 years old. Now known as R.L. Young Elementary School, it began life as the Bemiston School, and served the children of the mill village exclusively until it was deeded to the Talladega City School System in 1955, according to current principal Pattie Thomas.

For the past week or so, the school has been celebrating “80 Years of Excellence,” complete with a memorabilia room with all sort of exhibits from every chapter of the school’s evolution over the years, and culminating in an aerial group shot and birthday celebration Friday.

“Raymond Leroy Young was going to be the plant’s general manager,” Thomas explained. “He helped lay the groundwork for the village, but he never got a chance to see how any of it turned out. He was killed in a train wreck on his way here.”

Russell Wells took over as the plant’s first general manager after Young’s untimely passing. According to the school’s history, Mrs. Young apparently did make it Talladega, however. Her name comes up after being elected secretary-treasurer of the first ever Bemiston Parent Teacher Association in October 1929. It is not clear what happened to her after that.

All four of the school’s teachers also attended that meeting, as did the district PTA manager, Mrs. William McDonald of Gantts Quarry. The minutes are only one of the hundreds of items throughout the school’s history on display this week. Many of them were provided by J.W. Baker, who has spent virtually his entire life in the Bemiston community.

Bemiston’s first principal was Ross Brown, who held the position until 1936. He was succeeded by R.T. Butler, who served as principal from 1936 to 1945, which included Baker’s tenure there.

“You have to remember, when Bemiston started out, it was basically a private school. You had to family living in the community and working in the mill. We didn’t have any discipline problems then, and the principal never had to touch us. If we were acting up, Mr. Butler would just call Mr. Wells and have him call your father into his office at the plant. You never wanted to be called off the floor into the manager’s office, so you’d go on home and solve the teacher’s problem for them.”

The original school building lacked a lunchroom, so meals were provided in a kitchen situated where Thomas’s secretary’s office is now, and food was distributed to the classrooms via lunch cart. The children ate at their desks.

Although the Depression held most of the country in it’s grip in the early 1930s, the workers at Bemiston tended to be relatively well off. A veteran of that period was quoted extensively in a story published in The Daily Home after the plant closed in 1979.

Mill employees were paid about $12 per week, but rent on a two-room house (often with a garage, although as Baker pointed out, almost no one had a car at the time) was only $2.25, including water. Coal was a dollar per ton, and the power bill rarely topped 15 to 20 cents.

Bemiston had its own security and fire departments and a grocery store as well, and of course the recreation center, which is still there and was recently recognized as a landmark. “Just about the only thing we ever had to go into town to buy was clothes,” Baker said. The village lacked a movie theater, but would show movies upstairs at the recreation center every weekend to make up for it.

In the 1950s, Bemiston was annexed into the city of Talladega and the school became public. The name was changed at that point. The school continued to thrive even after the Bemis plant closed at the end of 1979.

Major expansions were undertaken in 1982, 1986, 1997 and 2007. A library, cafeteria and larger kitchen have been added, but the original building still houses classrooms and the original auditorium, which Thomas pointed out is “used every day.”

Some traditions have changed slightly. The annual Fall Festival, which goes back to the earliest days, now takes place at the school rather than the recreation center, and the Jelly Bean Field Day is now the Good Citizen Luncheon.

“One of things I really want to emphasize is that throughout its history you have a common thread of service to others,” according to Thomas, who also attended the school and taught there before being named principal in 2007. “We have high academic standards, and a tradition of challenging and preparing the kind of minds that teachers are going to want to see in high school and beyond. Parent involvement is also a key element, and a long tradition here.”

The school has an experienced staff, with a combined 400 plus years of service, and no recent or pending retirements.

Baker agreed on the tradition of excellence. “I can remember Zora Ellis, when she was still a teacher, saying you could always tell which kids had gone to the Bemiston School. And she didn’t give out a lot of compliments, either.”

Superintendent Joanne Horton said, “First of all, I want to congratulate Ms. Thomas, her staff and all the students on this occasion. R.L. Young is the jewel of its community, and the excellence and instructional values have not changed down through the years. And they will keep moving forward, with the rest of the system, to meet the needs of a changing world.”

PTO Meeting May 12 6:00 PM

New officers will be elected at the next PTO meeting. We need all interested parents to be present. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm.

Accelerated Reader Party # 7

Party # 7 students gathered on May 7th to celebrate reaching the 75 point level. They gobbled up Dominoes pizza, popcorn from Martin Theatre, and brownies from the lunchroom.

Students laughed and shared tips on how they were able to get so many points!
We are so proud of all of our readers. It is a skill they will use forever!

Good Citizens April 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Chance to Come Home

Don't forget our Open House/Alumni Day at R. L. Young on May 5 from 8:30 until 2 pm. School will be in session, but feel free to tour, hang out in our auditorium, eat lunch, and reminisce about the "good ole days".

Our Birthday Celebration will take place on May 8. The program starts at 9:00 am. Seating is very limited, but all are welcome.