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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

You Are Never Too Young

Kids have been doing lemonade stands during the summer for decades, but this stand had an unusual twist. The funds collected aren't going for soda pop and candy bars for all, they will be used to help the wonderful Wilson family.

 Mark Wilson, a R. L. Young parent and youth minister for First Baptist Church in Talladega is battling cancer. These five young dynamos are stepping up to help. And their efforts paid off to the tune of $ 203! This might buy a tank of gas, some groceries, or school supplies. So as Mary Chappell commented on facebook when the pictures of this helpful crew surfaced, "You are never too young to help." Mary is right and the school commends the attitudes of these fine students and their parents. It is more blessed to give than receive.

Great job, Taylor, Tripp, JR, AnnaBelle, and Tyler. You inspire me!

Puzzle #3 What and Where is it?

Bright, sunny, and the perfect place to read! Where is it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Blog Belongs to YOU!

 I became the principal of R. L. Young in January 2008. Early in the principalship I discovered that blogging was a free, quick, and easy way to broadcast the wonderful things happening at the school. The posts written for this blog belong to our students' families and the community. R. L.  Young Elementary has always held a special place in the hearts of its past and present students. Often folks wonder why it seems to be such a good school. This blog creates a pathway to help folks discover what magic we have in this 1929 structure.

Everyone should be privy to just what goes on behind the doors of any school.  If we are all doing our best within a school it is not difficult to share it with the world. I proudly share our school happenings with all of you. We continue to live through our motto "R. L. Young...a Good Place to Learn and Grow." The whole package is important here: finding new and fun ways to teach, updating our building and grounds, incorporating technology as it becomes available, but most importantly discovering how to best reach EACH child. Every faculty and staff member is vital to our successful program.

Thanks for visiting our blog and feel free to leave a comment. We want to know how you think we are doing!  Remember this blog belongs to YOU!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7 Days Until Meet and Greet!

Photo credit: Grafixar from
Meet and Greet in 7 Days!
August 5, 2010

3:30- 4:00 Mandatory Title One Meeting with Parents
BEFORE OR AFTER the mandatory Title One Meeting, parents are invited to participate in the various MEET and GREET sessions.

5:00-6:00  Meet first in library

3:00-3:30  Meet with parents in library

4:30-5:00  Parents go to classrooms, then to library

3rd Grade
3:00-3:30  Meet in individual classrooms

4th Grade 
4:30-5:00  Meet in lunchroom first, then to classrooms

Upper Grade Academy (grades 5 and 6)
4:00-4:30  meet with parents (in auditorium)

Monday, July 26, 2010


This is on the left side of the back of the auditorium if you are going out to the outside ramp. Of course, NOW it is beautifully painted and looks wonderful! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Writers Must Know Audience and Have Purpose

Writing can be a powerful tool as displayed so cleverly by one of Mrs. Nabor's former kindergarteners. LaQuez W. was informing everyone by way of a homemade sign to keep the campus clean! "No being a litterbug or I will go off to tell Mrs. Thomas." 

When encouraging children to write, you must offer them a purpose or reason for writing. Also, it is important that they know their audience. This example was done to help keep the campus clean. The audience was clearly the R. L. Young student body or guests on campus.

Having children make a list of toys, birthday wants, names of friends, etc. makes the task of writing meaningful. Creating a grocery list is helpful to you and so important to the writer. To encourage writing in your child, look for ways to make it applicable to his/her life.

Thanks, Mrs. Nabors for encouraging writing in your classroom! 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Some Tips to GROW great Readers...

Former first grade students of mine when I was a teacher at R. L. Young.
They will be 9th graders this year!
Some Tips to GROW great Readers...
  • Keep books in the car and make sure a good book gets tucked into sports bags and campers' backpacks.
  • Get your child his own library card.
  • Take or allow him to go to the library often browse for books and enjoy special activities.
  • Help your child select books on topics he is interested in and on his reading level.
  • A simple rule of thumb for helping your child select books at his reading level is to have them choose a page in the book (not the first one) and read it. If he doesn’t know five or more of the words, then the book is too hard for pleasure reading.
  • Have plenty of books, books on tape, magazines, and other reading material around for kids to read.
  • Stock up inexpensive books that can be exposed to the elements or swapped for others at camp.
  • Connect reading with other summer activities.
  • For example, read books about places you will go over the summer or things you will be doing. Perhaps you will visit the beach or go camping, there are many good books about the beach and camping!
  • Set goals and reward reading.
  • Reward reading with more reading. If your child finishes one book, stop by the store and let him pick out another.
  • Let your kids see you read.
  • Read the newspaper over your morning coffee, take a magazine from the rack in a doctor's office while you wait, and stuff a paperback into your purse, pocket, or briefcase. Your kids will catch on to the fact that reading is something you like to do in your spare time.
  • Make reading together fun and memorable.
  • Even if your child is a super reader, they still love to be read, too. You may want to use different voices for different characters when you read to your child. Reading together is a time for closeness and cuddling-another way to show your love as a caring adult.
  • Children love to read letters and notes you write them. Maybe have a day of no talking only writing and reading each others notes.
  • Read it, then do it.
  • Does your child want to learn magic tricks? Juggling? Computer games? There's sure to be a book that can help him/her. Have your child read the instructions and then give it a try.

Independent Reading Strategies

*Good strategies for all readers
by Jill Marie Warner
When I get stuck on a word in a book,
There are lots of things to do.
I can do them all, please, by myself;
I don't need help from you.

I can look at the picture to get a hint,
Or think what the story's about.
I can "get my mouth ready" to say the first letter,
A kind of "sounding out".

I can chop the word into smaller parts,
Like on and ing and ly,
Or find smaller words in compound words
Like raincoat and bumblebee.

I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,
Guess and read on.
Until the sentence has reached its end,
Then go back and try these on:
"Does it make sense?"
"Can we say it that way?"
"Does it look right to me?"
Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun
In my own mind, can't you see?

If I've thought of and tried out most of these things
And I still do not know what to do,
Then I may turn around and ask
For some help to get me through.

Puzzle # 2


Friday, July 23, 2010

THANK YOU, Talladega City Schools Foundation!

Pictured from left to right: Principal Pattie Thomas, SFBoard President Jeanne Rasco, Superintendent Douglas Campbell, Young teacher Cathy Thornton

R. L. Young appreciates the opportunity afforded by the School Foundation to apply for grants each spring. The Foundation has the grueling task of deciding which grants to fund across seven schools. A committee makes the decision and creatively surprises each recipient with balloons, an invitation to the banquet, and congratulations. 
This year's winners from Young were Principal Pattie Thomas and 3rd grade teacher Cathy Thornton. 
Thanks so much for the opportunity to enrich the lives of our students!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Parent, Jana Hadley Donates Time and Talent to YOUNG

Each family pays $5 to join PTO and each child in the family gets to hang an apple representing their grade level and their family. Great idea, PTO officers!
Jana Hadley, local artist and R. L. Young parent gives back to the school by creating a PTO membership tree.


The auditorium painters and I were curious as to what was behind the tile boards hanging high on the back of the auditorium walls. Mr. Pate popped one off and revealed just brick and lots of globby glue. We decided to pop it back in place and maintain the look from the past. 

Did you guess the right answer?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



10 Tips for Establishing a Solid, School Day Routine

by Lindsay Small

Teachers know that children thrive in an environment with routines, boundaries and rules. Parents unfortunately often forget it! And yet by establishing good routines and encouraging children to help you maintain them, you have an opportunity to set a pattern and a discipline that will stay with your children for the rest of their lives.

You will make school days easier and far less stressful, reduce the chances of starting your day late or dragging on forever with the homework, put an end to nagging and shouting, and have happier, more relaxed kids.

Here are 10 tips for establishing a solid, school day routine.

1. Lay the breakfast table the night before
Put everything out apart from perishables. If you keep all your breakfast things in one cupboard or one area of the kitchen this routine will be easier to establish, and older children can take it in turns to do it.

2. Put out your clothes the night before
Lay out a complete set of clothes for each child, checking them as you do it. Older children should do this themselves - you can double check when you say goodnight. Then if something is missing (or shoes need polishing) you have time to put it right. Lay your own clothes out too!

3. Brush teeth at the kitchen sink
Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste for each child in the kitchen and brush teeth at the kitchen sink immediately after breakfast. It may not be perfect for the house-proud, but if you send your child out of your sight to do a chore in the morning, you lose control. If you lose control, he may start dawdling.

4. Set up base camp
Establish a "base camp" where the children keep all their school things. You will need room for kit bags, satchels, swimming bags, sports equipment, ballet bags, library books and whatever else the kids need! Provide at least one hook per child for their coats (in our house kids must hang coats up as soon as they take them off) and a basket or box for school shoes (in our house kids must put shoes in the box as soon as they take them off too - sometimes they do!) Another basket or box for each child can be used as a place to put anything that needs to go to school - gloves, letters to teachers, music, library books etc. Everything is in its place and ready to go out the door first thing in the morning without any fuss.

5. Make a list
Fill out a schedule of what is needed at school on each day and pin it up at "base camp". Check each morning before you walk out the door that you have the appropriate kit. You will find a school week planner to print here:

6. Nail up a notice board
Keep a notice board at "base camp" so that you can pin up reminders, invitations, school menus or whatever else you need to keep tabs on.

7. Do it now!
If anything comes home from school that requires your attention, do it immediately! Fill out forms and put them straight back into the satchel. Write dates into your diary there and then, and reply the same day too. If you postpone it, you will forget it!

8. Give homework a home
Establish a place and time for doing homework and stick to it. Keep dictionaries and other necessary books nearby, as well as a spare set of pencils, rulers and other stationery you might need. Make sure that homework is put back into satchels as soon as it is completed and that satchels are returned to "base camp" straight away. Get out a kitchen timer if kids are reluctant to start (or finish!)

9. Be prepared
If your car is running short of petrol (gas), fill it up on the way home from school in the afternoon rather than panicking the following morning! As you drive home, run a mental check on whether you have the necessary supplies for dinner, and breakfast. Nothing makes kids more miserable in the morning than an empty fridge.

10. Get ahead
Set your alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than usual. You will be amazed at how much more in control that 10 minutes will make you feel. And finally, leave for school 5 minutes early. Arriving early takes away an enormous amount of stress and will put your children in the right mood for school.

Are you convinced? Start initiating some routines in your school day mornings and you and your kids will feel the benefits very quickly. Making sure that your kids feel comfortable and in control before they get to school gives them the best possible start to a school day. And once they get used to afternoon and evening routines for homework and preparation for the day ahead, night-times become more peaceful too.

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." John Dryden

Lindsay Small is the creator and editor of Activity Village - providing the ultimate one-stop resource for parents and teachers looking to educate and entertain their kids. Visit the website at or subscribe to the free newsletter at

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's Lonely at R. L. Young

Raymond L. Young is just not the same without students and teachers. In fact, it is rather lonely. Curious about your new classmates and teacher? Rolls will be posted this Friday on the front door. Also, available will be the Meet and Greet schedule and time for Mandatory Title One Meeting slated for August 5 before or after the grade level session. 

Can't wait to see all of your smiling faces soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Parents and Community Members,
You may have noticed a NEW button on the left side of the blog. The teachers will register when school begins. We look forward to working with you. Children make up 20% of the population, but 100% of the future. Thank you in advance for your help!

Monday, July 12, 2010

R. L. Young Fans EVERYWHERE!

Mr. Allen Scarbrough, a local citizen kindly shared this photo taken in Honduras on a recent mission trip. They discovered this lad wearing none other than a R. L. Young School T-shirt. Pictured with the two Hondurian children are former Young students, Taylor Davis and John Austin Williamson.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Always Proud of Young Students

Raymond L. Young teachers provide a balanced curriculum of learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom doors. On a recent field trip to Montgomery, our fourth graders visited the Governor's Mansion. They were escorted around and on the main stairway the guide suggested they sing the state song. She stated that most students who visit usually do not know the words to the song. 
R. L. Young students quickly stated that they all knew the words and proudly displayed their knowledge to the delight of their guide. The guide did not know of our Friday tradition to play the Alabama State song during announcements. Here is a snippet of their performance.....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mystery # 3 Revealed

The R.L.Young library got a new window seat thanks to the hard work of Mr. Jackson, an employee with Talladega City Schools. It is beautiful!