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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Response to Comment-Ideas worth sharing...

This comment was left on a post concerning bullying.
Anonymous said...

Mrs. Thomas,
I must say I really enjoy the blog! I was reading this blog and the newspaper article about bullying and I was not really clear about an issue that involved tattling. I noticed that reporting or telling that you are being bullied is encouraged but not tattling. Well for younger children and older children really how do they know the difference? If students do tattle and are told that they shouldnt would that not lead the person bothering them to believe that it is okay to continue and wouldn't that eventually in some cases lead to bullying. When students report that they are being picked on or hit and is considered a tattle taler then that encourages students to not tell anymore regardless of how often they are picked on because after all who wants to be labeled a tattle taler. I personally think a tattle taler is a student that constantly tells Ms. Doe hes looking at me, hes touching my arm, he tapping on the desk, etc. but not a student that tells that they have been attacted physically or called names. I personally teach my child if someone hits you "tell the teacher" and I really dont expect him to be ignored or called a tattle taler. I am sure if I told him everytime someone hits you or call you a name you hit them back or call them a name back that would lead him right to the principals office. So where do we draw a line for our kids to know when it is okay to tell and when it is not, I think that that needs to be clarified for both students and parents. Thanks for your response, A concerned parent
Dear Concerned Parent,
This in an important concern and one worth pondering. With such a seasoned faculty and staff, they each have their own method for distinguishing between simply telling on someone to "get them in trouble" versus telling on someone to keep them out of danger (Suzy is jumping OFF the monkey bars) or keep themselves from danger (Suzy is hitting me). 
     What I have discovered in my 28 years in education is that often students want to tell you what someone else did, but leave out their part in the scenario. This is where my comment about knowing the students, their names, families, etc., and watching children comes into play. I call it WITHITNESS or as some folks say, the teacher must have eyes in the back of his/her head. A child should never hit another child...period. This is our policy and the school system policy, too. That is a definite TELL THE TEACHER incident. 
     It gets fuzzier when addressing verbal bullying. Children have different levels of sensitivity and what one child blows off as good natured teasing, another may take to heart. The key is teaching children how to socially interact with  peers, how to bond as friends, and how to be aware of other people's feelings.  Conflict resolution is an acquired skill that evolves as children grow and mature. Adults sometime miss out on this skill depending on their own childhood experiences. 
     A one time incident with two students might mean they need a chance to talk things out, but a continued reoccurrence between two children could be a bullying situation. We do not want any child to feel powerless while at school. Often we run into situations where children talk to parents (which is a great thing), but do not share their problems with the teacher or any of the 31 other staff members we have at Young. This makes it difficult because the problems need to be addressed as soon as possible. 
     We have made some changes at Young to address this issue. I keep a basket outside of my office for children to put notes. I value and address their concerns as soon as possible. Teachers send children to me that need to work things out among themselves. This allows them to continue teaching and instructional time is not lost. Teachers in several grades have a TRUTH Book to let children record concerns. Some teachers have a box that children can slip notes if someone is bothering them. A big effort to empower children, especially the bystanders, has been implemented. Teachers at the beginning of the year address the code of conduct, especially items that address physical, verbal or cyber bullying. Reminders of the expectations are given throughout the year. 
     We have seen an increase in children stepping up to share problems they are having with another student. Some have not developed the skills to work through a problem with another child. This is where we can help. Our school system has a licensed family therapist who serves the district, a interventionist through D.H.R., a counselor on staff 3 days per week, and a loving faculty and staff. Each morning during announcements, I share a character education quote and thought for the day. Being proactive and making it important to grow as young people will pay off in the future. There will always be bullies in the world, but when children gain confidence and knowledge on how to maneuver through life and difficult situations, they will be happier and more successful. 
R. L. Young is a good place to learn and grow, BUT it is also a work in progress. Our faculty and staff continues to grow not only in their abilities to teach and reach all students, but also in their skills to help children feel safe, loved, and valued.  We do not want anything that distracts children from learning what they need to know academically. In society there will always be those who put others down, tease, call names, and/or mistreat people around them. The most important thing for parents, educators, and schools to do is help build our children's confidence, give them the skills to handle and reason through difficult situations, teach them it is OK to seek adult help, give them the avenue to receive assistance, and be alert to children who mistreat others.
     It has been said that elementary educators teach character education all day. This statement is so true because each year 20 + children with varying levels of maturity, academic abilities, social skills, and values are meshed together to form a classroom. The most amazing and beautiful thing is that R. L. Young teachers  do a superb job creating a happy community of learners.  This occurs because of the close connection we have with students AND parents. This does NOT happen in all schools across the nation. We are truly blessed at Young!

Thanks for the comment and the opportunity to share my thoughts on the subject. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 2010 Good Citizens

 Kindergarten through 3rd grade GOOD CITIZENS:
Leigh Anna McC., Aniya T., Tyler W., LaQuez W., Dylan L., Gracie S., Josh D., and Samantha L.
Not pictured: Taylor H.
Grades 4th - 6th: Tripp A., Benson S., J.R. A., and Mary Wilson
Not pictured: Diamond O., and Kylee B.

Congratulations to each of you.
It is a PLEASURE to have you at R. L. Young! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Come One, Come All...To the Bestival Festival of Fall!

Halloween is in the air
Ghosts and Goblins are everywhere
Witches are flying
And stirring their brew
I hope I can catch you....before THEY do!

Come one, come all
To the festival of fall...
The smell of chili-dogs
And nachos, too...
Will make you act silly
And scream out "Boo!!!!!"

The popcorn popping
And the apples bobbing..
Make the monsters more scary
and the gobblins more gobbing..

There's lots to do and fun for all
This time of year we know as Fall...
So get here early and stay till late
The doors open at 5 and close at 8!

See y'all tonight!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


DISCO Room, Costume contest, Hayride, Food, Cake Walk, Toy Walk, Duck Pond, Dart Game, Ring Toss, Silent Auction, BINGO, and a couple of surprises....
Don't miss the best night of the school year!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chrysler Drive for Kids-BIG SUCCESS!

What would you say if someone said a school could earn $770 in just 2 1/2 hours? Well, R. L. Young did it with the help of local businessman Bill Stanford and the Chrysler Corporation. Thanks to everyone who came to the school for a test drive. 

THE WINNER OF THE BIG, FUZZY DOG is Tommy W. from 4th grade. Congratulations!

Get Your Costumes READY!

Only 4 days until the FALL FESTIVAL! October 28 from 5 until 8 p.m. FUN, FUN, FUN!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Bosses' Day

Dear Faculty and Staff,
Thank you so much for a wonderful Bosses' Day. I wasn't even aware that it was coming up, so it was a complete surprise. I especially loved that you surprised me in the lunchroom in front of the most important people at our school...the children! 

The flowers were lovely and unusual with the big, bright sunflowers mixed with roses. I will save the Olive Garden Gift Card for a special occasion. Of course, my favorite thing was the sweet and heartfelt comments in the card. You all know how I feel about each of you and the school.  You make my job fun and exciting! We are all different except for one thing...our mission is clear and our focus is on pushing our kids as far as they can go!

Thanks so much!
Mrs. P. Thomas

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daily Monster Visits!

This week 5 classes at R. L. Young earned a comprehension % of 91 or higher on the Accelerated Reading Program. Mrs. Lamberth was the leader this week with almost 98%. She and her students decided to share the "love" and give the other high achievers a chance to visit with the monster, too.  Each of the 5 classrooms will have a visit for the day. What a thoughtful thing to do! 

Congratulations to the following classes:
Mrs. Lamberth-2nd grade
Mrs. French-6th grade
Mrs. Haynes-3rd grade
Mrs. Davidson-2nd grade
Mrs. Bittle-1st grade
Keep reading!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

R. L. Young Students Participate in The Elementary Music Festival

Each fall, the Alabama Music Education Elementary Music Festival is held at the Wright Center on the campus of Samford University. Almost 300 students participate from over 30 schools across the state. The program consists of choral and instrumental pieces from a variety of cultures and styles. 
Students are chosen on the following criteria:
* Students should demonstrate a high level of interest and participation in the music program.
*Students must be able to sing on pitch and follow a conductor.
*Students must be willing to practice and memorize music before the festival.
*Students must exhibit self-discipline.
Representatives from R. L. Young Elementary included fifth graders Alayna P. and Mary W. under the leadership of Talladega City School District music teacher, Mrs. Linda Barrow. We are very proud to be represented in such a fine way with these two young ladies. A special thanks to their families for allowing them to participate, arranging transportation, and attending the production.
Alayna on the top row.

Mary is on the second row in the middle.
R. L. Young is very proud of both of you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't Forget!

October 21, 2010
Chrysler Drive for Kids
3:30-6:00 p.m.
PTO Meeting/4th Grade Performance
6:00 p.m.

Each driver may put a child's name in the hat to win this BIG, FUZZY, Doggie! Winner will be announced FRIDAY!

  Fall Festival
October 28
5 to 8 p.m.

The ABC's of Bullying Prevention

Here's a great article from Education World ® Professional Development Center: The ABCs of Bullying Prevention.

You might hear people make false or misleading claims about bullying. Those erroneous beliefs serve to downplay the seriousness of bullying, and can keep school staff and parents from taking the necessary action to respond to the problem. Changing false beliefs about bullying can help change the response to the problem. Let's take a look at a some of those myths.

"Bullying builds character."
Rather than building character, bullying can cause children to become anxious, fearful and unhappy. It also can lower their self-esteem. Bullied students might come to believe something is wrong with them and even that they deserve such treatment. Some adults might contend that bullying can be a learning experience, but for most victims, the lesson of bullying is that the world is unsafe and people cannot be trusted.

"Bullying is a harmless rite of passage that is a natural part of growing up."
Bullying might be a fact of life for many children, but that doesn't mean it needs to be accepted as a normal or inevitable part of childhood. Certainly, it is not harmless. Many bullying victims are left with lasting psychological scars.

"Bullying is no more than kids being kids."
Bullying is far different from child's play. When children fool around, they choose to do so. Victims of bullying, however, do not choose to be tormented. Furthermore, bullies and victims are not on equal footing. The bully is typically stronger and more physically imposing than the victim.

"Kids bounce back quickly after being bullied."
Although some children weather bullying more easily than others, many suffer long-term effects from the experience. Those who insist that they survived the ordeal without harm might have forgotten the genuine hurt they felt at the time.

"Victims of bullying usually bring it on themselves."
According to that theory, the victim's behavior provokes the bully into reacting and thus the victim is blameworthy. The reality is that bullies often choose their victims because they appear weak, isolated, or vulnerable, or because they seem different in some way. We need to convey the message to victims that they did nothing wrong; it is the bullies who are wrong.

"Bullying will disappear if you ignore it."
In fact, the opposite is the case. Closing your eyes to the problem is giving bullies a license to continue inflicting pain on other children, while telling their victims they must handle the problem on their own. One student, when asked why he was bullying another student, gave the simple answer "because I can." He was bullying because he thought he could get away with it. The reality is that bullying must be confronted vigorously, and bullies must be held accountable for their behavior.

"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you."
Telling that to a bully is usually of little comfort to a child who is being constantly teased or called names. The pain caused by verbal blows often can last longer than that caused by physical blows, especially if the bullying is frequent and ongoing. That fact is captured in the following poem by an unknown author.

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words can also hurt me.
Sticks and stones break only skin,
While words are ghosts that haunt me.

Slant and curved the word-swords fall
To pierce and stick inside me.
Bats and bricks may ache through bones,
But words can mortify me.

Pain from words has left its scar
On mind and heart that's tender.
Cuts and bruises now have healed;
It's words that I remember.

"Victims of bullying must learn to stand up for themselves."
Although we want children to learn to resolve conflicts with their peers on their own, that doesn't mean they should be left to fend for themselves in the face of typically bigger, stronger children. Some students simply are unequipped to deal with the intimidation; retaliation could result in their getting hurt. In those cases, they need the help of an adult. Victims of bullying need to be told that that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of good sense.

"Hit the bully back and he'll leave you alone."
Not only is that untrue in most cases, it is likely to make the problem worse. Bullies are unlikely to back down if their victims fight back. Rather, they are likely to strike back if challenged, placing the victim in harm's way. You also do not want to give the message that violence is acceptable.

"No students are bullied in this school."
Some principals would like you to think that bullying does not take place in their schools; the reality is, virtually every school has bullies.

About Ken Shore

Dr. Kenneth Shore is a psychologist who has worked in various public schools for more than 25 years. He has authored six books and produced a book and video series on bullying for schools and parent organizations called The ABCs of Bullying Prevention. Click to read a complete bio or to e-mail Dr. Shore. For information on how to obtain his books and videos, go to his Web site.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Big Thanks to Mrs. Cochran!

Where does a school get the perfect gift for a visiting celebrity? R. L. Young wanted to surprise James Spann with a cake that represented our motto "R. L. Young Elementary...a good place to learn and grow". 
Channel 33/40 Weather Man, James Spann 
Quintasia K.'s grandmother, Mrs. Ladell Cochran, a bakery employee with our local Wal-Mart created this beautiful masterpiece especially for his visit. Thanks, Mrs. Cochran.......we appreciate your talents! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noccalula Falls.....more than a legend!

On Friday, October 15, 2010, our second grade students (48 kids) and most of their parents (51, to be exact!) and the 3 teachers boarded a big, yellow school bus and a ton of vehicles and spent the day at Noccalula Falls State Park in Gadsden, Alabama. The train rides, petting zoo, nature trails, and the "pet" deer made for a fun day in the Fall sun. I think second grade has found their signature field trip. It was awesome and I hope everyone had as much fun as Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Davidson and Mrs. Lamberth. Thanks to all the students who represented RL Young with more than "class" and the parents who were both helpful and wonderful. I can't wait till our next trip!

The statue of Princess Noccalula at the spot where
she jumped, thus the name of the park many moons

Who says teachers don't have fun? Whew... thank
goodness Mrs. Davidson was there to stop Mrs.
Lamberth from re-naming the park!

This is the deer that just showed up and roams
around the park freely, awaiting a friendly pet or
maybe a bit of food. She was so calm and friendly!

Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Davidson and Emily share
a photo spot!

Abby and Kayla make a friend. The deer would
come to you and were not afraid, as this picture
clearly shows.

10-15-10 P.E. Star Student of the Week

As for as a star student I am always looking for a student that shines. This week Coy C. has been a bright shining star. Coy has done a great job of demonstrating teamwork, kindness, and honesty. Great job Coy on being an awesome star student!
Good Work!

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Need a big, fuzzy dog to snuggle with? You could win this one on October 21 after the Chrysler Drive for Kids. Bill Stanford is sponsoring a Chrysler Drive for kids at R. L. Young beginning at 3:30 p.m. and running until 6 p.m. A PTO meeting is scheduled beginning promptly at 6 p.m. so if you are planning to attend, please come early to be able to test drive a car. 

There is NO cost to anyone and the only obligation is to fill out a brief survey about your test drive experience. The school will receive $10 for each test driver (must be at least 18 years old). We hope you will come out, test drive a car, and enter the drawing for the doggie pictured above. Good luck!
*Money raised at this event will be included in our First National Bank School of the Month efforts!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Best Part of My Job

The role of principal is a busy one involving lots of people. Some meetings are scheduled months in advance. Parents have concerns they bring to my door. Teachers like to share things with me.  The community often wants some of my time. People consume my day. And this is a good thing.

But the most important clients I serve are the students. I LOVE to see kids come to my office, especially if they are sharing their work, like these students. This group wrote pumpkin stories....stories that were all different...all kid writing...and so entertaining.

 Thanks, Mrs. Bittle for sending them and reminding me why I chose this profession. Their little faces brighten my day, my week, my life! I am blessed....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Always Good to Go Home!

These Talladega High School students were able to return "home" to their old elementary school recently to help host a PEP RALLY for faculty, students, and staff as part of Homecoming festivities.

 The high school was represented by members of the football team, band, and cheerleaders. We are so proud of all of you! Keep learning and growing because you still represent
Raymond L. Young Elementary School. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monster in the Classroom? That's a GOOD Thing

Last Friday was a day of celebration for this class of 2nd graders after learning they had the highest % in AR comprehension for the week! See the monster in the background? He dances, sings, lights up, and is so COOL! 

So keep reading and test CAREFULLY......Your class could have the monster soon!

Busy Week at R. L. Young

 Fundraising has begun at R. L. Young! Congratulations to our school for being the First National Bank School of the Month. The bank is giving our school $250 to add to the total amount of money raised through the month of October. 
This week's events/Activities include:

Oct. 11-15  National School Lunch Week-each grade level has a special day to have parents enjoy a great meal at R. L. Young's wonderful lunchroom. Check this post for your child's assigned day for guests.
R. L. Young Library Book Fair -Come view the book fair and purchase books for your child. If you would like to make a secret purchase for holiday giving, see Mrs. Lane and she can help you out. Brochures went home with all books being sold this week. Mark the ones you want and turn in. Please include a note if you want this purchase to be kept a secret. There is no better gift to give a child than your time and a good book!
Reigning Queen, Mrs. Armstrong
Oct. 12  Pumpkin Queen Voting Begins
R. L. Young has had a long standing tradition that each year at the Fall Festival a teacher is selected to be the Pumpkin Queen. It's only costs a quarter to vote. The winner is announced at the Fall Festival. Mrs. Beard in the computer lab will be collecting votes until Oct. 28. You can also vote the night of the Festival. Good luck, teachers. 

Oct. 14 ARMT Medal Ceremony
Grades 3-6 will gather in the auditorium for a first ever medal ceremony to recognize our highest achieving students. In addition to recognizing success on the Alabama Reading and Math Test, we will reward students for great work on the Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing, and the Science Assessment for Fifth Graders. 

Oct. 15 Hats Off to Y. E. S. 
Wear your craziest, favorite hat to show your support of the best place to learn and grow! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Send a SHOUT OUT to an R. L. Young Student or Staff Member

Are you especially proud of someone at R. L. Young? Well, for this month only, you can send a "Shout Out" over the intercom for only a buck. The well wishes will be shared each afternoon beginning Oct. 11 by grade levels. Just sent $1 and a one line SHOUT OUT in an envelope addressed to the office. Be sure and give the name and why you are proud. 

All proceeds will be placed in our 1ST NATIONAL SCHOOL OF THE MONTH fund raising efforts. I look forward to helping you share your pride of someone at YOUNG!

OCT. 12 Make Up Picture Day

Say "Cheese" and Smile!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2nd Grade Mrs. Lamberth's Class Wins Trophy and Monster

There's a new classmate in Mrs. Lamberth's second grade! The AR Monster, known as Frankie, was brought to her classroom for a week to learn new things with second grade. Her students had the highest comprehension average (97.7) in the school for the week. 

Each week reports are run to determine not only the school's comprehension average, but the comprehension average for each classroom. At Young, we place a stronger emphasis on comprehension % than the points they earn. The points are important, especially to the students, because they are used to reward students as they continue to read and test. 

Congratulations, Mrs. Lamberth and students! 

Good Times in Gifted Class....

Every Wednesday, R. L. Young has an additional teacher on board: Talladega City School System's gifted teacher, Teresa Kearley. She serves our students and helps them think outside the box by doing cool projects such as pictured above. They are making pizzas from scratch. Yummy! 

Thanks, Ms. Kearley for enriching the minds of some of our brightest kids! 

Who will be the NEW Pumpkin Queen at R. L. Young?

 Who will be the next PUMPKIN QUEEN at R. L. Young? Mrs. Armstrong is the reigning Queen and hopes to hold the title again this year. How do you help your favorite teacher become Pumpkin Queen? Vote....25 cents a vote. The queen will be announced at the Fall Festival, October 28! The voting period will open on October 12 and run through the night of the festival. 

Good Luck, teachers!

Friday, October 8, 2010

P.E. Star Student of the Week 10-8-10

Lexi W. is a sixth grader who is not only a leader for her classmates but a leader for everyone around her. Lexi does a great job showing respect for her teachers and her classmates. Lexi is a great all around student. Great Job Lexi!


If your child's report is not satisfactory, consider the following items:
*Is your child frequently tardy?
*Does your child complete homework?
*Does your child and you study for tests?
*Does your child know school is important to you, too?
*Does your child bring the necessary supplies to class?
*Do you visit the school for an occasional lunch date or to speak to the teacher?
*Is your child frequently absent from school, but could have probably attended? 

The problem may not be his/her ability to learn, but obstacles that can be easily removed. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

R. L. Young in the News

To view the news segment featuring R. L. Young students after Channel 33/40 James Spann's visit, click here.

A Visit from James Spann

We enjoyed a visit from James Spann , weather man for  ABC 33/40 today.
We also showed our school spirit by wearing our AL/AU Y.E.S. shirts.
What a wonderful day had by all!
Great job videoing Julie Ann.

Love Books? Get Ready for the BEST Book Fair Ever!

Everyone is welcome to visit R. L. Young's Book Fair hosted by librarian Christine Lane in the library. The fair will be October 11th-15th from 8:15 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

September 2010 Good Citizen Luncheon

Congratulations from grades K-2:  Shakyra, Noah, Jayden, Emily, Maddison, Logan, and Blaire.
Also joining the Good Citizen Luncheon from grades 3-6: Tyler, Isabella, Emily, Halle, Ja'karle, Jaelyn, Natalie, and Blaise. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Candy Sale Ends Wednesday, Oct. 6

R. L. Young's candy sale ends Wednesday, Oct. 6. All money is due on October 7. As soon as all money has been collected, the prizes can be awarded. 

Thanks to everyone who helped our school by selling, eating, or buying this wonderful chocolate. Your support is very appreciated!