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Don’t Drop the Ball

by Makayla Jarrett


“Score!” Jim screamed.  I had just won H-O-R-S-E!  I felt famous!  Except, it was only H-O-R-S-E.  “Hey, Kev, say we go to Rocky’s for some ice cream?” “Sweet!”   I said.  I didn’t know what I was saying.  My Mama would kill me if I had ice cream before dinner.  But, who was watching?  I’ll never tell.  “Let’s go!” We ran really fast. “Kevin Van Belkin!  What do you think you are doing?”  Mama. Danger. “Hi Mama! Err…I’m just…uh…going to the garden to water!” I said, hesitantly.  “Sounds fishy, but OK.” Whew.  That was close.  Too close.

“What’ll it be, boys?”  Mrs. Whik said.  She’s the ice cream seller.  “My normal order, Mrs. Whik!”  Jim said.  “Mine too, please!”  I said.  “So, a small Hot Fudge Sundae, and a Chocolate Monster?”  “Yup!” squealed Jim.

“You heard the news?”  Mrs. Whik said.  “What?  News?”   I was confused.  I didn’t hear any news.  I guess it wouldn’t help that I don’t watch the news.  O read it.  “Yeah.  The newspaper press wanted me to let everyone know that they are having a contest for the best homemade game…” WAIT!”  I had just stopped Mrs. Whik from finishing what she was saying.  This got me thinking.  Because H-O-R-S-E  is boring, since I won and you don’t win anything in return.  So, Jim and I ran away from Rocky’s.  I knew the ice cream was there, I just was in a hurry.  I told Jim that we should make a game.  He said it was a great idea and that we should do it sometime.  “SOMETIME?!”   I screamed.  “No. Jim, we need to do it now, since there’s a contest!”

Art Show Inspires ‘WritePrize’ Student
Writing Contest  

by Charles Honey

It worked big-time for art, so why not writing?

That was the thought of Eldon Palmer, a parent at Valley View Elementary School. Inspired by the huge success of ArtPrize, Palmer last fall proposed a contest called WritePrize at the K-5 school. He worked with teachers and Principal Bob Siegel to organize a writing contest among third- through fifth-graders. The kickoff was held during the release of Siegel’s book “Learn to Lead with Love.”

Nearly 100 students – almost one-third of Valley View’s upper-elementary enrollment – submitted their works. They were judged by the high school students of Jackie Decker’s Advanced Placement language arts class. Throughout the year, the winning papers are being published in the weekly school newsletter.

Five winners were chosen from each grade. Following are the winning entries from fifth-graders Kate Zang, Makayla Jarrett, Luke Johnson, Macey Palmer and Madison Warnke. Happy reading!

Read More Submissions

Finally, I got to my house, and Jim got to his house.  Jim basically quit on me because he had to “go home”.  Wimp.  Then, I realized that I like basketball, so the game could be about (or something like) basketball.  Right at that moment, someone knocked on the door.  My Mama raced to the door and yelled:  “I got it!”  She was like a little kid racing to the door to greet his friends.  “You said you would give me your keys to the car.”  It was dad.  “Sorry, honey.  I…um…I guess I dropped the ball.”  I knew that saying.  It means you did something wrong.  Wait…

“I’VE GOT IT!”  I screamed.  “You got what honey?”  My Mama sounded scared.  But I was speechless. I had an idea!

I wrote down a whole bunch of rules about “Don’t Drop the Ball.”

Rules of:  Don’t Drop the Ball

  • Don’t drop the ball.  If you do, -10 points.
  • Use only one hand.
  • 12 points if you make it in the basket.
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors for who has ball first.
  • Object of the game:  Get 50 points for you or for your team.

Jim and I decided to go to the newspaper press so everyone can see our… or my game.  I decided I should talk, since Jim was speechless (in a good way, I think).

“What can I do for you?” said Mr. Compson. “Can you please put my game in the newspaper for the contest?  I want to be famous!  What do you win?” I didn’t mention Jim, because he didn’t help me.  “Well, if you win, you will win a trip to Cedar Point.  We will print the winning game in the newspaper next week.”

I could hardly wait until next week!  I was so excited!  I could lose my mind right now, I’m so excited!

Uh, oh.  That’s exactly what happened.  I lost my mind!  I forgot which day Mr. Compson said they were going to print the winner!  And now the press is closed!  Since Jim was my only hope of knowing, I decided to go to his house.

I saw Jim in his front yard, talking to one of his friends, Nate.  I knew eavesdropping was bad, but this was suspicious.  All what I heard was- “I made a game…I put it in the newspaper…no one helped me!”  Did Jim just copy my game?  What a meanie.  I ran right up to Jim.  I didn’t care if Nate said stuff like:  “Hey!  Move!” or “I’m talking to Jim!”  I needed to talk to Jim face-to-face.  I said:  “Did you copy my game?”  Jim was trying to spit words out, but I didn’t’ let him.  “Who do you think you are?  Well, I can sure tell you.  A big, fat, LIAR!”  No!  No, I’m really not!  I…”  “I don’t care!”  I yelled.  “This friendship is officially OVER!”  I stomped off back to my house.

I ran to my room, sat down on my bed and even shed a tear or two.  But only a few tears.  Because boys don’t cry.  But, I just couldn’t help it.  I started to cry.

A few days later, my Mama said, “Hey, Kevin!  Look at this article about someone who won a homemade game contest!”  My Mama said.  Wait, was it really today?  “Coming!”  I screamed.  My eyes started to feel better.  Because I knew I was going to see my name on that newspaper!

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