December PawPrint

November Edition 2020

School News

12/17 HS Presentation video – Shown in 8th grade ELA classes

12/21 Winter Break Begins

1/4 School reopens

1/15 Independent Work Day

1/18 MLK Birthday – Schools closed

1/19 6th grade returns

1/26 7th grade returns

2/2 8th grade returns

Message From Spirit Club

Spirit club has been working hard the last few months. We have created cards and ornaments for Senior Citizens that could use all the spirit they can during these times.

We want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday.

The Spirit Club

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Holly Jolly Christmas 7th Grade Band 2020
Frosty the Snowmand 8th Grade Brooks Band 2020

6th Grade Recognition

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STEM Recognition

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Lexile Recognition

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Covid Clue In

All I Want for Christmas is...A Vaccine?

By Sofia Aragon

On Friday, December 11, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the COVID-19 vaccine created by Pfizer for emergency use. In the United States alone, more than 290,000 lives have been taken by the virus, and health care workers have been at the frontlines for almost a year. Many of them have gotten infected and some have died from coronavirus. That’s why they are receiving the first doses in the country, along with nursing home residents. According to the New York Times, “Pfizer has a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine by next March. Under that agreement, the shots will be free to the public.” The initial batches will be delivered mostly to hospitals, and the locations where they are set to arrive were determined by a list that every state submitted. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began development around 11 months ago, and they called the news a “historic first” on their website.

A few important things to keep in mind according to the Pfizer website:

-The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use.

-It is for preventing COVID-19 and will be available for use in individuals 16 years of age and older.

-The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use

As always, remember to stay safe by washing your hands, social distancing, and not interacting with people outside of those in your household. Happy Holidays!

News in the U.S

By Cicen Chingis

There’s about 17,138,676 cases of Coronavirus in the US, and about 863,477 of them are from Illinois. But, there’s some good news! Drumroll please! People have found a vaccine for Covid-19! 2.9 million doses have come to the US, but 2 things. 1) Everyone needs 2 doses so 1450000 will get the vaccine. 2) There’s 328.2 million people in the United States, and all the vaccines will go to front-line workers. (Go say thanks to a front-line worker if you ever see one!) Yet, with this good news, there’s also bad news. People have found ways to scam people using advertisements that say it “will work against Covid instantly!” A few ways to avoid these are to check the URL and if it ends with”.gov”, that means it’s from a government and can be trusted. (Check out for more ways to avoid scams)

It’s been about 10 months since we all thought we would leave for 2 weeks and then go back to school. How has quarantine affected students anyway? Well, it’s affected kids badly, academically, socially, and mentally. Emergency rooms have seen a 24% increase in mental-health related visits for kids ranged 5-11 then last year. Older kids have seen a 31% increase. Having online school also seems to make learning harder, and food banks have been overwhelmed with many families with children that had depended on school’s free lunches. Will life ever become normal again?

Monthly Celebrations

Helping Kids In Need

By Bria Dennis

Imagine waking up on a cold bright snowy Christmas morning. You have goosebumps but not because you're cold. It is because you can’t stop thinking about what gifts are under that tree awaiting you. You get out of bed and check if Santa left you any presents. You stand there in shock. You see no presents under the tree.

But you notice that your goosebumps and your Christmas morning excitement did not go away. How could that be you might ask? No presents for you this year and you are still full of the Christmas morning cheer and anticipation. You can have this experience. This Christmas morning joy without gifts, you can have it by giving to others in need.

You can have that same Christmas morning joy that you have been experiencing every year by giving to others this year. That’s right. You can have that same happiness by being a blessing not to one but to many. Instead of asking for things for Christmas, maybe we should give to those in need. It’ll make you feel good inside when you try to help others. A lot of kids suffer in hospitals, their parents are incarcerated, or they simply don’t have enough money to get Christmas gifts at Christmas time.

There are so many ways we can help the less fortunate during Christmas time. We could give others a great Christmas morning by donating food, gifts, money, and toys. We could also donate our time. If these ideas interest you, here are some groups doing some amazing work that I suggest you to investigate.

National Organizations

Toys For Tots - Toys For Tots is an organization that gives toys for children in need at Christmas time.

St. Jude - St Jude is a charity for children with cancer and other serious diseases.

Ronald McDonalds - Ronald Mcdonald is a charity dedicated to sick children.

Angel Tree - Angel Tree is where you can donate gifts and bIble’s to children whose parents are in prison.

Local Organizations

Operation Christmas - Operation Christmas is a charity based in Bolingbrook where you make sure kids have food, clothes, and toys to needy families.

DuPage Township Food Pantry - This Food pantry is located on Canterbury road in Bolingbrook and accepts non perishable food donations. Check the website for location and guidelines.

Don’t Get Ripped Off

If you are interested in donating to any charity, I would always verify that the charity is doing good work. But, some charities can be fakes. They might try to scam you for money or not use your donations as promised. Use to make sure that the charity is doing good work. Let's make a difference.

The Origin of Christmas

By Noah Lichtfuss

Christmas is a popular tradition where every December 25th marks the birth of Jesus. The precise origin of assigning December 25th as the birthday of Jesus is unknown. December 25th was recognized as the birthday of Jesus by Sextus Julius Africanus in the year 221. A popular explanation could be that Christianizing of the dies solis invicti nati (day of the birth of the unconquered sun), which is a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun. Many traditions including decorating a tree and advent calendars came from Germany. In the 18th century, people suggested that Christmas was related to gift giving although the practice of giving gifts was recorded as early as the 15th century. Santa originated from a poem named “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas'.' In most European countries, gifts are exchanged on December 24th in the notion Jesus was born on the night of December 24th. As we know, for North America, gift giving begins on December 25th.

How Do Different Cultures Celebrate Christmas?

By Ariana Hernandez

You might be wondering how do different cultures celebrate Christmas? Well, that's what you are going to be learning about. First holiday up is Hanukkah, which many in the Jewish culture celebrate. Hanukkah (also Chanukah) is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means rededication. Every year, the celebration honors the hard-fought victory of those trying to keep their faith despite a powerful enemy. It is an eight-day holiday that will be celebrated this year starting sundown on December 10th. Do you feel you know a bit more about Hanukkah? Well, next up we have a holiday called Kwanzaa. You have probably never heard of the holiday so let me tell you what it is. In the African-American culture, Kwanzaa is a holiday that honors tradition and deepens children's understanding of their heritage. It's also a lot of fun, seven days of food, music, dancing, creativity, and other family activities. That was Kwanzaa now we are learning about the holiday celebrated by the Latino/Latin X culture called Las Posadas. Las Posadas, in Spanish “The Inns,'' is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.

Aviation Monthly

By Caiden Aldrich Cando

Well, it was bound to happen. The Boeing 737 MAX has been issued by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) its first airworthiness certification, a step towards the continuation of the MAX getting back in the air.

It’s been 20 months since the MAX aircraft have been grounded due to two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia causing the deaths of 346 people. These crashes have been due to a faulty system called MCAS, which led to the two fatal crashes. During this downtime, hearings with both Congress and the Senate, investigating causes of the two fatal flights were going on. Boeing retested its MCAS system and it looks promising.

The Chicago-based company made losses of $636 million dollars in 2019 and its first loss since 1997, when it merged with aircraft manufacturer McDonnell-Douglas. In 2020, it does not seem well due to the pandemic. Around 450 737 MAX aircraft are still on the ground awaiting delivery to operators like United, Southwest, and more, and cannot be delivered till the FAA approves the delivery.

American Airlines, one of many operators have started plans on resuming operations with the MAX. A few weeks ago, the FAA approved training for pilots for the type and its quick plan to reintroduce it into its fleet by the end of the year. United plans on resuming the aircraft in 2021. All I’ll say is this. Let’s all hope the MAX is safe again.

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Entertainment Spotlight

Book Babble

December Fiction

By Cicen Chingis

Sticky Notes-10-year-old Foster Sumnar thought that life wouldn’t change, playing with toy soldiers, going to school, and best of all, listening to his dad’s stories. But, his dad seems to start forgetting things, even his stories. Foster’s mom and aunt decide to put up sticky notes all around the house, but will those really bring back his dad’s memory?

A story on how you may forget it in your brain, but your heart will always remember it. Sticky Notes by Dianne Touchell.

Squint-Flint loves to draw, and he’s entering for a comic contest to become the youngest winner. But yet, Flint has an eye disease that could make him blind. Then, the new girl, McKell comes and starts hanging out with “Squint”, the boy that supposedly has an eye disease. As the 2 progress in friendship, they realize secrets and truths about each other, but what will others think if they share them?

A book about how different people can still be friends. Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown.

The Jigsaw Jungle-12-year old Claudia Dalton and her mom start worrying when her dad doesn’t come home. However, the police state that he has simply abandoned them. Her mom chooses to forget about him, but Claudia doesn’t, and when she’s sent to her grandpa’s house, she starts to investigate with her grandfather and her new friend/ After watching 1 or 2 home videos at her grandpa’s house, she begins to think that the videos hold a clue, but she never thought to be right. That changes when her dad sends her a puzzle piece that starts an adventure. Can Claudia find out the truth? Or will the truth break her family apart?

A story on how everyone can make a difference. The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine.
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The Live Action Mulan

By Kara Carrillo

The live action Mulan was a big hit. Not just in the United States, but also in China. This movie was fun and exciting . It wasn't exactly like the comedy cartoon movie we all know and love because it didn't include Mushu, the cricket, and the grandmother, however, in this movie there wasn't a real cricket, but there was a human character named Cricket. And, if you listen closely in the movie, you will find a line where Cricket says his mother told him he's lucky. Now, let's move on to the actors in this movie. The main actress is Lui Yifei, who plays Mulan. She is a famous actress and model in China as well. Also, Donnie Yen, who played Commander Tung, was in this movie, too. Donnie Yen played Chirrut Imwe in the Star Wars movie, Rogue One, and many more movies. Next, let's talk about the plot line in the story. The story of Mulan is about a Chinese girl who is a fantastic fighter. But, because she is female, she cannot fight in the war. As a result, she takes her father’s armor and sword and rides off to fight in the battle, while undercover as a man. Now, this movie has some elements that certain people might not agree with depending on your personal religion and beliefs. This includes eastern religion, bathing, and action scenes. Finally, the rating I would give this movie is a 4 out of 5 pawprints, almost made it to the dog bone but still stuck with old kibble. This is because of the elements mentioned earlier and how the story isn't like the original--ESPECIALLY with missing Mushu! But overall, a fantastic movie and worth watching!

Outer Banks

By Chloe Rivera

The Outer Banks is a series that you can find on Netflix. It's about 4 teens that are all friends going on John B's father's investigation. However, he mysteriously passed away before he could find the gold. The crew all lives on the poor side of the town so nobody really watches them so they basically do anything where they want when they want. John B wants to continue the hunt with his friends. But John B and his crew are not the only ones out for the gold, John B’s girlfriend’s Dad is using John B to find the gold. This series made me laugh a lot. There are a couple twists here and there but it's not that bad. The show ends off with a major cliffhanger but thankfully they are making a season 2! I would definitely recommend this show.

Cooking Corner

Homemade Holiday Hot Chocolate Bombs

By Rosie Wanki

During this time of year who doesn’t love a nice warm cup of Christmas decorated hot cocoa? This recipe will show you how to make delicious hot cocoa bombs to make the old fashioned drink a little more fun.


  • Chocolate chips (milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, etc)

  • Hot Cocoa Mix (any kind)

  • Mini marshmallows (optional)

  • Christmas colored sprinkles (optional)

  • Whipped Cream (optional)

Materials to Gather

  • medium/small microwavable bowl

  • Semi-circle silicone mold

  • Small spoon

Chocolate Shell Steps

To begin, gather all of your ingredients and materials. First, get your medium/small microwavable bowl, pour in your chocolate chips (eyeballing depending on how many bombs you want to make) and melt them in the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute on high. While heating up the chips, prepare your semi-circle mold. When the chips are melted and look like a shiny chocolatey paste, use your small spoon to scoop the chocolate into the mold and spread it around the perimeter of each semi-circle, making sure each has a nice thick layer (also make sure there is an even number of shells). Next, allow the chocolate to completely harden in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, while prepping your fillings. When each mold is hard and able to hold together, take them out of the fridge and carefully pop them out of the mold, setting them on a plate. Here you can start to assemble your bombs.

Assembling the Bombs

To begin, open up your hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, and christmas colored sprinkles, then put a few tablespoons of chocolate chips into a small microwavable bowl and heat them up for 30 seconds-1 minute (this will hold the shells together). When the chips are melted, you can begin to fill the shells up. To fill them up, take one shell and put a couple spoons of your hot chocolate powder into the shell (depending on the size). You can also add a couple marshmallows and sprinkles too. Then, dip the very tip of another shell into your melted chocolate chips and stick it onto the full shell very carefully making sure to match the edges. When the pieces are together, carefully place them back into the silicone mold. Repeat these steps until there are no more shells. Finally let the chocolate in between the shells harden in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then take them out.

Making the Hot Chocolate

First, heat up some milk for about 1 minute and 30 seconds in the microwave or heat it up on the stove just before it boils. When the milk is warm, drop in your chocolate bomb and mix it around until the shell starts to melt and the powder is mixed into the milk. Then if you want, add some whipped cream and more marshmallows and sprinkles and enjoy!

Soft Christmas Cookies

By Marissa Ellitch


  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup margarine, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together, and set it aside for later. In a large bowl, mix the margarine and sugar until it is fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and put in the fridge for 2 hours.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put non-stick spray on the cookie sheets. On a clean surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

  1. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are barely brown. Remove from the cookie sheets to cool on racks.

Winter Nature

Fun Things To Do During The Winter

By Kiara Rios

When winter comes it brings joy to everyone because it is such a beautiful time. Sometimes it's hard to find something to do especially when it’s not snowing. I came up with some cool things to do inside and outside.

First, we should start with what to do outside. When it snows you can build a snowman. “Do you wanna build a snowman?” You can even find a hill covered with snow and a sled to go sledding down the hill (sounds like fun right?). It's also fun to have a snowball fight with someone as long as they want to play. When it's not snowing, you can always take a nature walk or ride a bike (always dress with comfy clothes and bring hot chocolate) and see all the houses that put up Christmas lights. It’s always fun to have a campfire and make some s'mores.

Next, let's see what you can do inside. You can “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” or turn your home into a winter wonderland. When you're with your family watch as many Christmas movies as you can. A fun idea is to wear matching pjs if you're into it. If you're into baking or cooking you could bake some cookies or brownies with your family. It would be nice to make a gingerbread house with your family. If you’re into making DIY things you could always make ornaments or paint a wonderful Christmas picture.

These are just some things that you can do at home with your family. I hope you do at least one thing I listed for you and thank you for reading. I hope that this list kind of helps you figure out what you are going to be doing for the winter break or weekend.

Winter Wonderland

Things to-do so you're not bored over break!

By Addison Novotny

Winter Break, usually it's when you go visit people and go out to holiday parties or do what you had planned for your next day off. But with quarantine last spring we all are getting tired of being stuck in our houses. So in order to make sure we don’t get super bored here is a list of things that you can do over break. Try a new recipe (try the ones on the newspaper), bake cookies, do a craft that’s winter themed, if it snows build a snowman, or make a snow angel. Or you could even mix water with a few drops of food coloring and draw pictures on the snow. Give yourself a makeover. Clean your room, go through your closet and make new outfits. Make your friends Christmas gifts or write them a card to let them know you miss them. Make friendship bracelets, play board games with your family. Or make cloud dough. Cloud dough is like play-dough, just a little fluffier. All you need is one cup of cornstarch and ½ a cup of conditioner. You could also add a few drops of food coloring if you would like the dough to be colorful. Mix the food coloring and the conditioner and add in the one cup of cornstarch slowly and add a little less or more give or take. Afterwards store in a plastic bag or container, and you now have a great stress relieving dough to play with! There are many more things you can do over break maybe even re-do some of the things that you did during quarantine!


By Gracelynn Knight

Do you use acronyms? There are a lot of Acronyms kids use, but there are some acronyms that are commonly used that teachers don’t know. This article is mainly for me to let teachers know some acronyms that their students might use. This can also be for students that are tired of always typing out a full word and taking forever to type it, so this will let them know some acronyms to use. Let’s start with the commonly used acronyms and their meaning.

The 1st one is: “Brb” the meaning to “Brb” is “Be right back.”

The 2nd acronym is: “thx” the meaning to “thx” is “Thanks.” A lot of teachers are going to say “But, there is no X in thanks” well the reason behind the X when you sound it out thk would make no sense, but putting the X there kinda makes more sense.

The 3rd acronym that is commonly used is: “gtg” the meaning of “gtg” means “got to go” the reason why it is “gtg” is because it is the start of each word.

The 4th acronym is “bc” the meaning of this is “Because” now I don’t really know why it is called “bc” it just is.

The 5th acronym is “GG” this means “good game” the reason why this is is because it is the start of each word.

The 6th acronym is “Afk” this acronym stands for “Away from keyboard” it is telling the teacher or whoever is there that they are not near there device. Fr

The 7th acronym is “Idk” this means “I don’t know” it is the same reason as some of the others, it is the start of each word.

The 8th acronym is “Tbh” this means “To be honest” it is the start of every sentence.

The 9th acronym is “Irl” , this means “ In real life.”

The 10th acronym is “Ngl,” this means “Not gonna lie,” usually used in the start of a sentence .

The 11th acronym is “Np” this means “No problem,” it is used to tell someone that what they did was no problem.

The 12th acronym is “btw” this means “By the way.”

The 13th acronym is “Rn,” this means “right now”

The 14th acronym is “ fr,¨ this means “for real.”

Those are some commonly used acronyms, I hope this helps out teachers, students, and staff members.

Random Questions

December's Random Questions

By Aaliah Vazquez

Just because we can’t go to school right now doesn't mean we can’t still have fun together. I have made a padlet which has many fun questions for you. You will be able to see others' responses to the 31 questions. I hope you will have as much fun answering the questions as I had making them!

Birthday Match Up

December Celebrity Birthdays

By Gracelynn Knight

Do you have a winter birthday? Is your birthday on Christmas? Well, we have a few celebrities that have birthdays in December and there are some that's on Christmas too! I would love to have a birthday on Christmas!

Let's take a look at celebrity birthdays:

  • Zoe Kravitz (December 1st)

  • Lucy Liu (December 2nd)

  • Amanda Seyfried (December 3rd)

  • Marisa Tomei (December 4th)

  • Paula Patton (December 5th)

  • Judd Apatow (December 6th)

  • Nicholas Hoult (December 7th)

  • Ian Somerhaldern (December 8th)

  • Judi Dench (December 9th)

  • Kenneth Branagh (December 10th)

  • Hailee Stienfeld (December 11th)

  • Jennifer Connely (December 12th)

  • Jamie Foxx (December 13th)

  • Vanessa Hudgens (December 14th)

  • Adam Brody (December 15th)

  • Krysten Ritter (December 16th)

  • Milla Jovovich (December 17th)

  • Brad Pitt (December 18th)

  • Jake Gyllenhaal (December 19th)

  • Jonah Hill (December 20th)

  • Samuel L . Jackson (December 21st)

  • Ralph Fiennes (December 22nd)

  • Harry Shearer (December 23rd)

  • Stephenie Meyer (December 24th)

  • Sissy Spacek (December 25th)

  • Jared Leto (December 26th)

  • Emilie de Ravin (December 27th)

  • Denzel Washington (December 28th)

  • Alison Brie (December 29th)

  • Eliza Dushku (December 30th)

  • Anthony Hopkins (December 31st)

There are many more birthdays that haven't been said, but have a happy birthday! Also, Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

Delightful Drawings

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By Yessenia Webb

Poetry and Story Corner

Tickets Please

By Brooke McDermott

The ride begins

For a while it doesn’t feel like a ride

But then the pace becomes noticeable

Faster or slower

The faster it goes the more that is missed

The slower it goes the more that is relieved

Pain is carried with both paces

But how must a good pace come a by

Time, Patience, and Experience

But this ride doesn’t stop it only slows down or speeds up

Now getting back to the pace is key

This ride is a ride of life

It only goes once


By Israel Falana

I expected the world this year

I wish there were no rumors of WW3 here

I wish so many people didn’t have to cry so many tears.

I wish this virus never came

I wish I did not have to complain

I wish we all did not have to go through all this pain and mental strain

And I wish we could all wake up from this terrible horrible no good very bad day.

I wish the plane that held the mamba and his daughter never crashed

I wish I could go back to class

Playing kahoot, destroying ALL of all my friends and start talking trash

And start to laugh

Because we loved it.

2020 ladies and gentlemen, Has sucked

It taught us what it means to be tired of trying

It taught us how crying can come so easily

It taught us that people are dying

It taught me that I was not as strong as I thought.

It taught me that life can be hard

But it won’t end

I know I know it’s corny but I realized that no matter what happens there will always be people who make it out.

No matter how many times we wanted to scream and shout and be mad at the world,

Be mad at the government and

Be mad at ourselves

No matter all the times we wanted to doubt and pout

We made it out.

So if there is anything to be proud of. Be proud of that.

I know you sighed and cried and tried but ended up falling

But I want you to know that the fact that you are still alive

Makes you a winner

So in the midst of these rhymes I want you to do something for me

Go look in the mirror, and tell yourself

I survived.

And smile, because you did.


By Katherine Pajel

The frost begins to cover the ground

As snowflakes conceal the ground, each an individual, each so complex

Here I am inside just struggling to stay warm

What is warmth really like?

I wouldn’t know I couldn’t tell you

As I come close to the fireplace I feel the emptiness warmth of the fire

The blaze so warm, yet so destructive, so numb

It reaches out to feel the cold

Regretting it being left scorched

Blaze so intense, so simple, so ethereal

The fire felt the freezing ice crystals

Feeling the ice slowly creep up

Getting colder, and colder

Feeling the warmth from your fingertips drain

Feeling the fire within your heart burn out

Letting the fire in is hard

Knowing how to let go of the cold is harder

Meet the newspaper club