Patriot Press Express

February 2016

Six Things to Do This Winter

By: Safiya B. & Esha M.

Winter is an exciting time of the year all over Chicago. Don’t get scared away by the cold! Get out there and explore! There are dozens of things to do during winter! So get your hats and mittens on and get ready to explore!

1. Macy’s Window Displays

Driving down The Magnificent Mile? Stop by Macy’s amazing winter window displays. Each window communicates its own story using creative works of art. Strolling past Macy’s winter windows transfers you to a whole different world full of rosy cheek Santas, galloping reindeers, and sparkling white snowmen.The windows are wonderful because they are so creative and well thought out.

2. Downtown Naperville

Too busy to drive all the way down to Chicago? Naperville has its own little wonders also. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and get ready to take a stroll down Downtown Naperville’s own beautifully lit streets. One of my favorite places to go in Downtown Naperville is the Le Chocolat chocolate store. The shop is filled with many different, delicious types of chocolates. Also, don’t forget to stop inside the small downtown’s cozy, beautiful shops to shop for anything from shoes to books.

3. Sledding

Get on your snow gear, grab your sleds, and get ready to enter the fun winter wonderland waiting right outside your front door. Don’t have a hilly backyard? Well, there are many snow covered hills awaiting your sled all over Naperville and Lisle, and you can get to them no matter where you live. One hill that may be near your house is located in Arrowhead Park on Iroquois Ave. Another magnificently tall hill is the one in Downtown Naperville near the bell tower. So get outside, get your sled and get ready to go flying down these ice-covered slopes!

4. Hot Chocolate

Need a warm, fresh drink to freshen up your day? Well, why not go to Starbucks at 111 East Ogden Ave, 101 or any other place and get a nice hot chocolate with fluffy whipped cream topped with caramel. Surely, it will brighten your day from a cold, brain-freezing, windy winter day to a cheerful, sunny, snowy day perfect to sit and watch the glorious snowflakes while drinking your hot-chocolate. Whoah… wait a second what's that? You don't want to spend money well hmm.. let's see why not make it at home!!! A wonderful thing to do on a boring winter day. Just follow these steps and you'll be drinking hot chocolate in no time!


  1. Sugar

  2. Cocoa

  3. Salt

  4. Container with lid

  5. Measuring cup/s

  6. Microwave

  7. Whisking tool


In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Store the mixture in an airtight container. For individual servings, pour 1 cup whole milk into a microwave-safe mug, and microwave on high just until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix, and stir to dissolve. Enjoy!

5. Baking Cookies

Have a craving for warm, fluffy cookies? Well no matter if you’re a chocolate chip fan or just plain sugar cookie fan, we’ve got recipes for you. One of my personal favorite recipes is the Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Cookies. The ingredients and procedure for this recipe are:


2 ¼ cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 sticks (1 cup) of butter

¾ cups of granulated sugar

¾ cups of packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips (optional)

1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)

1 small bowl

1 large bowl

Preheat your oven to 375°


Your first and foremost instruction is to wash your hands! Combine your flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Mix together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in your larger bowl until it’s creamy. Then, add in your eggs, one at a time. Next, it’s time to combine the two bowls. Finally you can add your beloved but optional chocolate chips and chopped nuts. After all of that, you can finally mix all of your ingredients together.

But your cookies are not yet ready to go in the oven yet! In order to get that round cookie shape, you must roll the cookies into a little ball and place them on a greased pan. Now your pan of cookie dough balls is finally ready to go in the oven.

Bake Time

Bake your cookies from anywhere between nine to eleven minutes, or until they are a light golden brown. Now, all you have to do is wait for the oven to ding and then you can sink your teeth into delicious, warm and fluffy cookies!

6. DIY Crafts!

Need to spice up your room and get ready for the holidays? Well, there are many things to do. For example: Add a little light!

This one is not really a DIY but it is a fun way to keep your room cozy. If you have an extra pair of Christmas lights hanging around the house just grab them and put them on the rim or edge of your bed or headboard. It ads a cheerful look and is also just fun to do!


A New Land

By: Aisha D. & Joyce Z.

As a second generation child growing up, I often wondered what it felt like to live in a new country. My parents, both being born in China, immigrated to America in their early twenties. Aisha’s father, Seydina Diop, also immigrated to America as a young man, and is still living here today. We both grew up with different cultures and traditions, and I grew up speaking two languages.

America today is a different place than it was a few decades ago. Today, we live in a diverse land of different races and cultures. We often meet new people that have come all over the planet to live in the USA.

We decided to go ahead and interview some students here at Jefferson to find out what it feels like to move to a new country:


The first person we interviewed is Sandrino Bebi, a sixth grader currently in the Bear team. He is from Albania, 5690 miles from U.S.

Sandrino learned that he was moving to the United States when he heard his parents discussing it the night before they told him. Sandrino says he misses Albania because “it is my home country. I also miss my friends and family.”

We asked him if he liked America so far. He replied, “Yes! I love it!” Sandrino prefers his home town, but is okay with America. “I don’t think it was life changing, but I think of it as only fun to learn something new.”

When we asked him if he prefered English or “native tongue,” Sandrino says he likes both, but “I prefer both- English is fun because I learn new words every day.” For him, it was “personally easy to learn English.”

We did not expect such positive answers from Sandrino. Personally, I thought that it would be terrifying to move from a new state, but moving to a whole new country was on a whole new level. So we interviewed a few other students, all eighth graders. Their names were Zaineh Almarahi, Fiorella Colman and Ariuka Gantulga. Zaineh was from Jordan, 6381 miles from the USA, Fiorella was from Paraguay, and Ariuka was from Mongolia, a whopping 6518 miles from U.S.

Ariuka’s father thought was better to move to America for better education. Fiorella’s family was here, so her parents wanted her to see how it was here, and her grandfather liked it. Zaineh “lived in a small town, and [she] didn’t like it.”

We wondered if they preferred America or their home countries. Ariuka said that she prefered America because of our equal rights, while Fiorella said that she “sometimes prefers [her] home country, but [she] still likes America.” Zaineh loves America, “because it’s huge, and people are more free here.” Ariuka and Fiorella agreed with her.

The girls were all from different countries, thousands of miles away from the U.S.A. I wondered if the differences mattered when it came to how different their countries were compared to America. They all said that it was WAY more diverse here- Zaineh quoted, “Here, there are all kinds of people, while in [Zaineh’s] country, everyone had the same hair, eyes and skin color.”

Out of the three girls, they all said that learning a new language was definitely the most scariest and hardest. But they also had mixed feelings- Ariuka said that she was happy, excited and scared all at the same time. “I was scared of a new language, and [I didn’t know] how to do American things,” said Fiorella.

“Don’t be scared, people are friendly here, and when you go to a ELL program, there’s a lot of people like you!” said Zaineh, giving advice to those like her. “People will help you, but it was hard for [me to learn English] at first. [I learned] from watching TV.” Ariuka concurred.

The last but not least question we asked was: “Has this experience changed you?” I thought it was a question that would allow a collaborative discussion and a nice touch.

“I grew up in my country with strict parents, and I have a little sister- my parents weren’t as strict to her because we lived [in America.]” said Ariuka. I noticed that she said it wasn’t the experience that changed her, but instead her parents. Fiorella said that it mainly changed her because it made her work harder. When she was learning English, she had to work hard to complete her homework and that gave her a natural work ethic. Zaineh said that since she moved here when she was little, so she grew up here and her role-models are here in America.


How would you feel if you had to have to learn a new language, adapt to a new culture, a new way of living?

How would you feel if you moved to a new country?

Every Word Ever Written - The Library of Babel

By: Joyce Z.

What if there was a library that contained every single possible combination of 3200 English characters ever? The library could tell you the day you were born, the day you will die, the food you ate last Thursday, even the secret of the universe. Guess what? There is.

The website contains exactly that. In the library, there are more than 1000 hexagons. Each hexagon is filled with 4 walls with 5 shelves. Each shelf has 32 volumes of books, in each book is 410 pages, and in each page, there are 3200 english characters, including commas, periods, and spaces. Most of the pages are filled with gibberish, but if you browse hard enough, you can find some English words. It is highly unlikely that you will find a page that actually contains words that make sense, because there are 10^5000 pages in the library. In comparison, there are only 10^80 atoms in the universe.

The idea of the Library of Babel originated in the 1940’s. It was originally a short story written by Argentine author and librarian Jorge Luis Borges. Borges loved writing about the impossible and unimagined- a map the same size as the land it depicts, a single point in space that contains all other points of space, an event whose possible outcomes all occur simultaneously, etc.

“The Library of Babel is a place for scholars to do research, for artists and writers to seek inspiration, for anyone with curiosity or a sense of humor to reflect on the weirdness of existence - in short, it’s just like any other library,” quotes the creator of the library, Jonathan Basile.

In other words, there is everything that has been said, and everything that will be said- including essays, book pages, jokes, scientific papers, constitutions, etc.

Sure enough, I went to the website and typed in this whole article, and I found an exact match! The page I was reading was Page 261 of Volume 6 on Shelf 1 of Wall 2 of Hexagon 1alep53pzgvubxoe56zo0se0frjzasgl5w. Overall, I think the Library of Babel is one of the greatest ideas to ever be thought of.

African Wonders - A First-Person Report of Tanzania

By: Safiya B.

When most people think of Africa, you think of poverty and third-world countries. You also think of water shortages and diseases. But Africa (in particular Tanzania) is a beautiful place with a rich history and many modern wonders.

An amazing place in Tanzania is the Cultural Heritage Center in a town named Arusha, a town about as big as Naperville. The Cultural Heritage center is not that different from an art museum. It has a tourist shop filled with handmade crafts. But the best part about it is the art and statues. The main building is filled with many colorful, traditional African paintings. There are paintings of animals, and there some paintings of a native African tribe named the Masai (the Masai are a tribe who have been in Africa for thousands of years). Each painting has intricate details and amazing colors that make you want to take it home. And if you’re not interested in paintings, the center also has many hand-carved sculptures. The sculptures, also filled with many details and designs, are made with beautiful and smooth wood. The sculptures are not only pleasing to the eye, but they also have stories or explanations. One sculpture was a pile of people. It may seem like an ordinary sculpture, but if you look closer at it, you can see that the people at the bottom are dressed like slaves, and they are frowning. But as your gaze starts moving towards the top, expressions start to be more joyful and people’s clothing start becoming more like what the rich would wear. This sculpture represents how their are the poor and rich all over Tanzania.

If you’ve ever wondered where the smart creators of Lion King got the name Simba from, here’s your answer. Simba means “lion” in Tanzania’s native language- Swahili. And if you ever go on a safari in Tanzania, you’ll be sure to see many simba. While in Tanzania, you’ll be sure to see many animals of all different types. If you visit smaller villages, and places that are more human populated, you’ll see farm animals. However, if you visit the grassy plains, or the jungles/ forest type places, you’ll see more of the rare and exciting animals- lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, the list is endless. When going on a safari, you can explore the fascinating animal kingdom. If you get lucky, you’ll even get to see a cheetah or a lion hunting a flaming orange group of impala (a deer-type animal).

Tanzania is full of many different wonders, from the small book-like towns, to the friendly people and to the amazing animals. Each corner of this amazing country has something new and interesting to offer, whether it is small villages filled with fascinating pieces of history, or modern museums filled with colorful, vibrant pieces of art.

Stopping the Spread of Heroin in Naperville

By: Ethan D.

Did you know nearly ¾ of teen deaths in Naperville is caused by heroin? This drug is the third most abused drug in Naperville right behind marijuana and prescription drugs. This is a serious problem.

Recently, I sat down and interviewed Officer Rimdzius, our school resource officer, about this drug in Naperville. When asked about his opinion on Heroin Officer Rimdzius said, “Heroin has become an epidemic. Peer pressure is a big problem, they offer them some and then they get hooked on it. Most of the time they don’t even know it’s heroin. People will crumble it in drinks and they think it’s prescription drugs. It's awful.”

When asked about Naperville’s effort to stop abuse of this drug, Officer Rimdzius said, “We’re giving presentations, going to schools and putting people behind bars.”

I then asked, “How have Naperville’s efforts cut back the abuse of this drug?” “It’s a slow process,” said Officer Rimdzius. “But, I think it has I helped. People are now more aware and I think another thing is kids seeing their peers die from this drug. All officers and some firefighter now carry Narcan Spray. Narcan Spray, is something that you spray into people’s noses that is suppose to revive them from overdoses. ”

Now with a complete answer I asked, “How often do you see this drug?” He replied, “When I was in the Narcotics Unit, we would see cases like these around 3-4 times a week.”

Wow. This is just in Naperville. Teens getting very sick or even dying. That’s horrible. As you can see, Naperville has a big heroin problem. Please don’t give into peer pressure and tell your friends not to do it. Listen to the Naperville Police, and don’t take anything that seems suspicious. Please spread the word.

Top 11 Ways to Celebrate Spring

By: Aisha D.

There are many things to do during the beautiful season of spring in Illinois. Here are just the top ten including activities and fun places to visit:

11. The Morton Arboretum- with its seasonal decor, new activities and outdoorsy feel, this place is great for a nice sunny day.

10. Fly a kite! Get instructions online, and create a D.I.Y kite with your own hands!

9. Think up a scavenger hunt idea and plan one with your friends!

8. Plant a veggie garden with a parent’s permission.

7. Take pictures of your garden seeds and take a picture every day of the same spot until the plant is fully grown.

6. Write haikus about spring, flowers, and rainy days.

5. Start a journal at the beginning of Spring and add something new to it every day. An idea is to put exotic flower on every page and write about what you did to find it.

4. Create a sidewalk mural with chalk, and use a spring theme.

3. Make fruit juice popsicles out of your favorite juices.

2.Organize a yard sale with your friends

1. Paint or decorate eggs before Easter.

Now that you have some ideas on what to do during Spring, you shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out what to do with your time! Thanks.

Resolutions by Joyce Z.

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Laughter by Joyce

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Bob - The Amazing Bob Fails by Nathan

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Halloween Disaster by Justin

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Winter Disaster by Justin

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