May St. student repeats as t-shirt artist

The 100 Book Club t-shirt is a virtual school uniform at May Street Elementary, and Zoe Kimball is the resident designer.

For the second year, the fifth-grade artist’s drawing has been chosen for t-shirts that cloth the school’s popular literacy development program. Zoe most likes to draw people, but the 2003-04 symbol will be a gorilla who encourages kids to “Go bananas for books.”

That kind of enthusiasm is what the 100 Book Club is all about. To earn a shirt, kids read for hours to earn the colorful shirts, and then wear them proudly once they have documented they’ve read 100 books.

On any given day, starting shortly before winter break, the shirts are a common sight as students wear the current edition or one from a previous year. Many students are known to read 300 or 400 books in a year, based on records signed by parents. Last year, students chose Zoe’s pig drawing and “Go Hog Wild For Books” slogan.

“The students and staff all vote, and they don’t know who the artists are,” said librarian Sue Mason. “Each year it seems like the kids have such varied opinions about what they like the best.” All students can enter drawings. Each October a staff committee reviews the submissions and pares them to 10 finalists which are then posted in the hallway for blind voting.

This year’s friendly ape will make its appearance in early December. In the 15 or so years that student drawings have been selected for the shirts, no one has ever repeated, Mason said.

“I felt bad at first,” Zoe said, “because I had friends in it (the contest) and I didn’t want them to feel bad, but I also feel kind of excited.” Two friends were with Zoe when they learned she had won. How did her friends take it?

“They were happy for me,” she said.

Zoe draws every day, and keeps a portfolio of all her work, with the help of her mother, Alice, who serves as an artist in residence at the school. Zoe said her father, Jim, also likes to draw. Zoe has an older sister, Ryan, 13. It was her mother who suggested that Zoe’s first draft of the gorilla was “too serious.”

“She was right that it needed to more of a cartoon,” Zoe said. This was the third year Zoe entered; as a third grader she chose a frog that said, “Ribbit, Read-it.”

Sale of scrip pays for the 100 Book Club t-shirts in the past. Scrip are coupons redeemable at selected stores with a portion of purchases — usually five percent — going to the school. This year, G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe will pay for half the cost in exchange for its logo on the back, Mason said.

When not drawing, Zoe prefers to read fantasy stories, and has read about 25 books this year. Her goal is 175.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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