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Kids' Writes

May 23, 2006

Thanks for the Good Time, Mr. Mayor

After a visit to mayoral headquarters at Government Center last week, Dunbar Hill and Bear Path students sent letters of appreciation to Craig Henrici. They seemed to really dig his Staples brand "easy button." Here are their letters verbatim.

Dear Mr. Henrici

Thank you for telling us about your job. I liked the that easy button. I have some gum at home and it is the same kind. I liked your office. Does mayor get allot of things?


Dear Mr. Henrici,

Thank you for taking time off of work to meet us. I liked your office. I learned that the town clerk has records of everyone born in Hamden. Please write back!

Yours truly,

Dear Mayor Henrici,

Thanks for using our taxes, and taking time out of your day. It was fun when you let us go in your office.


Dear Mr. Henrici,

Thank you for telling us about yourself being the mayor. It was very interesting. We learned alot about you. My favorite part of you office was the easy button. You showed how hard it is being the mayor.

Yours truly,

Dear Mr. Henrici,

Thank you for showing me your office. (It was fun sitting in your chair.) Hear is something I learned. Now I know how hard it is to be the mayor! I hope you liked my cupcake that I gave you!!

P.S. I hope you write back!

Your cool buddy Jake

Dear Mr. Henrici

Thank you for letting us come in your office. I learned that mayors do lots of work. I like the easy button.


Dear Mr. Henrici,

Thank you for showing me the town hall. It was fun seeing you. I learned about you and the town hall.

Yours truly,

March 10, 2006

The Greatness of Coretta Scott King, a Tribute

By Ms. Wade's sixth-graders at Ridge Hill School

We admire a great woman named Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we celebrate her in our hearts for many reasons. She raised four healthy children in a very difficult time. She supported her husband during the Civil Rights Movement and kept working for Civil Rights even after he died. In Atlanta, she worked to preserve historical sites for all Americans. By the end of this essay, you will understand why we honor this great woman.

Mrs. King was a great mother and wife. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, she had to help her husband to raise a family. She did this even in the face of danger. Racists bombed her home; many of us would have given up the fight. Still Mrs. King kept working so that her children would be able to have equality. She was a great example to them.

When we were looking at photographs of Mrs. King in class, we saw her marching right beside her husband during protests. That means she was very supportive of him and his dream. Through trials and tribulations, through dangers and racism, she helped her husband to be strong.

We learned that after Dr. King died Mrs. King continued to work towards her goals. One of her accomplishments was to form the Coretta Scott King Award honoring good books for children. Another accomplishment our teacher told us about was that Mrs. King preserved historical sites in Atlanta, GA. Dr. King's childhood home and his former church are open to the public because of her. It's important to remember and open our minds to what happened in the past. Mrs. King's work helps us to achieve this goal.

So as you can see we have very good reasons to admire Coretta Scott King. We feel that all Americans should follow her lead by being honest and respectful. All Americans should work hard even if the road is rough. In that way, we can keep Dr. King's dream alive just like Mrs. King did!

May Coretta Scott King rest in peace.

December 20, 2005

How Colorado Changed Me

By Susannah Frew

Imagine yourself sleeping under a tarp, a tent without walls, in negative degree weather in the middle of a four-day snowstorm. You are laying in your sleeping bag and it's only seven o'clock, but you're exhausted and ready to go to bed. This is your last night of a ten-day expedition, after climbing the highest mountain in Colorado. You haven't showered for a week and a half. You smell and so does your tarp, your tarp mates and almost everything that you packed in your sixty-pound backpack.

This was one of my experiences, so far, as a junior at Hamden Hall.

I would have never expected to take a semester backpacking through Colorado. Honestly, I could not imagine myself without the normal everyday luxuries that I was fortunate to have in New Haven. How could I ever sleep outside, not take a shower every day or lead a group of six other teenage girls through a snowstorm for eight miles?

I was the average sixteen-year-old girl. I went to the mall and bought almost anything that I thought was "cute." I counted every calorie that went into my body, and spent more time thinking about what's "in" than what's "out."

Before I go any further, let me explain what situation I was placed in. Last year, I applied to the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado, for a four-month semester for high school juniors. Leadville is the highest elevated city in the country. This program consists of three ten-day expeditions in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the canyons of Utah. The other three months are spent on a simple campus consisting of two main buildings with a kitchen, library and classrooms, and four cabins with wood-burning heat and solar-panel electricity.

My first major problem was my physical ability. After breaking my leg a year prior to coming to this school, I hadn't done any exercise. The first day we had to wake up at seven in the morning to run two miles at 10,000 feet elevation. I could not breathe at all. Luckily for me, I acclimated quickly and now I am able to do the fun runs -- ten miles at 10,000 feet, a major achievement for me.

Another major problem I had to face was the amount of food we were forced to eat. When I heard that each person ate about two pounds of cheese and one candy bar a day during the ten days in the field, I freaked out. I thought I was going to get fat. So during the first expedition, I ate like I would have eaten if I had heat and was living in my normal surroundings. In those ten days, I lost ten pounds. I realized I needed to eat more and treat my body well because, while on expedition, I burned about 5,000 calories a day because I was living outside with no shelter or heat, and walking an average of five miles with a sixty-pound backpack.

The biggest problem I faced was the limited amount of supplies that I was allowed. I was not able to use a toilet. Every piece of garbage I owned, I had to carry with me. I had only one sports bra, one pair of shorts, one shirt and one of every type of required layer to keep me warm. I could not shower or change clothes, and I smelled terrible.

We learned different principles, like LNT (Leave No Trace). This taught us how humans affect the earth and how every small piece of litter or disturbance makes a huge impact. Upon returning to the normal classroom setting on campus, we learned a lot about economics versus the environment. For example, in science class we read articles about the process of factoring everyday items like T-shirts, shoes and coffee. I learned about the amount of energy the world wastes, like oil versus bio-diesel, and wind power versus fossil fuels. I felt terrible for buying these items and killing areas of the earth.

I'm writing this article ten days before I leave my new home. Looking back on my experience, I can't imagine not going through this semester program. Without it, I would not be the person I am right now.

Now, I try my best to buy organic food. I turn off the lights after I leave a room. I even want to make my own bio-diesel. By experiencing the beauty and excitement of the natural world and learning the tragedy of our world's limited resources, I can't help but feel hurt. I don't know exactly who I am right now, and I don't know exactly how I've changed, but I do know that I don't care about how much I weigh, what I'm wearing or who I'm friends with. I'd rather spend my time outside, in a pollution-free area, and be active instead of being too tired from my new diet.

Susannah Frew, 16, is a junior at Hamden Hall. She recently spent a life-altering semester at the High Mountain Institute in Colorado.

September 9, 2005

The Hamden Treasure Guarder

By Benjamin Hiller, age 10

A long time ago people believed a great dragon lived in a cave near a non-active volcano. Although many searched the cave and no such dragon was found. However, dead animals lay scattered all over the cave. Crushed bones were all over the place along with dark red blood. No one could explain the missing cattle or the snarling at night. Almost everyone was thinking of moving until one day a prince came to the town of Hamden.

The prince's name was Prince Joseph Rosedale. He wore a black mask over his gold armor. No one, not even he, knew that the armor gave off a dark energy that can control the one wearing the armor.

As you know there is a dragon in the cave. Well, the dragon sensed the dark energy and he knew he had to protect the town. He prepared for battle. He flew to the volcano and gathered platinum and hydrogen. Saying in a deep voice, "I have to save the town!"

Prince Joseph gave a speech to the town, saying, "Do not leave the town." Then the armor finished his sentence, saying in a demonic voice, "I'll finish the dragon!"

He went to the dragon's cave (controlled by the armor) and created an army of shadow warriors. Little did he know, the dragon summoned his brothers and snuck up behind the shadow warriors.

"Attack!" roared the dragon as he bit off the head of a shadow warrior. Another dragon killed five more warriors with the powerful swipe of his tail. Two dragons unleashed fire hot enough to melt three warriors.

Swoosh! Bam! Ten warriors took out a dragon by firing fire arrows. The first three missed, but the other seven hit the dragon in the heart. Then a dragon hit four warriors by crushing their heads.

Dragons and warriors were falling, but the warriors kept regenerating. Then, the dragon that lived in the cave saw a ring on a warrior. He understood. He leapt up and bit the warrior with the ring and all of the shadow warriors fell dead. The dragon then with his tail stabbed Prince Joseph and he joined his warriors.

That is the legend of the Hamden Guarder.


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