School Dispatches: Sept. 6, 2017

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Lafayette Elementary School

On the first day of school at Lafayette, students poured into the schoolyard, both excited and afraid to look up at the sky. Principal Broquard had already made two announcements preparing us to line up and exit the building in order to witness one of the most anticipated events of the year. Each time, she had one last warning: “Whatever you do, do not look directly at the sun.”

As students, we had already gotten that message loud and clear through the news, school warnings sent to parents and talks by teachers.

Once outside, some kids put on school-issued glasses (we were not allowed to bring our own) and used crackers with pinholes to track the eclipse. But many others covered their eyes nervously and expressed fear about potential damage to their eyes.

A lot of kids thought it was a great educational experience. “I felt like it was a good opportunity for kids to learn about the solar system,“ said Sarah Francis Jones.

“It was really cool!” Addison Anders added. Later, I asked Addison if she was ever afraid of going blind. She answered, “Yes, very!” I also asked Sarah Francis Jones if she noticed people doing anything strange to protect their eyes from the sun. She said, “A couple of my friends were burying their faces in the ground.”

It seems like the school’s precautions paid off because vice principal Madison Bosurgi says that no eye damage was reported.

— Zinnia Deora, fifth-grader

Washington Latin Public Charter School

Sophomore Luke Tewalt broke a 12-year-old record for the boys 3,000-meter run this summer. He earned a gold medal with a time of 9:03.57, with his closest competitor clocking a time of 9:29.17. The track star offered gratitude for his coach Dean Callum and his classmates. Tewalt also earned the AAU Junior Olympic Games 1,500-meter National Title at the race in Ypsilanti, Mich. His race score was his personal best, clocking in at 4:13.57.

Tewalt’s AAU team is called DC Speed, and he lives up to the title.

— MK Wilson, 10th-grader