Puerto Rico Project
By Scarlett Gomez
There have been many natural disasters around the United States this school year.
Wildfires are wreaking havoc in California, and hurricanes have devastated parts of many southern states as well as island territories that are part of the U.S. Puerto Rico was one of the most devastated of all these locations, and GMS seventh-graders played a part in the disaster relief effort in a very unique way.
Mrs. Nunnelley is associated with the ESRI software company that uses GIS for mapping and analysis. It is a multi-billion dollar company that in the last few years donated free mapping and analysis software to all schools in the United States. Mrs. Nunnelley has been trained to use their software and often does use it with her classes.
She got an email after the hurricane asking if her students could help other students across the globe to use a crowdsourcing map they had created to help assess the damage. She eagerly accepted the opportunity.
“I have very dear friends who have family in Puerto Rico. For me, this is a way that I could help them,” Mrs. Nunnelly said.
The Puerto Rico project was for kids to see how much damage just one storm could cause while helping first responders on the ground. The idea behind it was that using a crowdsource map thousands of people around the world could survey the damage using a before and after swipe map and mark the buildings and homes as either destroyed, damaged, or no damage observed. This information was then verified and sent to workers on the ground for immediate assessment and aid.
At this time, more than 60,000 buildings have been assessed by students around the world and verified.
Mrs. Nunnelley’s seventh-grade geography students participated in the project. They were given the names of the cities where her friend had family for their assessments. These were locations that had not yet been visually assessed. The students had a great reaction to this project.
“I think the Puerto Rico mapping project was important to do because it helped first responders get to where most of the damage was," said Audrey Beasley. "I think that it showed people how much damage Puerto Rico experienced throughout this time.”
People were surprised to learn how much damage was done.
“The project was fun to do because it was a great service project. I learned that there was more damage to the island than I thought,” said Savannah Graham.
Ella Smith said, “This mapping project was important because people need to realize the damage that was done and how many people need our help.” Kolbe Simpson agreed. “The people who own the buildings we marked really needed our help.”
Menardah Elbrenard said, “It was important because we were helping to make the aid process go faster to help people in need.”
Isaac Nixon said, “Mapping the damage in Puerto Rico allowed us to gather information that will be used in rebuilding and to know where resources are needed.”
“I learned that the smallest things can do something big. Everything matters when a storm that big hits, and one person can make a difference,” said Blair Glassco.
Mrs Nunnelley said, “I told my students that sometimes we don’t have money to donate or canned goods to share, but we all have the ability to do something like this. We can volunteer and help others in so many different ways if we just look. The students learned a lot about the geography and culture of Puerto Rico, but more importantly they learned the importance of helping others. And this sort of assessment and analysis, both with and without GIS, are actual future career options."
All forms of community service are important. It takes only a little time, and one person can do so much to change something for another. Be that one person!
If you are interested in getting involved, contact Mrs. Nunnelley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By Haidyn O’Neal
You may have noticed a lot of pumpkins around GMS this week. That’s because it was time for the teachers' yearly pumpkin decorating contest.
Mrs. Calvert started the contest as a way to encourage a love of reading and art among the GMS students.
Teachers are asked to create a book-themed pumpkin to display in the media center for Halloween. They have to be very creative because the competition is fierce. Only the most sincere pumpkins stand a chance at winning the Great Pumpkin contest.
Students are the judges. They get to vote on the best book-related pumpkin.
There were many wonderful entries this year. However, Mrs. Simmons took first place again this year for her scary book-themed pumpkin. Mrs. Rains placed second with a Willy Wonka reference, and Mrs. Price came in third with a tribute to the Wimpy Kid.
Mrs. Price said, “I created the character, Greg, from 'The Diary of a Wimpy Kid' because Jake, my son, loves that series. I must admit, Jake did most of the work. We have loved this tradition since my first year interning at GMS. I was pleased to come in third place; however, Jake wasn’t happy. He is very competitive and likes to bring home a win! Maybe next year. It was all for fun and to encourage reading anyway.”
Mrs. Rains said, “I chose to turn a pumpkin into a Violet's Gum Ball Machine because for the past three months, Willy Wonka, Jr. has been the only thing on my mind! I thought a gum ball machine would be a cute and fun representation of Roald Dahl's timeless story that teaches young children to do good, always. 'So shines a good deed in a weary world!' - Willy Wonka. I feel great about winning. (And it was a shameless plug for our show on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.)"
Mrs. Simmons said, "I love to paint -- crafts, pictures, just about anything. When I first heard about the school's Pumpkin Painting Contest, I was so excited. I did not win my first year, but that made me more determined the next time. This year, my pumpkin was painted to look like Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's Book 'It.' I love to read Stephen King's books, and 'It' was one of my favorites! They even made it into a movie, both TV and theatrical versions. It was so fun to do, basically, a clown face, but with some evil features added to it. When they told me I had won first place, I was extremely happy.”
Stay tuned for more teacher competitions in the future.
Red Ribbon Week
By Rylee Neisler
Red Ribbon Week for GMS was Oct. 23-27, and students were allowed to dress up for different events each day. The days included Blackout Day Monday, Decades Day Tuesday, Team Colors Wednesday, Career Day Thursday and Wildcat Gear Friday. The entire week was dedicated to staying drug-free and online safety.
Lauren Barnes said that her favorite day was Career Day because she and most of her friends wore scrubs and pretended to be surgeons.
John Michael McElrath said his favorite day was Team Color Day because he dressed up as a NBA player.
Andrew Hard dressed up for waterfowl management on Career Day. Rollins Whitaker and Hayden Hammond loved Decades Day because they dressed up from the '50s with poodle skirts.
Michael Raulerson dressed up as an Episcopal priest, like his dad, for Career Day. Many of the sixth graders participated in Black Out day. “It was a great reminder to black out drugs from our lives," said Abigail Hatfield.
Team Spirit day was also a huge hit. The school dressed up in their favorite Wildcat gear and cheered loudly for the annual student-faculty basketball game. It was a close event but the teachers prevailed this year … and we are fairly certain no cheating was involved!
The teachers got in on the action as well. Many dressed up for every event. Mrs. Thomason dressed as a Publix cashier for Career Day. She and Mrs. Morris dressed up as the characters from Wayne’s World from the '90s for Decades Day. Mrs. Rains and Mrs. Simmons were groovin’ to the '70s. Mrs. Nunnelley rocked the '80s look for Decades Day and was a National Geographic lion photographer for Career Day.
For Career Day, teachers also participated in a door design contest. They were asked to decorate their doors to celebrate the college they attended and encourage students to learn more about colleges and future careers. And … there was a contest. The winners won the right to park in the four best parking spaces by the door through November. So, the competition was tough. Out of the many great doors, only four could be chosen. The winners were: Mrs. Thomason, Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. Rains and Mrs. Nunnelley.
Mrs. Thomason’s door was decorated like a Twitter feed for Athens State. Mrs. Simmons’ door was all about Alabama with giant elephant footprints all around the door. Mrs. Rains’ celebrated the Birmingham-Southern Panthers. Mrs. Nunnelley received her master's from the University of North Alabama. Her door was purple and gold with pictures from the college and lion paw prints.
Students are already looking ahead to next year. Meg Walker said that a day we could add for next year would be "Sleepwear Day because it would be fun and comfy.”
Jessica Talley said what Red Ribbon Week meant to her was “to raise awareness and to not do drugs.” This was a very unique experience for lots of students. Lots of kids will be looking forward to next year’s Red Ribbon Week, always a great way to stay away from drugs and lead up to Halloween!
By Samantha Carfagno
If you have not paid your student’s class dues, please do so as soon as possible.
Yearbooks are on sale for $35. No extras will be ordered.
Eighth-grade ads are on sale. All orders with pictures and text must be turned in to Mrs. Nunnelley by Nov. 21. No late orders will be accepted. Forms were sent home this week.
Nov. 5 - Daylight Saving Time ends.
Nov. 9 - Progress Reports
Nov. 9 - Veteran’s Day Program (GMS will travel to GHS), 9:30 a.m.
Nov. 10 - Veteran’s Day Holiday observed (school is closed)
Nov. 11 - Veteran’s Day. Thank you to all those who have served and are serving our country.
Reading - All sixth graders have a new AR goal for the second nine weeks; they need to read and test on four books, one of which will be the class book, "The Three Confessions of Charlotte Doyle," that we will read through class. We began on Monday, Oct. 30. The other three are to be read independently.
Nunnelley – Retake quiz on important events in America -1791-1891 – Monday, Nov. 6. Test on Westward Expansion Thursday, Nov. 9.
Croley - Please purchase the novel "A Wrinkle In Time." We will be reading it during the second nine weeks.
Nunnelley – Students will be working on projects about South America at home this week. Country location test for North and South America on Thursday, Nov. 9.
Price - 12/7 second nine Weeks AR Goal Due - Read and test on one nonfiction book. (This is a 100-point test grade.)
Book Club - Read the first 17 pages this week.
Nov. 13-14 - Boy’s soccer tryouts. Sign-up sheet is in the office.
If football wins first round of state playoffs, tryouts will be held the week after Thanksgiving.
Nov. 6 - Seventh/eighth grade basketball vs. Boaz (away), 4 p.m.
Nov. 9 - Seventh/eighth grade basketball vs. Scottsboro (away), 4 p.m.