What could be more fun than fourth and fifth graders enjoying a variety of activities in the out of doors!  Groups participated in rock climbing, canoeing,  kayaking and a group challenge called the Spider Web.   Hear about their adventures in their own words.

Kayaking by Janie McGawn

Splish splash my shorts were soaked already and we had just gotten on the water.  I knew the surprise we were in for.  It was slightly breezy and at first I thought for sure I was jumping in. But now that I felt the water, I wasn't so sure.  We were in kayaks and the surprise, I knew from past experience with Avid, was piano keys.  We rafted up and I waited and waited for my turn.  Finally, it was my turn. I would be the only one to run in my group so I got up and out of my kayak and sprinted across.  On my third step I slipped, and fell in.  Although it wasn't as cold as I had

expected, it was freezing!  As soon as I hit the water, I scrambled into the closest kayak, ran back across, jumped back in, and went back to shore!

Field trip to Bear Creek by Gabriella Brower

It was a super fun day.  We did rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking.  I was good at the rock climbing, but when I tried doing it blindfolded with my legs tied together, it did not go well.  We were the fastest group to make a square in canoeing.  So we got to explore the lake.  The counselor said five minutes, but we only got two.  We called ourselves the Fat Assassins.  We would also slap our bellies.  Whenever our instructor said, "fat," we would say, "assassins."  People also tried bottle flipping of the rock climbing wall.  Nobody made it, but it was a good day!!!!!


Avid Was Very Fun by Tate Ritacco

I had a very fun time at Avid.  I did the spider web.  The spider web was where they tied ropes together up against three posts.  There were slots.  You and your team had to go through one slot each and, if you touched one rope you and your team had to start over.  Finally, we went rock climbing.  It took me a few tried to get to the top.  My counselor really encouraged me to get to the top and, finally, I did it. 


Avid 4 by Brooks Wiley

I loved Avid 4 because my guide was really nice to us.  It was also fun because Mr. Bredar fell in into the lake running across the kayaks.  Canoeing was great because we did a scene from "Pirates of the Carribean."

Avid for Adventure 5th Grade 2017 

by Lucy Nadolink

This year I had a great time at Bear Creek Lake Park. We did team building, rock climbing, kayaking and canoeing. I love the rock wall!  I especially loved rappelling down it.  It felt almost like you were flying as the thing gently lowered you down as you pushed off the rock wall.  I pretended that I was a different thing each time.  One time I was a bird and I flew down.  Another time I was an eagle.  Finally, I was Superman (which I crashed into the rock wall doing).   Canoeing was also really fun.  The couselor said our group did all the challenges in record time.  We even played sharks and minnows in our kayaks.   I loved our counselor, Cyrus.  He was really funny and super nice and helpful.  I had a really great time.  I hope we can go next year.

"The Accidental Fall" by Ryan DiTanna

“Okay everybody, you can get into the kayaks now,” the counselor said. Everyone rushed to the kayaks and got in. Everyone started to paddle off and follow the counselor. “This is gonna be fun!” I say. We paddled for about five minutes and lined up side by side in the kayaks. The counselor told everyone how to turn and stuff like that. “Can we play piano keys?” I ask. Piano keys is where we all line up side by side. One person gets out of the kayak and crawls, walks, or runs across the kayaks. “Well if we're gonna do that then we should move more toward the middle of the lake.” he says. The majority wanted to play, so we paddled toward the middle of the lake. “Now everyone, the water is really cold.” my counselor says. “So if I were you, I wouldn't jump in.” “Okay,” we all said in despair. But I thought to myself, “This is the last time my grade is gonna come here so might as well just jump in.” “Okay, who wants to go first?” she asked. I slowly raised my hand “Okay, how about Ryan?” “Okay,” I replied. I slowly got out of my seat. The kayaks were pretty wobbly so at first I walked but then I ran across them. But at the end when I was turning around I pretended like I fell in. “Whoa, Whoa!” I exclaim. I fall “accidentally” into the water! Wow that water was cold. I swam as fast as I possibly could back to the kayaks. “Is it cold?” everyone was asking me. “Duh” I say. “Its freezing!” “Alright who's next?” the counselor said. “I will,” Julia said. She made it to the end but she actually fell in not “accidentally.” A bunch of other people went but the only other that fell in was Katherine. Ward was next. He made it all the way to me and Julia's kayaks. He was stepping from my kayak to Julia's when she suddenly pushed off my kayak! Ward was slowly going down into the splits! Five seconds later he was doing the complete splits. He tried to jump to my kayak but the  bottom half of him got soaking wet. I was laughing so hard I was pretty much crying it was so funny. That was definitely the funnest thing I did all day.

Fifth Grade Writing

April 7, 2017

Fifth Grade Writing

By Deena Tarleton


Our very talented fifth graders are ratcheting up their skills of persuasion by taking opposing positions concerning various issues.  For one assignement, they researched information about zoos and what various experts considered to be the plusses and minuses of having zoos with captive animals.  After much class discussion about both sides of the issue, each student wrote a persuasive piece supporting a particular point of view.  If you recall the persuasive writing in third where students explored considering their audience (e.g. Alan, teachers, parents, me) in developing an argument for more recess time, staying up later and other topics, reading the next two articles will give you a sense of the development of student writing from younger grades to fifth grade.  These two pro and con papers are illustrative of the excellent work by our fifth grade students.  I think you would agree with me that critical thinking is certainly a part of that development.


Why  Zoos Are Good

by Chattin

Did you know if we don't do something to protect animals the next generation may not see some species such as the Sumatran Rhinos, Red Panda, or the Silverback  Gorilla? Do zoos provide more benefits for animals or are they more harmfull? I believe that zoos are more beneficial to animals because they provide education, they rescue and rehabilitate injured or sick animals, and they keep endangered species from becoming extinct.

One reason zoos are needed, is that they are a great source of education.  For example, if you live in the city and wish to see wildlife,  you can go to your local zoo to interact and learn about any species. Some of these species that you see, you may never get the chance to see again if you don't go to a zoo. The Zoology Lost World Article states that zoos also give you a better education by describing all about the animal and its habitat. Without zoos, you might not know as much about an animal as you do today. This gives you  more information and knowledge because it shows you what sound an animal makes and can tell you a lot about the animal.

Another reason we need zoos is that zoos take in injured animals and nurse them back to health to later be released into the wild again.  According to the zoology lost world article this is important because if there were no zoos, then many of these species would become extinct. For example, if zoos get an eagle with a broken wing that doesn't know how to live in the wilderness,  they would take it in, nurse it back to health, and teach it how to survive in the wilderness. This is also important because if you released an animal that doesn't know how to fly, would not survive on its own. Many zoos such as the Big Bear Alpine zoo are working on releasing animals that they have rescued back into the wild once they have healed.

Lastly, one of the biggest ways zoos help is by keeping many endangered species from becoming extinct. The article 8 Zoos Helping Animals Edge out of Extinction states "Without their dedicated conservation efforts, some animals would be lost to us forever." Take the Red Panda for example. The only reason that there are Red Pandas still living is because zoos have given Red Pandas a protected place inside zoos and started breeding the species. Zoos breed endangered species which helps boost their population and bring the animals back to healthy numbers.

In conclusion, we need zoos because they provide education, they rescue injured or sick animals, and they save endangered species. As you can see, zoos provide important services for both animals and for people, and these are the reasons why we should keep and expand them. "There are bad zoos and bad individual exhibits but there is always room for improvement," Dr. Dave Hone stated in the Zoology Lost World Article.


Why We Should Not Have Zoos
by Ryan

Imagine that you're a bird and people have put you in an enclosure in which you can barely spread your wings. That's how it feels to birds and many other animals when they are captured and put into zoos. If you're a cheetah, you need to be able to run and if you're a fish or a sea creature of some sort you need to be able to swim in a large area.

Many animals, mostly carnivores,  should not be in captivity.  According to the Science AAAS carnivores such as polar bears and leopard should not be held in captivity. The study shows that a polar bear that is in a zoo paces back and forth and a leopard plucks out its hairs.  They think this is because the animals are being held back from doing what they normally do. A heated topic today is whether or not zoos should still be in business.

I believe that zoos should not be in business because a zoo is like a prison for animals. Animals need to be able to do what comes naturally to them like swimming for fish and flying for a bird, and some animals are losing their natural instincts because they've been held captive for too long. Also, after being in zoos for a long time.animal's behavior changes may become different. Let's say that they were let back out into the wild, they might not know how to respond if a predator attacks.

Secondly, people usually say that zoos provide a good learning experience, but really they don't. In a recent survey by CAPS (the Captive Animals' Protection Society) of 2,800 people, 63% of them did not have a good learning experience. This survey also stated that many children have a negative response to their zoo experience. They do not learn about how animals actually live because the animals are kept in unnatural habitats. Children also do not feel that they can change how animals are treated and do not feel empowered. Clearly, it is false to assume that zoos provide valuable education.

Finally, animals were not put on this earth for our entertainment. In my opinion, animals have the right to live on there own. According to the Zoocheck Canada, on average people spend less that two minutes (117 seconds to be exact) at one exhibit at the zoo. This is why we should not have zoos.

In 2010 an undercover investigator for CAPS filmed animals that were sick and untreated and dead left to rot on the floor of the Tweddle Farm Zoo. Police also confiscated a monkey that had been left alone and was being fed junk food like cakes. These are some examples of zoo keepers not taking care of the animals. Some zoos (especially in the UK) train their animals to do tricks. CAPS found out that there was an elephant that had been previously trained using an electric goad. (Which is an electric shock) This is a  deal of harm to an animal. This is why we should not have zoos.

Lower School Outreach

December 9, 2016


Lower School Outreach

by Deena Tarleton

Although there are projects all year long, several Lower School grade levels are taking the opportunity to reach out to others at this time of the year. Beginning with Veterans Day, second graders made packages of candy and wrote special notes to soldiers overseas.  This also gave them the opportunity to talk to grandparents and relatives that were veterans about what it was like to sacrifice so much for their country.  Many of those experiences were reflected in the kids’ writing that week.  Currently, second graders are decorating a Christmas tree for their classroom with ornaments made by hand.  On the 16th this tree will be donated to a needy family that might otherwise go without a tree this Christmas.

As usual the school wide can drive was very successful.  Some of the preschool and kindergarten children built up their upper body strength dragging in sackfuls of cans and other nonperishables for the food bank.  The food bank workers always bring extra barrels to collect the St. Anne’s contributions.

At the end of December third graders will be making craft projects to contribute to nearby shelters.  In the past we have seen sleds and reindeer made from toiletries or other useful products. What a great way to express their creativity and do something kind for someone else!

Fourth graders fill Christmas stockings with items appropriate for boys, girls or adults.  Every year the stockings make the holidays a little more special for families at Warren Village.   They also walk to Christ Church and sing some carols with some of the older members of the congregation.

As a part of their participation in the new Changemakers Club sponsored by Kelsey Smith and Stephanie Bakken, several girls from 5th grade initiated a Shoe Drive for the organization, Clothes to Kids.  They had been inspired by a presentation from that group and leaped to action by initiating a school-wide shoe drive for children in need.  The response has been very gratifying.  The girls were so excited that so many “like new” shoes that have been outgrown and were sitting in closets are now on their way to children who greatly appreciate and need them.

One of the many things that makes St. Anne’s such an unusual and special place is the excitement all of our students feel when they are a part of helping others.  These projects are happening currently, but many others are a part of the experience of our children throughout the whole year.