The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on January 18, 2005 · E4
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · E4

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005
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Growing up, up, UP! What was it like being the tallest kid around? Hawks tell us their stories, inch by inch By SETH COLEMAN For the Journal-Constitution HERE ARE a lot of good things about being tall. You can ride all the rides at Six Flags and White Water, and when you visit a place like Zoo Atlanta and everyone is standing around watching the animals, you can always see over the top of the crowd. But being tall has some disadvantages, too. You might get teased or feel out of place among your friends and classmates. Some really tall men — who are members of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team — told us about it. Jason Collier, who is 7 feet tall and plays center for the Hawks, said, ‘‘After kindergarten and first grade, I was taller than every teacher I ever had. It was pretty awkward. I always felt different from everyone else.’’ Josh Smith, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall and plays forward for the Hawks, went through the same thing — sort of. While growing up in College Park and Cobb County, he was always pretty tall. But he didn’t become the tallest kid in school until eighth grade, when he reached 6 feet 5 inches. He was still that height when he started ninth grade at McEachern High School in Cobb County. ‘‘I was the tallest kid at Tapp Middle School then,’’ said Smith. ‘‘It did feel kind of awkward being that much taller than everyone else.’’ Smith said he grew so quickly that ‘‘my knees used to hurt a lot.’’ But Collier and Smith said they eventually became comfortable with their height — and began to like being extra tall. Kevin Willis, who is 7 feet tall and a center for the Hawks, said that being tall never bothered him. When he started high school, Willis was pretty tall for his age: 5 feet 11 inches. But then he really grew — and quickly! By the start of his junior year, this is how he sized up: 6 feet 9 inches. ‘‘I always thought being tall was pretty cool,’’ said Willis. ‘‘I never felt awkward because I knew God had a reason for making me so tall. ‘‘You should always hold your head up and be proud of who you are and how God made you,’’ he said. ‘‘No matter what you do, take pride in being tall.’’ Collier and Smith agree. ‘‘Some kids might tease you, but don’t worry about that,’’ Collier said. Being tall is just one thing that makes some people special, and some kids can be jealous of that, he said. He says there’s something else ahead for tall boys: ‘‘When you’re tall, the girls will love you when you’re older.’’ T FIGURE IT OUT! JANNELLE MIMMS / Special CHALLENGE A Hawks guard Tony Delk is 6 feet 2 inches tall. How tall is he in inches only? Answer: 74 inches. Now it’s your turn: What is the height of the following Hawks players if you give it in INCHES ONLY instead of in feet and inches? 1.) Forward Antoine Walker — 6 feet 9 inches. 2.) Guard Jon Barry — 6 feet 5 inches. 3.) Guard Josh Childress — 6 feet 8 inches. 4.) Center Predrag Drobnjak — 6 feet 11 inches. 5.) Guard Royal Ivey — 6 feet 3 inches. 6.) Forward Donta Smith — 6 feet 7 inches. CHALLENGE B In just two years, Hawks forward Josh Smith went from being 5 feet 11 inches tall when he started sixth grade at Tapp Middle School in Powder Springs to 6 feet 5 inches tall when he started ninth grade at McEachern High School. 1.) How much did he grow while he was in middle school? 2.) How many inches per year does that average? CHALLENGE C When he started high school, Hawks center Kevin Willis was 5 feet 11 inches tall. By the time he graduated, he was 7 feet tall. 1.) How much did he grow in high school? 2.) How many inches per year does that average? CHALLENGE D Hawks center Jason Collier was 5 feet 2 inches tall in second grade. He says he grew about 2 inches every year — and sometimes more — until he graduated from high school — when he was 7 feet tall. 1.) About how tall was he in sixth grade? 2.) How much taller is your teacher than you in inches? 3.) Based on how tall you are now, if you grew 2 inches a year like Collier, about how tall would you be when you graduate from high school? ANSWERS: Challenge A: 1.) 81 inches; 2.) 77 inches; 3.) 80 inches; 4.) 83 inches; 5.) 75 inches; 6.) 79 inches; Challenge B: 1.) 6 inches; 2.) 2 inches; Challenge C: 1.) 13 inches; 2.) 3.25 inches; Challenge D: 1.) 5 feet, 10 inches Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier (in red shirt), who is 7 feet tall, and forward Josh Smith, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall, hang out with students from the Epstein School in Atlanta. By CHARLES ‘‘ALEX-ZAN’’ ALEXANDER For News for Kids Welcome back to JT’s Place, where we toss out a sentence for you to finish. That little guy at left is JT, which stands for Just Think. Before you went on winter vacation, we asked you to finish this sentence: If I could visit another country, I’d like to go to . . . ANSWERS: Alexander Butler , 8, a third-grader at Hambrick Elementary in Stone Mountain: ‘‘Russia because it gets a lot of snow. It also has an area of 6,592,800 square miles while the United States has only 3,618,765 square miles. The only thing I don’t like is that I’d have to learn to speak Russian.’’ Alexa Sheets , 8, a third-grader who is home schooled in McDonough: ‘‘Mexico because I like the dresses the girls wear.’’ Noel Fortner , 10, a fifth-grader at Kedron Elementary in Peachtree City: ‘‘The Bahamas because I could start a huge seashell collection.’’ Raven Wildermutn , 11, a fifth-grader at King Springs Elementary in Smyrna: ‘‘Nigeria because that’s where my dad is from. I’d meet people and learn their language and customs.’’ Rick Poling , 11, a sixth-grader at Riverwatch Middle School in Suwanee: ‘‘Afghanistan because I want to help the American soldiers catch Osama bin Laden.’’ Kids dream of faraway places THIS WEEK’S NEW QUESTION: ‘‘If I could be president for a week, I would . . . (Hint: You can write an extra sentence or two if you have a good idea.) SEND ANSWERS TO: JT’s Place, News for Kids, AJC, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303. YOU’LL WIN A T-SHIRT AND A BOOK IF WE PRINT YOUR ANSWER. Hurry! We must receive your answer by next Monday. Include your name, age, grade, school and town. We’ll print some of the best answers in News for Kids in a few weeks. ON THE WEB: For more kid-friendly fun with JT, go to www.jtsplace.net. JT’s PLACE NFK editor: Anita Harkins, aharkins@ajc.com Phone: 404-526-7614 Fax: 404-526-5509 E-mail: nfk@ajc.com Mail: News for Kids, Features, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303 To get a News for Kids sponsorship for your classroom, call 404-526-7893. HOW TO REACH US The Atlanta Journal-Constitution SPANISH FOR EVERYONE 1. patinar sobre hielo (pah-tee- NAHR SOH-breh ee-EH-loh) — to ice skate 2. lanzar bolas de nieve (lahn- SAHR BOH-lahss deh nee-EH- veh) — to throw snowballs 3. participar en los juegos de mesa (pahr-tee-see-PAHR ehn lohss HWEH-gohss deh MEH-sah) — play board games 4. tomar chocolate (toh-MAHR choh-koh-LAH-teh) — to drink hot chocolate 5. echar un partido de cartas (eh-CHAHR oon pahr-TEE-doh deh KAHR-tahss) — to play a game of cards 6. armar un rompecabezas (ahr-MAHR oon ROHM-peh kah-BEH-sahss) — to put together a jigsaw puzzle 7. caminar (kah-mee-NAHR) — to take a walk 8. ir en trineo (eer ehn tree- NEH-oh) — to go sledding 9. construir un muñeco de nieve (kohn-stroo-EER oon moo-NYEH-koh deh nee-EH- veh) — to build a snowman 10. leer un libro (leh-EHR oon LEE-broh) — to read a book Snow day spells fun in anyone’s language By LORETTA SIEFFERMAN / For News for Kids he weather has been bouncing around this month. You never know if it will be mild or cold. So what’s next? Many kids seem to hope for a snow day, when they can slip and slide around with friends instead of going to school. Today we’re going to learn how to answer the following question: What do you like to do on snow days? In Spanish, it is: ¿Qué te gusta hacer los días de nieve? (keh teh GOO-stah ah-SEHR lohss DEE-ahss deh nee-EH- veh?) To answer, you would say, ‘‘I like . . .’’ — which in Spanish is ‘‘Me gusta . . . (meh GOO-stah)” — and then fill in your favorite thing: T Where do each of the activities above occur — outside or inside? In Spanish, ‘‘outside’’ is afuera (ah-FWEH-rah) and ‘‘inside’’ is adentro (ah-DEHN-troh). Put the number of the activity shown above in the correct list below, either under afuera (outside) or adentro (inside). The first answer in each list is already done for you. Afuera (Outside) Adentro (Inside) 1. 3. Answers on Page B8 By GERDEEN DYER gdyer@ajc.com When you get elected president, you don’t just show up for work. First you get ready. Then you make a speech. Then you throw a party! As you know, President Bush was elected to a second term in November. But right now, he’s still in his first term. He won’t start that second term until he takes the oath of office on Thursday. That day is known as Inauguration Day. How did he pick that date? He didn’t. It’s in the Constitution. You may wonder why a president has to wait more than two months after being elected before he can start his term. But think how tough it would be for a new president to start right away! It takes time to hire people, to get them trained, to make plans for running the government. It takes time to get ready to move into the White House. A little over two months is not long at all. For most of our history, presidents waited four months. That’s right. Inauguration Day used to be March 4. It made sense in the early days of America, because travel took so much time. Some early presidents had to travel on horseback. In the 1930s, because of trains and cars and airplanes, the date was changed to Jan. 20 thanks to an amendment to the Constitution. Taking the oath of office means promising to do your duty as president. Bush, like other presidents, will take this oath with his hand on a Bible to show that this is a very serious responsibility. Then he will make his inaugural speech. An inaugural speech isn’t like a campaign speech. When a candidate is campaigning, he tries to show how his ideas are good and the other candidate’s ideas are bad. But in an inaugural speech, the president brings Americans together. He offers his plans in the nicest way possible. He doesn’t talk about his political party, he talks about the country. Then comes the partying. But there is not just one party, there are several. They are called inaugural balls. People dress in their best clothes, and many of them dance. It’s hard to get an invitation to an inaugural ball, but not all the people who get to go are rich or powerful. DOUG MILLS / Associated Press George W. Bush takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. His wife, Laura , holds the Bible as daughter Jenna watches. His second term begins Thursday. Inauguration means ceremony, parties FUN FACTS Brrrrr! In 1873, the weather was cold — really cold — during President Ulysses S. Grant’s second inauguration. At the inaugural ball, the valves on the band’s instruments froze — and guests danced with their coats on. Grab a handful! A total of 40 million jelly beans were eaten at the eight inaugural balls for President Ronald Reagan in 1981. 1.) Which of these presidents was inaugurated on a plane? A) Lyndon Baines Johnson B) Millard Fillmore C) George Bush D) George Washington 2) Because of a reporter’s spelling mistake, Americans read that President Theodore Roosevelt did which of the following at his 1901 inauguration? A) Took a bath B) Fell asleep 3) At his inauguration, which president wore a ring that held a lock of hair cut from Lincoln’s head after he was shot? A) Richard Nixon B) John Adams C) Dwight Eisenhower D) Theodore Roosevelt 4) Which president gave the shortest speech ever at his inauguration in 1793? A) George Washington B) Bill Clinton C) Jimmy Carter D) Herbert Hoover Answers: 1. A) Vice President Johnson was sworn in as president while flying on the presidential jet, Air Force One, on Nov. 22, 1963, after President John F. Kennedy was killed; 2. A) Took a bath. A reporter accidentally used the letter ‘‘b’’ instead of ‘‘o’’ in the word ‘‘oath’’ when writing about President Roosevelt. 3. D) Theodore Roosevelt wore a ring that held a lock of Lincoln’s hair; 4. A) George Washington made the shortest speech. The one at his second inauguration had only 133 words. That’s like saying the Pledge of Allegiance four times. C) Tripped and fell down D) Ate a hot dog Lieutenant Andrew Banister cares for Savannah, a dog adopted by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Bryan Wood Bryan Wood is a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army. He is in southern Afghanistan and recently started writing letters to News for Kids. He is a member of Company F, which is made up of Army National Guard soldiers. Many are from Georgia and Alabama. Their job involves a special helicopter called a CH-47. Dear Readers: Some kids wonder whether we have pets here at our U.S. military base in Afghanistan. The answer: Yes! Today I’d like to introduce you to someone — or something — new at our U.S. military base in Afghanistan. She’s a puppy and she quickly got the name Savannah because our military group is based in Savannah, Georgia. We don’t know what kind of dog she is, but she sure is cute! She’s about a month or two old and has a curly tail like a husky. But she also has a short, robust body and large triangular ears that stand straight up like a corgi. I sent a picture of her with Lieutenant Andrew Banister of Springfield, Georgia. (Check her out above and see what you think!) Having a pet here is great. We love animals, and they give us a little com- fort that helps remind us of home. Savannah is not our only pet. There are a bunch of cats and a few dogs on our base. We take care of them and they take care of us by doing what is natural for them: hunting mice and snakes. We enjoyed the company of another dog named Murray several months back. He looked like the dog from the TV show ‘‘Mad About You.’’ That’s where he got his name. He was fun. He would come out to our helicopters before we left on missions as if to say, ‘‘Have a nice flight’’ and ‘‘See you when you get back!’’ Sincerely, Bryan Wood Do you have a question for this soldier about being a pilot or about life in Afghanistan? Or maybe another question about life in the military? If so, you can send it to News for Kids and we’ll send it to him. Look for some answers in future letters we’ll print here. Send your questions to: News for Kids, Soldier Letter Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan keep many pets for company ajc.com Name: School: Grade: Age: Phone: nswer the questions at the right for a chance to win a book and a News for Kids T-shirt. One winner will be picked at random each week. Hurry — we must receive your entry by Friday. Mail it to: Do You Know?, News for Kids, AJC, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303. The winner and answers will be revealed in next week’s News for Kids. BRAINTEASER In what year did George Washington start serving as president? A) 1776 B) 1789 — Circle correct answer Last week’s winner: Robert Brown, 12, sixth grade, Jefferson Middle School, Jefferson Answers to last week’s questions: ‘‘Harry Potter’’ author J.K. Rowling’s initials stand for Joanne Kathleen. A herpetologist studies reptiles and amphibians. HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW? A C) 1802 D) 1953 What is the world’s slowest land mammal? A) Chicken B) Spider — Circle correct answer C) Pig D) Sloth Q: A: FOR JUST FUN — Sent by Mary-Catherine Driskell, 11, fifth grade, home schooled, Decatur What do you call someone who never gets angry? A no-mad (nomad)! Know a good joke or riddle? Send it to News for Kids. If we print it, you’ll win a book and a News for Kids T-shirt. Send it, along with your name, age, grade, school, town and phone number, to: Just for Fun, News for Kids, AJC, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303 RLIFE0118OE4FLIFE0118OE4 4 Star 4E 4E RR RR *CNZ18OE004CY* *CNZ18OE004CY* *CNZ18OE004MA* *CNZ18OE004MA* *CNZ18OE004YE* *CNZ18OE004YE* *CNZ18OE004KB* *CNZ18OE004KB* BlueRedYellowBlack Blue RedYellowBlack E4 Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005 / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 4

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