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Kids participate in Reporter for a Day

Posted: January 3, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: January 3, 2012 1:30 a.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, the city and SCV Education Foundation hosted the annual Literacy & Arts Festival at Newhall Park. As part of the event, The Signal hosted the Reporter for a Day program where local kids took on assignments at the festival, interviewed authors and educators and wrote news stories about the festival. The following are the news stories written by The Signal’s Reporters for a Day at the festival.

—Tammy Marashlian, Signal Senior Education Writer and Reporter for a Day coordinator


Hayden Sosa

Grade 4


Elementary School

After interviewing Matthew Deegan and Zak Perz, who are actors in the play “Seussical The Musical,” many interesting things were learned.

“Seussical The Musical” is a bunch of Dr. Seuss stories mashed up into one, including the famous “Horton Hears a Who.”

Both of the actors said it was a fun experience. They have to work  three hours a day, and “hopefully we can do it again,” Deegan said.

And if you are wondering who Dr. Seuss is, he is a famous poetry writer who wrote great children’s books.

Both of the actors said that the drama club likes reading because reading helps them read their scripts to practice each day.

Without reading lots of things would not make sense. Without reading, actors could not perform “Seussical The Musical.” 

“Without Reading is like a car without any wheels,” Perz said.

 I think everyone should go and see this fun play.


Angelina Minard

Grade 5

Meadows Elementary School

Dec. 3, at the Literacy and Arts festival, Angelina Minard, a 10-year-old girl, interviewed Deanna Lazaro, a painter at the car painting station.

Their themes for today were children’s  fables. They made one car dragons and the other car Jack and the Beanstalk.

Deanna said that before they paint the car, there are certain steps.

These steps are that they have to wash the car, and then if it is a windy day, like Dec. 3, then they also need to dust it off.

Then, they need to get some paint and mix some soap in it because they can’t use regular paint on the car or it will mess up the car paint that is underneath it.

They use colors like green, purple, yellow, blue, red, white, and black. She also said that they usually use 5-7 colors on each vehicle.

Angelina asked if they bought the cars or used their own. And Deanna informed Angelina that the car dealers actually give them the cars to paint.

Angelina asked what the best part of painting the car is, and Deanna said that it is fun, and they meet new people.

Angelina said that she had a great time interviewing Deanna and watching them paint the cars.


Grace Kenny

Grade 4


Elementary  School

It was a cold windy day out at Newhall Park. There were so many booths to see, but there was one booth that stood out. It was Michael McCarty’s booth.

This marvelous gathering of performers, stilt walkers, drummers and many other acts was over-shadowed by the intelligent storyteller McCarty.

As I sat in the crowd surrounded by many other kids we all learned three stories.

The first story was about a good little boy and a monster, the second story was about a smart wife and a dumb woodcutter, and the third story was about a greedy spider.

If you heard these three stories, you would know that there was a lesson in each story, such as don’t be rude, don’t be a show off and don’t be greedy.

When McCarty finished, I got to talk with this intelligent guy.

The first thing that he talked about was that you can do any thing you imagine.

Then he said that if you can read you can expand your mind and meet new people.

I also found out that McCarty’s favorite books are by Malcolm Hicks.

After interviewing McCarty and listening to his inspirational messages, I felt I met my new inspiration.


Rosa Garcia

Grade 6

Highlands Elementary

At the Literacy and Arts Festival on Saturday at Newhall Park, a group of approximately eight dancers danced to a hula themed beat.

Visitors to the festival were able to join in the fun and dance along.

Along with the dancers were two drummers, who were playing the music for them.

The dancers are student members of the Placerita Junior High School Glee Club. The club was practicing their soon to be winter musical debut.

They wore hula skirts and blue and pink tail feathers on top of their regular clothing.

Hanna Garcia, one of the dancers in the group, said “we have been practicing this routine since the beginning of the year.”

Garcia added that “anyone who is a student of Placerita Junior High can join the glee club.”

After these first shorter performances, the dancers changed outfits and headed to a much larger stage near the booths, where they continued to practice and perform in front of a larger audience. The audience at the festival was lucky enough to see a special preview of the glee club’s new winter musical.


Lucy Miller

Grade 5

Newhall Elementary School

Recently, at the Santa Clarita Literacy and Arts Festival, the attraction Pop-Up Town had small children thrilled.

“It’s a way for kids to explore and learn,” Sandra Benjamin, who was a worker at Pop-Up Town, said.

Pop-Up Town was invented in an easy sort of fashion. All you need is some cardboard.

It is an easy way to explore and use your imagination in any kind of weather.

It was not exactly flooded with participants, but it was getting busier by the second.

Kids up to seven years old could explore in boats and cars.

Three to four workers helped make this possible, even though it was really windy that day.

This was a part of the TEACH program, which are parents who want to become teachers.

Kids were also allowed to paint and draw on the cardboard as a second activity.

It put many young kids at the Literacy and Arts Festival in high spirits.


Dallin Reeder

Grade 4

Rio Vista Elementary

J. D. Sybers is a cowboy with a mission ... and a rope. His friends inspired him to rope. He began his weekend roping career at age 25. Sybers is a teacher in his day job.

Sybers also performs cowboy poetry. One of his poems is called “Spurs.” His poem tells how cowboys use spurs to guide their horses, not to hurt them.

Sybers wears things that you might see a cowboy wear. He was seen wearing a tan cowboy hat and a denim pair of pants. He had a bandana around his neck. Sybers also had boots with spurs.

Sybers practiced a lot to have his skill. He joked about starting with dental floss.

“You start out with a rope and you rope the dummy,” Sybers said. “That’s for practice because the dummy’s stationary, whereas cows move a lot. So you start with a rope on a dummy.” After a lot of practice, Sybers went on to cattle.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Sybers was at the Santa Clarita Literacy and Arts Festival. Some lucky kids were able to aim their lasso and rope a dummy. They all gained success every time.


Emma Baker

Grade 6

Bridgeport Elementary School

On Dec. 3, Newhall Park opened up the annual Literacy and Arts Festival.

On this cold, crisp morning, two high schools clashed in the battle of the arts.

Thanks to Comacho Auto Center, students from Golden Valley High School and SCV Charter School were given bottles of washable paints, art tools, and three hours to paint and entire car.

The problem?

The paint job had to match the car, but that varied on colors of paint and applicators.

The winning team received a large gold and silver trophy for their school.

“This is supposed to be fun, while allowing them to stretch their imaginations to a limit,” Mark, the man in charge, said.

Each car was unique, with a few things in common.

It looked like a tight race, though.

One car was white, the other blue. Each had flames; blue and lime. Each team did and amazing job.

Then it was up to Mark to decide who got the trophy this year.


Lauren Mendoza-Reyes

Grade 3

McGrath Elementary School

The experience of the Literacy and Arts Festival on Dec. 3 was teaching kids all about reading and learning about different careers that they might have in mind for themselves someday.

Some inspiring people the kids got to talk to was J.P. Seibert; a local cowboy teaching kids how to rope.

Seibert uses a poly rope to rope different types animals like cattle or horses. He has been roping for about 5 years and enjoys doing this as a hobby.

Another inspiring person to meet was  local ice carver Clifton Hibbert. The ice carver was showing off some of his work at the event.

Hibbert carves ice blocks with a chain saw. He learned this skill from his elders when he was younger and loves doing this for a living.

To see some of his beautiful art sculptures go to

Hibbert can do about ten to fifteen creations or sculptures in a week. One ice creation can take about eight hours to do, depending on how difficult the piece is.

 It’s not just the people you meet at the event but the entertainment was teaching some good lessons too.

There were plays, Irish dancing, raffles, and every booth had great information, games, prizes, crafts and or goodie bags with coupons.

There was face painting, storytelling and book exchanges at some of the booths too.

There were also food booths.

You have to be there to believe it.

Find the smile on your child and go next year to the Literacy and Arts Festival in Newhall.


Samantha Nassief

Grade 5

Newhall Elementary  School

At the Santa Clarita Literacy Arts Festival there were many interesting booths, but possibly the messiest one was car painting.

Hosted by the All Valley Federal Credit Union, students from Golden Valley High School and SCVI competed for a trophy, according to the credit union’s CEO Mark Davey.

Each team had three hours to paint a car with washable paint. They couldn’t paint on the windows, headlights, or anything that would interfere with driving the car.

The teams were judged by how well the theme matched the car.

“It’s fun and messy painting a car. It’s a great activity to do with friends,” Deanna Lazaro, of Golden Valley, said.

The teams had their own idea of doing it.

“First, you have to make sure the car is clean. Then you have to think up a design. We’re thinking a children’s theme like dragons,” Deanna, who plans to use “ a lot” of colors, said.

“It’s fun when it turns out right.” says Amanda Lopez of SCVI whose team plans to use eight colors. “We did this because it will give publicity to our school and it’s a learning experience.” 

After three hours of car painting, the cars will be judged… and washed.


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