The Redbird Word April Issue



Issue 3



Students returned to

in-person instruction, five days a week,

beginning March 15. The full return came just over

a year after doors closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 2

Students Return Full Time




only about a

third of


returned for



With inperson




five days a



are filling

back up.

Photo by



By Leah Pohlman, Features Editor

Just one year ago, students in the Alton School District were going to school with no masks, no social distancing - just

as every student before them did. An entire year has gone by since restaurants, malls and schools were closed. It’s

been an entire school year of Zoom calls and online instruction, mixed with a hybrid schedule of a couple days a

week in-person instruction.

But March 15, after three months of a hybrid learning schedule, the students in the district had an option to return

to school full time. While many students did decide to stay remote, Alton High School, Alton Middle School, and

district elementary schools saw the majority of students in person for the first time this year. The transition from the

hybrid learning schedule to a full-time schedule was a monumental transition for the students, teachers, parents,

staff and administrators.

The average student in the Alton School District will spend 13 years with their peers. The Class of 2021 has had their

time cut short due to Coronavirus, which had forced most students to a computer screen for the past year, instead

of attending school. “Honestly it has been hard, we have waited 12 years to experience this once-in-a-lifetime year.

Yes, it is sad losing our senior year, but I am thankful for the events the school has put in place for us to make it a

little better,” said senior Macie Miller.

The freshmen do not know what it is like to walk down the halls, being intimidated by the upperclassmen.

Sophomores are missing out on the excitement of getting their license and driving to school with their friends.

Juniors are missing out on one of their most important years of high school. Returning to school was a decision

made in hopes that students will be able to experience at least a quarter of the school year in person.

Continued on Page 3

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 5

Get Ready f r Fun in the Sun

By Autumn Lengemann, Reporter

There are so many fun, cool places you need to visit with your

friends this summer.

The first one is only about two and a half hours from Alton in

Rolla, Mo. Fugitive Beach is a fun, family-friendly, water park

with water slides, cliff jumps, sand volleyball and a restaurant.

There are many cliff jumping levels, and you can rent a life

jacket for only $5 or bring your own.

Fugitive Beach, Rolla, MO (

Another fun trip to take with your friends is Lake of the Ozarks.

The Ozarks is a great place to rent a house or cabin and be on

the lake all day. You can boat and jet ski all day, and then go eat

and shop after.

Just right up the River Road is Raging Rivers Water Park in

Grafton. The water park offers a large wave pool, a lazy river,

and multiple water slides for a fun-filled day with friends. Under

new ownership this year, visitors can expect some exciting new

attractions coming this summer..

There are many things to do in Chicago as well, such as visiting

Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Chicago Riverwalk, and shopping.

Lake Of The Ozarks, Osage Beach, MO


If you’d like to have a little get away with friends out of Illinois

there are many options. Florida is a very popular vacation spot.

You can check out Miami, Orlando (which has Walt Disney

World), Sarasota, Key West, Naples, and more.

Raging Rivers Water Park, Grafton, IL (Gordon

Radford Photography)

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL (

Atlantic Beach, FL (

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 6

By Autumn Lengemann, Reporter

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 7

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

Junior quarterback, Graham McAfoos,

hands the ball off to senior running

back, Tim Johnson.

Cheerleaders root for the varsity team at the

first home football game.

McAfoos throws to senior wide receiver, Damien Jones.

Senior Olivia Ducey sets the ball.

Senior Brooke Wolff

serves for the Redbirds.

Seniors Justin Davison and Dylan Bradley pursue their


Seniors Sam Clark and Joel Krueger

rush to beat their opponent to the ball.

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 8

After Delays, Sports Return

Kyle Hubbard jumps

for a two-point shot.

Junior Adrenna Snipes

dribbles the ball down


Junior Jeremiah

VanZandt dribbles

the ball down court.

Members of the boys' bowling

team compete in a match.

Snipes shoots for a free

throw as other team

members wait for the


Members of the girls' bowling

team compete in a match.

Sophomore Victor

Humphrey launches

into the pool.

Sophomore Christian Kotzamanis and

freshman Lucas Frye wait for the whistle

on the starting blocks.

Photos by Advanced Multimedia and courtesy of boys' swim team

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 9

Respect the struggle

Coming off a high season, an unprecedented year leads to tough times

Being a high school basketball player and also an Amateur Athletic Union basketball

player is very challenging, especially if you're trying to go to the next level. I started

playing basketball my freshman year, and it was a fun game to me, but by my senior

year I didn't love it how I used to. Due to Covid-19, our season was postponed for


Germayia Wallace


I got sick with a bad infection, and right after that I got Covid, then I was out for a whole

month during the summer season with AAU. I just wanted to give up and start on

something new. By February 2021, our high school girls' basketball team was able to

get a season in. I was very excited about the season, but turns out I didn't play as well as I thought would.

It wasn't just my fault though, there were many issues with the coach that made it hard for me to do the

things I am capable of doing. I planned on getting my 1,000 points this year, but couldn't even get close. I

used to score over 10 points per game, but this year I couldn't even get to 10 with the way everything

was set up.

My senior year was by far the worst year ever. I didn't play well most of the season, and just didn't care

anymore and gave up. Towards the end of season, I got my nose broke and had a concussion and was

out for a good week. The game I returned, my coach barely let play, so basically I ended my high school

season on the bench, which hurt me a little.

I'm still debating if I want to play in college. I literally lost all love for basketball and still haven't found any

days where I want to go back. I may miss, it but I really don't know if I want to play anymore or not. I know

my parents still want me to play and give it a shot, but I'm just over it.

They tell me not to let this one year ruin the opportunities ahead of me. They are also tell me, like

everybody else, that I am good and will go far with basketball if I am willing to put in the work. I just feel

like it's just going to be a waste of my time. I feel like I am not even good enough to keep trying.

My junior year was my best year, and I barely got any college offers, when I played so well. Coaches are

not looking at me, and I just don't want to force myself on their team if they are not interested in me.

I'm having a tough time trying to figure out what I want to do. I still honestly don't know what I want to

study. I really hate school. I would rather go to a trade school to study one subject than 10 different ones

at a college or university. Hopefully by next month I will have it all figured out, but as of right now, it's still

a struggle for me.

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 10

Be Your Own Boss

Learn How to Start, and Grow, a Business

By Ameerah Clanton, Reporter

Many people want to start a business, but they don't know where to

begin. These are some of the steps I took to be able to run a pretty

successful small business.

First, I did my research on what I wanted to sell. I found a good

vendor with decent prices on the items. A vendor is a supplier who

provides you with bulk items for an affordable price.

Also, you have to be very careful while picking your vendor. Some of

the vendors you might see may be scammers, so be aware. You can

also read the reviews and ratings and that can help you choose a


After choosing your vendor, you should start breaking down the

prices to make sure you're giving your customers a decent deal and

also yourself a better profit. For example, my vendor sells the charms

in bulk 50 pieces for $25, and I charge $3 a charm. So, with that being

said, if I sell all 50 charms, I will end up with a $125 profit. When I sell

all 50 of those charms, I have enough profit to purchase five more

lots of 50 piece charms.

Then, I started to think about what I wanted to name my business. I

knew my product would consist of jewelry and charms, and they

would be multiple colors, so I went with Luxury Candy Charms.

Luxury comes from the charms being designer inspired. Candy

charms comes from the charms being colored. So you can be boujee

on a budget!

After finding out what I wanted to sell, and what I was going to name

my business, I purchased a logo. Shortly after purchasing a logo I

made an Instagram business page to start promoting my product. I

started selling my product through messages on social media. After a

few months of selling through messages, I decided I wanted to make

a website.

After designing my website, I added my products. The first couple of

months were slow, but then things got better. I started promoting my

product on all of my social medias. Before I created my website, I

was only receiving in-town orders. Soon after I got my website up and

running, I started receiving many out of state orders. Soon after, I

received my first order from out the country!



Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 11

By Gabe Watt,



Kayaking is a water sport that involves paddling using a double-bladed oar and a small boat known as a

kayak. The boats come in a variety of sizes and types, depending on their intended use, but most kayaks

feature an enclosed top that covers the



Now, while it is a water sport, I enjoy kayaking not because of a competitive nature or desire to be absolutely

muscled out of my mind, but because it’s calming to be on the water, to have complete and utter control of

what you are doing. There are exceptions to that of course, such as white water rafting and heavy currents

that tug you every which way trying to force you to crash into rocks, but I find that part of the exciting

challenge of it all. No matter how strong the rapids or how rocky the river, it is by my own hands that I sink or

swim, and it's that mentality that gives me a power of sorts, something in my life that I feel I have complete

control over. Kayaking is easy to pick up and hard to master, making it beginner friendly and also annoyingly

challenging at different times.

Every year or so my family would go kayaking or canoeing. I preferred the kayaking because it was completely

up to me. I didn’t have to rely on someone to pull their weight and could go at my own pace. Something

about gliding around on the cool water with the hot sun beating down on your back is just amazing. The

challenge of fighting the water in a rough spot and enjoying the scenery of nature around me in the calm

parts of the river is something that you cannot get on a land sport. I mean, I’m sure there are plenty of pretty

places you can see while out on a run.

I felt like I could get lost on those rivers, and not because they were a little confusing to travel. They were just

so peaceful and comforting. I also never cared about the future while I was there. I never worried about

school or trying to live up to the expectations around me. It was just me and my family on a gentle river

laughing and finally getting to spend time together. My parents finally would drop the stress of working and

taking care of kids to genuinely get to enjoy a nice weekend, and my siblings were usually nicer out there too.

So maybe it wasn’t the kayaking itself that was special to me, maybe it was what it stood for, a carefree

weekend with my family where everyone could relax.

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 12

Sparking Passion for Performance

By Paxton Metz, Reporter

The Alton High School thespian troupe was

founded in 1932. Students in theater learn

important skills for their careers, while also

performing for the public.

With a successful fall performance under their

belt, students will produce the spring musical,

"Little Shop of Horrors," April 22 through 25. The

audience is limited to 125 people. Tickets are

available for $8 through The

performance will be streamed for Sunday

ticketholders on the site.

Students rehearse and have studies in class to

fine tune their abilities and discover what they

like doing best and anything they may hold

natural talent for. The class also gives

opportunities to write skits, work on props and

more. “My favorite parts are the moments the

cast will make together doing the show,” theater

student Kaden Gilligan said.

From left to right: Makenzie Jones, Lorian Warford, Corrine

Jones, Lexi Paulin and Aaliyah Jones

Jeremy Polk (played by Lorian Warford) defends himself against

the local "gang," Girl Scout Troop #59.

There is room for those who don’t like to sing,

dance or be the center of attention. A show is

much more than just the lead actor. Without the

support and web of parts working together, the

show wouldn’t function.

Regardless of what it may be, there is an

opportunity for a variety of students to find what

they like to do and what they excel at. Not having

to fit in a cookie cutter mold makes the group

more appealing to many students. There are

numerous roles to take in production and not

everyone will be stuck doing the same thing in a

dull and repetitive pattern.

Aside from helping students pursue careers in

entertainment, the class opens opportunities to

break into community theaters, like Alton Little


From left to right: Jaron Ammons, Lorian Warford, Jovon

Ammons, Ellie Levi and Ashley Niemeyer

Jeremy Polk (played by Lorian Warford) being de-pantsed by a

group of upper classmen.

Catch a sneak peek of "Little Shop of Horrors"

rehearsal on YouTube at the link below.

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 13

Rising musician aims for the stars

By Germayia Wallace, Reporter

You may not have heard of sophomore Cole Tarrant. At least not


Tarrant started playing drums in the fourth grade and joined

Alton Youth Symphony as a percussionist during sixth grade.

In eighth grade, Tarrant won a concerto competition and got to

perform a solo with the ASY for their 50th anniversary concert. "I

was very proud to receive a standing ovation for my

performance of 'Charleston Capers' by George Hamilton Green

at Hatheway Hall," Tarrant said.

Music is a bit of a family tradition for Tarrant. His mom played

viola and won the same concerto performance in eighth grade.

His great-grandmother was a talented pianist. "When we moved

to our new house, I got her piano that she played when she was

18," Tarrant added.

During his time with AYS, Tarrant learned many different

percussion instruments, which sparked an interest in piano. He

started playing the piano in seventh grade. Since then, he also

began taking voice lessons and expanded his talents even more.

Photos courtesy of Cole Tarrant

Tarrant now participates in Lewis & Clark Community College's

music program. He is currently taking a Protools class that is

teaching him how to make and record his own music.

He is also taking Rock Ensemble, which is a class where students

learn songs and perform together as a band. In Rock Ensemble,

Tarrant plays keyboards and drums, as well as sings lead and

provides backup vocals. But that's not all. "I just started playing

the harmonica, and I soon want to learn how to play the guitar,"

Tarrant said.

Tarrant's ability to quickly pick up new songs and instruments

has got him to where he is today. As a musician, Tarrant intends

to take it to the next level and his family completely supports

this move. "My dream as a musician is to be in a rock band and

tour the world," Tarrant said.

Maybe one day, you can say you knew a rock star from high


Check out Tarrant's cover of

"Castle of Glass" by Linkin Park

on his YouTube channel.


Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 14

Guess Who?


halls of AHS are full of talented

artists. Can you match the art to the


(See answers on page 15.)


A. Bernadette



B. Allison


C. Marasia



D. Isaiah


E. Jada Ferrier


6 7





F. Ben Hart

G. Olivia


H. Antonia


I. Brionna


J. Ciara Good

Vol. 93

Issue 3

Page 15



The Pink Cow

The Results are In

By Jackson Cannon, Reporter

In our town, we have a good amount of small businesses that are great at what they do. However, sometimes

there is competition with businesses that sell certain products in the same category. Last year, a business

opened up that has become a good competitor against a company that has been here since 2008.

The well-known frozen custard shop, Shivers, has been part of the community for almost 13 years and has one

of the more diverse menus compared to other frozen dessert companies in the Riverbend area. With a 5-star

rating and 47 reviews on Yelp, there is no doubt Shivers knows what they are doing. With its penguinfied 50’s

parlor look, it’s hard to miss while driving along Godfrey Road.

Shivers is locally owned and operated by Brian Morris, who has been an employee of the company since it was

founded. The company has cut overall menu prices three times, increased quality and created a truly

customer-feedback-driven business.

On August 22, 2020, The Pink Cow opened up in the old Ketchum's Corner Kreem building on the corner of

Alby St. and Elm St. The business has built a good following since. “I used the word cow to represent ice cream

and pink was the feminine color that came to mind,” according to the owners Meredith and Steve Rea.

The business is currently at a 4.5-star rating with 33 reviews on Yelp. So, for a new competitor, they're off to a

great start. The Pink Cow has over 30 flavors of ice cream and offers hard ice cream flavors that Shivers


With The Pink Cow getting a decent following, The Redbird Word staff wanted to see if they could go up against

Shivers. We posted a poll to social media and the outcome was 78% in favor of Shivers. Although the poll

outcome wasn’t in favor of The Pink Cow, everyone should give it a try when looking for a sweet treat.

Answers to Guess Who? from Page 15: 1 - F , 2 - H , 3 - A , 4 - D, 5 - G, 6 - J, 7 - C, 8 - B , 9 - I , 10 - E

We're hosting a coloring contest! Show us your creative side by

coloring the picture on our back cover. Post a picture of your

artwork by Monday, April 26 on Facebook at or Instagram at the_dailybird. One

lucky winner will receive a $10 Visa gift card. The winner will be

announced on Friday, April 30.

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