Celebrate World Oceans Day 2021

Celebrate World Oceans Day 2021

The Importance of Oceans

World Oceans Day has been recognised since 2002 and is celebrated on June 8th. I’m Zulah Talmadge with The Shady Pines Gazette and this is a topic our readers really like.

It’s the perfect time to learn about the oceans and their importance in our lives, and to think about what we can do to protect them and keep them clean and healthy.

Of course it’s also a great excuse to dive into a sea creature topic – particularly if you think about all the endangered species or other creatures under threat.

Think about it. The ocean controls the climate, providing heat in winter and cool air in summer. It also provides us with food and medicines as well as a way to get from one place to another. No matter where you live on the planet, even if you’re home is far from the sea, your life is dependant on the ocean!
This is what some famous people say about oceans:

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

“We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.”        Pierce Brosnan, actor

“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.”
President Bill Clinton

For More on World Oceans Day along with other specials days and events in June, make sure you pick up a copy of this month’s Shady Pines Gazette.

It’s got fun stories, recipes for families on the go and a whole lot more!


Time to Celebrate Memorial Day

Time to Celebrate Memorial Day

Time To Celebrate!

It’s Memorial Day weekend! Now that most of the country is opening up, it will be more like business as usual for this 2021 holiday. Even though the pandemic is still a reality, and social distancing is still encouraged, we are slowly getting back to normal. The Shady Pines Gazette news editor, Zulah Talmadge, put out the word a week ago that she wants the people of Shady Pines Story Town to let her know how they plan to celebrate. Now, she’s having a hard time answering all the calls coming in!

“Yes, Sara, we’re doing a bunch of different stories about the holiday. What are you and Joe and the kids doing this year? You’re going to the picnic in Stonewall Park? You’re excited that it’s back on this year. You won’t have to wear a mask because you’ve been vaccinated? Uh-huh. I see. OK. We’ll see you there around 5:30.”

The Picnic Is Back

Zulah writes a few ideas in her reporter’s notebook. The annual Shady Pines Memorial Day Picnic is a big deal. The gathering this year will be larger than last year but folks will still be encouraged to stay in their own groups as much as possible.

To encourage some distancing, parking will be restricted to fewer cars than normal and areas will be roped off to prevent people gathering in large groups. Volunteers will be on hand to help anyone who’s confused about the new rules. Shady Pines is a small Southern town with a population of around 6,000 people. So, managing “crowds’ is easier here than in some places around the country.

Gathering Story Ideas

There’s a whole lot more to this story as well as another story about the importance of this day we honor every year. But to read more you’ll need to grab your copy of the June edition of The Shady Pines Gazette. You’ll find multiple pages of Stories, Recipes to Go and Features that are perfect to take on your holiday weekend getaway or wherever your plans take you.

You can get your



It’s Cinco De Mayo Y’all!

It’s Cinco De Mayo Y’all!

Time To Celebrate

Do you know what day it is? I’ll give you a hint. The folks in Shady Pines are gearing up and ready to party because it’s Cinco de Mayo. I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette and I have newsBreaking News for you.

The fifth of May is the day we celebrate Mexican heritage. Some people think that this is when Mexico got its independace. But that’s not true. It’s really all about the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. So May 5th is also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

How It Got Big Here

It’s kinda interesting that Cinco de Mayo is NOT a big deal in Mexico. Today, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, mostly celebrated in Puebla, where the battle took place. Most of the country considers Mexican Independence Day, celebrated on September 16th, to be a more important day to express their patriotism.


Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the U.S., especially in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations. Here in Shady Pines we like to use this occaision to honor the diversity of our population. We believe that kindness and compassion begins with tolerance of one another’s different cutural backgrounds. So many residents have moved here from somewhere else. We like making everyone feel welcome. 

Rita Malena our Director of the Shady Pines Community Center likes to say, “Viva La Difference!” She is having a big outdoor party at the center later today. Everyone is encouraged to bring a traditional dish of their choice like guacamole, salsa or tacos. Rita says people can dress anyway they want and that mariachi music will be played. Around the country, people will mark this wonderful occaision with parties of their own with Mexican folk dancing and such. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los AngelesChicago and Houston.

To learn more about this month’s going on in our town check out the May edition of The Shady Pines Gazette!


An Earth Day Quiz Just for You

An Earth Day Quiz Just for You

Hey Kids. It’s Earth Day.

Hi everyone. I’m Scoop the Cub reporter from The Shady Pines Gazette. Did you kow that Earth Day is celebrated every year around the world on April 22? This event encourages us to protect our planet from things like pollution and cutting down too many trees.

On April 22, more than a billion people worldwide celebrate this day by participating in activities like community cleanups, planting trees and many more.

In school we get tested all the time to find out how much we know about a topic.

Test your knowledge with this 20 fun Earth Day Quiz.

Q.1 What is the theme for Earth Day 2021?

  1. Restore Our Earth
  2. Make Healthier Our Earth
  3. Make Happier Our Earth

Q.2 Who founded Earth Day?

  1. John F. Kennedy
  2. James Hansen
  3. Gaylord Nelson
  4. Bill Nye

Q.3 Earth Day was started in what year?

  1. 1990
  2. 2003
  3. 1969
  4. 1970

Q.4 In what country was Earth Day first celebrated?

  1. France
  2. United States of America
  3. Jermany
  4. China

Q.5 Internationally Earth Day is known as__

  1. International Mother Earth Day
  2. Earth Day
  3. Day of the Earth
  4. Planet Earth Day

Q.6 Bird Day and Arbor Day were both national holidays created before Earth Day.

  1. True
  2. False

Q.7 The USA has how many National Forests?

  1. 85
  2. 253
  3. 356
  4. 154

Q.8 Which country is home to the greatest biodiversity of plants and animals?

  1. France
  2. Ecuador
  3. Brazil
  4. China

Q.9 On what anniversary of Earth Day did celebrations go global?

  1. 5th
  2. 15th
  3. 20th
  4. 30th

Q.10 Earth Day is celebrated only in the US.

  1. True
  2. False

Q.11 The melting of the Greenland ice sheet poses an immediate threat to the survival of which animal.

  1. Polar Bears
  2. Muskoxen
  3. Penguins
  4. Killer Whales

Q.12 How much of our air pollution comes from motor vehicles, like cars and trucks?

  1. 30%
  2. 50%
  3. 45%
  4. 70%

Q.13 How many people participated in the first Earth Day?

  1. 10,000
  2. 300,000
  3. 10 billion
  4. 20 million

Q.14 What are the three “R’s” of waste management?

  1. Remix, Reinvent, and Redistribute
  2. Refuse, Refrain, and Redeem
  3. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  4. Remove, Return, and Relocate

Q.15 On Earth Day 2009, NASA planted a “Moon Sycamore” tree in Washington D.C. from seeds that orbited the moon.

  1. True
  2. False

Q.16 Why was April 22nd chosen as Earth Day?

  1. Planting could be done in all U.S. planting zones by that date
  2. All but four northern states would be frost-free by that date
  3. April 22nd, 1970 would have been Luther Burbank’s 100th birthday
  4. More youth could participate, because April 22nd, 1970 was between Spring Break and Final Exams

Q.17 What does 350, the ‘Magic Number’ of climate change, refer to?

  1. 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere
  2. 350 million hybrid/electric cars on the road globally
  3. 350 million kiloliters of ocean water

Q.18 Which of the following help reduce air pollution?

  1. Using water-based products
  2. Using fluorescent lights
  3. Walk More, Less Drive
  4. All of the above

Q.19 It’s estimated __ thunderstorms occur each year on Earth.

  1. 7,450
  2. 69,000
  3. 18,000,000
  4. 1,800

Q.20 Where is the largest active volcano on the planet?

  1. Japan
  2. USA
  3. New Zealand
  4. Mexico

Here Are The Answers:
1 – 1
2 – 3
3 – 4
4 – 2
5 – 1
6 – 1
7 – 4
8 – 3
9 – 3
10 – 2
11 – 1
12 – 2
13 – 4
14 – 3
15 – 1
16 – 4
17 – 1
18 – 4
19 – 3
20 – 1

How many answers did you get right? Let us know in the comments below!

The Legend of the Easter Bunny

The Legend of the Easter Bunny

A Rabbit Not a Chicken?

Why an Easter bunny? Have you ever wondered how the legend of an egg-laying rabbit came to be associated with the Christian holiday of Easter? Some people question why Easter’s figure is a rabbit and not a chicken. After all, a chicken actually does lay eggs (even if they typically don’t come out dyed and decorated.)

Turns out the exact beginings of the Easter Bunny myth is not easy to pin down. But, there is actually a solid historical reason why the mythical creature is a rabbit.

Rabbits have long been associated with springtime celebrations. After all, it’s the season when baby bunnies are born. As far back as the fourth century, the symbol of the season of renewal was the goddess of dawn and new birth often called, Eostre.

She was typically represented in art by a woman in a flowing gown. The goddess’ name came from the ancient word for spring: “Eastre.” Eostre’s sacred animal was a rabbit. The symbol of the rebirth of life in the springtime was the egg. That’s the connection.

Even though rabbits and eggs have long been associated with Easter, the egg-laying, chocolate-delivering Easter bunny as we know it doesn’t appear in history until sometime in the 1600s.

That’s when a rabbit whose name, Osterhas, translates to ‘Easter rabbit’ was said to lay colorful eggs for children to find on Easter Sunday. When the first Europeans arrived in America a hundred years later, the tradition came with them.

That tradition also included having children make their own nests or baskets in the week leading up to Easter, and then the Osterhase would leave eggs for them.

And that’s how the practice of designing and filling Easter baskets was born.

So here’s what you need to remember. Whether you receive an Easter basket on this special spring holiday, or play the role of the Easter bunny this year, keep this in mind. You can thank that old rabbit ‘Osterhase’ and the long history of the Easter bunny for giving us the excuse to eat a few extra chocolates this season!


Have Fun on April Fool’s Day without Being Mean

Have Fun on April Fool’s Day without Being Mean


This just in from the The Shady Pines Gazette news. Editor and reporter, Zulah Talmadge at your service with some fun facts and activities for April Fool’s Day.

You know what? There are a whole lot of theories about how this day of pranks was started.

What we do know is that April 1st is the day set aside to play small, clever tricks on people. Now to be clear, placing salt in the sugar bowl when no one is looking is not a real trick. In fact, you could hurt someone. Not cool.  Besides, that’s not even clever.  A real April Fool’s trick takes thought, creativity, timing, and a bit of acting.

There are rules to this game. Your trick must be harmless, your victim must believe you, and your trickery must make your victim at least smile (or better yet, laugh) when you shout “April Fool’s!” Otherwise, it does not qualify as an April Fool’s Day trick.

I’ve been asking neighbors here in Shady Pines Story Town about things you can do to make the day special for your family and your kids. So adults caring for youngsters, here goes.

Take turns with your child making up silly sentences like these.  Don’t forget to say “April Fool!” after each one.

I saw a fish swimming in a tree.

Summer is fun because we can make lots of snowballs.

Dad likes to wash his pickup in the bathtub.


Share some funny stories with your children. For inspiration, look for kid’s joke books or use some of these:

Q:  What do you call a dog with no tail?
A:  A hot dog!

Q:  Where do sheep get their hair cut?
A:  At the baa-baa shop!

Q:  Why is six afraid of seven?
A:  Because seven ate nine!

Q:  Why did the elephant sit on a marshmellow?
A:  To keep from falling into the hot chocolate!


Plan simple games such as these for your child to enjoy.

Turn a few objects up-side-down, such as an empty wastebasket, a plastic cup and a small stool.  Ask your child to search for the objects and turn them right side up.

Arrange several objects backward, such as a TV with its face to a wall, a chair with its back to a table, and books with spines facing the back of a bookshelf.  Can your children find the backward objects?

Play turn-around tricks, like making a bed with the pillows at the foot instead of the head, or changing the usual seating arrangement around your dining room table.


Celebrate the day with your child by trying one or more of these ideas.

Wear an item of clothing backwards.

Using baby clothes, dress a doll or stuffed animal in silly ways.

However you decide to spend the day just remember, it’s April Fools’ Day NOT April Fool’s Day!

For more about this silly day, here’s a short video just for kids from Homeschool Pop:  VIDEO 

**Leave a comment below and let us know if you like this info.