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Gritzley's Journal
Deep River Elementary School

April 23,2001

Dear Journal,
Whew! Am I glad to be at Deep River Elementary School in Sanford, NC! The kids were so happy to see me. They had been worried about me, thinking I might not even show up. Actually, I was due on April 17th, but somehow I got lost on my journey there. It took me quite a while to find the way. Sanford is located one hour from everywhere: Raleigh, the capital of NC; Durham, the "City of Medicine," and home of the Duke Blue Devils - National Basketball Association Champions; Chapel Hill, also famous for basketball, Coach Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, and its teaching hospitals; Fayetteville, home of the nation's 92nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg Army Base; Southern Pines/Aberdeen, known for its golf courses, tournaments, and Golf Hall of Fame. I am lucky to be in such an interesting area; lucky to be out of that black box! I can't wait to find out about Lee County and the boys and girls at Deep River Elementary School. Gritzley

April 24, 2001

Dear Journal,
The students just love me! They have decided I can spend one night at each one's house. I will ride a big yellow bus, sleep-over each night, and go on field trips to representative venues in the county. Today I will go with Matthew McIver. He is in a class of twelve AIG students. They meet with their teacher, Mrs. Priscilla Dollar. She was selected Lee County's Outstanding Teacher of the Year, and I know why - she makes learning fun! Matthew and his fourth grade students are "pulled out" for their AIG class 45 minutes each day. Matthew is one of a few fourth graders selected for the school chorus, "The River Tones." They will be performing for ALL the teachers in Lee County at the teacher appreciation banquet. Oh, I hope I will get to attend. Matthew has also been selected into Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP). He took me home and we took pictures together. He taught me a lot of things, but I loved it best when he showed me how to ride his bike. Sleepy - good night. Gritzley

April 25, 2001

Dear Journal,
For breakfast I had - you guessed it - a bowl of GRITS - my favorite food. I stayed with Rhonda Lemon. She taught me how to draw. I drew a self-portrait, a bowl of grits, and my signature. She took a picture of me with my beautiful artwork. I slept on a pillow with a nice cover. I learned there are 630 students at Deep River School. The school has been named a School of Excellence for four years in a row by the NC State Board of Education. Two of the teachers at Deep River School were delegates to a China-US Education Conference in Beijing, China. One of their teachers was a Fulbright Memorial Teacher Scholar to Japan.

April 26, 2001

Dear Journal,
I'm at school again. I went to lunch with a girl named Emily Bradford. She ordered chicken strips and so did I. Emily and I went down the line and selected mashed potatoes, a vegetable cup, and a fruit we had never eaten before - apricots. We picked up a bag of chips at the last minute. Emily didn't really like her lunch, so the only thing she ate were the chips. I ate everything! Emily has a brother and a sister who are students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Emily told me she had moved to Lee County two years ago from Marion, NC, a town in the NC mountains. Imagine that; we were neighbors! I found out Emily's family really misses the mountains, just like me. Emily's father makes furniture, and Emily's Mom is a computer specialist at Deep River School. Gritzley

April 27,28,29, 2001

Dear Journal,
Friday at last! I get to spend the week-end with Jerrica Bishop. We are going camping at Jordan Lake! Jordan Lake is about 5 miles from Deep River School. It supplies water for a large area including Wake and Chatham Counties. When I got to Jerrica's house I was sniffed by her dog, Daisy. Daisy wanted to play with me, but Jerrica said no! Whew, saved from mutilation! It had been a long week, so Jerrica made me some grits and we went to bed. We got up at 5:30 am to get a lot of things done: took the dog to PaPa's; took her brother, Hunter, to Safety Skills Competition; and then to the lake to set up camp for the family. Finally, I got to fish and play in the water! I felt right at home. Jordan Lake is beautiful. People were boating, skiing, fishing, sunbathing, picnicking, and hiking. At night, the boys had a ceremony for "crossing over" to Boy Scouts. I was really tired when bed time came. I got to sleep on an air mattress. What a life!! I had an exciting weekend.

May 2, 2001

Dear Journal,
T
oday, Heather Taylor will be my guide. The class will spend the afternoon on a field trip planned just for ME! The students selected the following places in Lee County for us to visit: Wyeth Lederle, Cole's Pottery, McDonald's, a golf course, and a brickyard. Wyeth Lederle is a nationally known pharmaceutical plant and laboratory. Medicine for children's vaccinations are made here. Research is also carried on here. The parents of two of the AIG students work at this sprawling facility. Lederle is a business-education partner with Deep River School. Employees volunteer to tutor students in reading and math, and the company donates supplies to the school. Next, we visited Cole's Pottery. It was started by Mr. Arthur W. Cole, a potter whose ancestors came to this area from Stratfordshire, England. Cole Pottery has been on display in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. His daughter, Neolia, and a grandson are carrying on the art form. There are many potterys in the area including DK Pottery, Owen's Pottery, Jugtown, and Seagrove's Pottery. Each has an interesting history. Lunch time! We went to McDonald's to purchase our favorite fast food. It was a treat for the students to get away from the school cafeteria, but I think all food is great, especially when you don't have to hunt for it !! I was anxious to learn to play golf, so we left "Mickey D's" and went to the golf course. Lyman and Jerrica brought clubs for us to use. They wanted to take me to Moore County to the resort area of Southern Pines and Pinehurst to see the luscious courses and the Golf Hall of Fame (only 45 minutes away). However, the Lee County Golf course was close by and we were on a schedule. After a few practice swings and a ride in the carts, we were on our way to a brick company. I found out that Lee County, the smallest in NC, is located on the Fall Line, a geographical line dividing the piedmont area from the Sandhills and the coastal area. The northern part of the county has plenty of red clay soil which is good for brick. Sanford is known as the "brick capital" of the world. There are three large brick companies located near Deep River School. We visited one. Some interesting brick art adorns the front of one of the companies and also the sign in front of the school building. Boy, what a fun day! love, Gritzley

May 3, 2001

Dear Journal,
Today we are off again to see sights in Lee County which are representative of the area. First, we are going to Coty. Coty is a cosmetic company which makes all the products from the Coty line and are sold all over the world. Coty employs the largest number of people in Lee County, and pays the largest amount of taxes to the county government. I am going home tonight with Michael Barber whose Mother works at Coty. Next, we went to a huge strawberry and vegetable farm. We are in the southern part of the county now and the soil is completely different. It is sandy. There are several large farms in Lee County. Tobacco, cotton, fruits, and vegetables are grown. We have had only a trace of rain since I have been here(0.53 in.) and everyone is irrigating their crops. Cattle, chicken, and horse farms are plentiful. We picked gigantic berries and they were oh so-so-so sweet. Mrs. Dollar bought everyone some to eat. Speaking of eating, we all took a picnic and stopped by one of the quaint country churches in the area. Under the shelter and in the shade, everyone relaxed. Next stop was the new regional airport. It is now complete and ready for business. It is the largest regional airport in the southeast and will eventually be used as a feeder airport for the Raleight-Durham International Airport located in Raleigh, NC. Finally, we ended our day by stopping by Lyman Woollen's house for popsicles, and to feed carrots to his horse, Blue. It was a planned stop in order to represent the fact that people are moving to Lee County from the larger, bustling cities nearby. The life style is more appealing to families. The houses aren't crammed close to each other, and there is still land for small farms . There is space for children to grow up with dogs, horses, yards, and gardens. Life is at a slower pace here in Lee County. Yet people are close enough to enjoy short trips to Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Southern Pines, and Pinehurst. The Atlantic Coast is only 2 1/2 hours away! After coming home from school, I helped Michael do his homework. It was easy math. I tried to ride the dog, but he would not stay still! Later, we played golf and then went to bed. I was tuckered out and slept soundly. Gritzley

May 4,5,6, 2001

Dear Journal,
Today I am going home with Ryan Czar. There were more people than usual at his house. I heard people talking about first communion and somebody saying it was when you receive the body and blood of Christ for the first time. At the end of the day they had a feast and a party. It sure has been fun and interesting going home with all the boys and girls. Everyone is so different.

May 7, 2001

Dear Journal,
Today I went home with Jared Thompson. He served me grits for dinner AND breakfast. His dog taught me to beg. He said he got everything he wanted, so I tried. It worked! I begged for grits and got them AGAIN! I learned that Deep River School first started classes in 1924. As population increased the school gradually increased to 12 grades. Schools in Lee County consolidated and Deep River became an Elementary School with six grades, then later, a school with grades kindergarten through grade five. I can e-mail my friends at their teacher's address: [email protected] Gritzley

May 8, 2001

Dear Journal,
I had a great time at Whitney's house. She took two pictures of me riding a horse, and her cat. Isn't that funny! She even let me sleep in her baby crib. We ate cereal together, and while at the baby-sitter's house, I met all her cousins. They are wild, but I am a wild bear! ha-ha

May 9, 2001

Dear Journal,
Today I rode in my black box to Lyman's house with Ginny Woollens, his sister, who is in the 2nd grade. Lyman left school at 10:30 after he completed the EOG test. He forgot to take me along. He had strep throat, but took the test anyway! He REALLY didn't want to go through a make-up day of testing. When we got there, I was lifted out of the box and Lyman was looking straight at me with anxious eyes. He took me upstairs and put me on a clothes hanger which he put on fishing line! He let go and I slid down the fishing line to the ground. Fortunately, I was unhurt and it seemed sort of fun to be sliding down fishing line 20 feet above the ground. Next, Lyman retrieved me and sat me on his bike's handlebars. After that we took off! I loved to feel the wind whizzing through my hair. On the way to the pecan tree and back, Lyman gave me tips on riding a bike. After that fun experience, we went to Blue's barn to give him fresh water. Lyman handed me a carrot and Blue gobbled it up. On our way back to turn off the spicket, Lyman's Mom spotted a black snake! Lyman assured his Mom that it was not poisonious and it was a good snake. It is a good snake because it keeps poisonious snakes away. Next we went inside to play video games. We played a cool game called BOMBERMAN HERO. We played for about 20 minutes and then Lyman sat down to write something on the computer. When his mom told him to get off the computer he stopped and went to eat supper. They said the prayer and ate their pasta and broccoli. Afterwards he ran upstairs and got his shower. Next we got under the covers and we both went soundly Zzzz..ZZZzzzzz... Sincerely, Gritzley

May 10,2001

Dear Journal,
Today is my last day at DRS. Tonight I will go to the Lee County Employee's Banquet and see The River Tones Chorus perform. My new friends Matthew, Emily, and Heather are performers. Tomorrow I'll be on my way home to see my family. It has been a great experience. I have learned so much about the boys and girls and life in Lee County. I can't wait to share my adventures. Thank you boys and girls! Thanks to the teacher for inviting me! Goodbye. Love, Gritzely