Every year the Kiwanis de Amigos hosts a cross country meet called the Rattlesnake Run at Christopher Columbus Park. Middle school cross country teams across southern Arizona are invited to participate free of charge!

There are two heats for both boys and girls— the A and B heats. The top seven runners on a team run in the A heat for both boys and girls and the rest who want to run are placed in the B heat. This year 158 girls and 199 boys participated. This represented 13 girls’ teams and 15 boys’ teams.

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At one of our Bear Essential News Young Reporter Meetings, Mikyla Mace Kelley spoke with us. Kelley works with scientists from the University of Arizona and shares their fascinating research with the public and the media.

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During the three-day weekend on Sept. 2–4, I attended the 13th annual Tucson Comic-Con. This event was held at the Tucson Convention Center in downtown Tucson. It started at 3 p.m. on Friday and ran through Sunday at 5 p.m. This was the first Comic-Con in several years due to COVID cancellations the past few years. This was my first time attending Comic-Con and it was almost overwhelming because it was so large and there was so much to do.

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 Recently I attended a Bear Essential News Zoom meeting and met Sarah Murphy who is currently one of the managers of the Tucson Comic-Con. Murphy talked about how she was really excited about Tucson Comic-Con coming back after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.

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Over the summer you can participate in the 2022 Pima County Public Library reading challenge. To participate in the Oceans of Possibilities Summer Learning Program, all you have to do is read 20 minutes a day. The program started June 1 and goes all the way until July 30, 2022.

You can read anything from chapter books to comic books or even listen to an audio book. The reading challenge is for kids ages 6–13. You can pick up the reading challenge information any time your local library is open.

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 At the Pima County Library there are seed libraries! This year the library has a 2022 One Seed Pima County program with the theme “Growing together—one seed, one community.”

You are invited to the library to pick up Crackerjack marigold seeds for free. Marigolds are a type of flower that grows well in the warm weather in Arizona. They can grow up to 36 inches tall and grow into a beautiful orange-yellow flower. When you pick up seeds from the library, you can take information with you about how to plant, grow and harvest the seeds.

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 The book “Front Desk” is a very memorable story written by Kelly Yang. It tells about 10-year-old Mia Tang and her struggles as she moves from China to California. Mia wants to enter an essay contest to win a motel for her family. She thinks that this will change her family’s luck in California. She uses all of her pennies and her dad’s lucky pennies to get $300 to enter.

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 Recently my family visited the Plum Creek Alpaca Farm in Prescott Valley. When we entered the farm, the farm dogs walked along with us as we visited the different pens. They housed a variety of groups of alpacas. Some areas were for the females or males and there was even an area for the nursery.

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 Recently I attended a fun Bear Essential News Reporter Zoom with author/illustrator LeUyen Pham and author Shannon Hale. They shared how they met, how they became best friends and talked about the books they have worked on together.

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