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Volume 16, No. 16 - May 17, 2010


Celebrating May 1st in Germany

By Katie Grosser in MESCHEDE, Calle, Germany Every country has its fill of national holidays.  Some come and go and only make themselves noticeable by granting a day off from school and work. Others, however, have much more appeal.

In Germany, May 1st is one of those special days. 

May 1st is traditionally known as “Day of Work” – similar to Labor Day in the United States. It first became a national holiday in 1933 under the Nazi Regime and the Allied Control Council decided to allow the defeated Germans to keep this national holiday after the World War II.


The evening before, April 30, is traditionally called “Walpurgisnacht.”


In many cities, towns and villages across Germany, there are private and public “Tanz in den Mai” – “Dance into May” celebrations.


These nights of dancing, singing and drinking have only little to do with the original festivities. In the past, these involved fires to drive away “bad ghosts” and it was the custom that lovers joined hands and jumped over the fires together, something that is no longer done today. Read more



Fun and Games







-- NEWS --

Watching one of the last space shuttle launches

By Jason Soltys in CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida, U.S.A. – “TEN! NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN! SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE!” counted the Mission Control announcer, as I watched the countdown clock at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It was a blazing hot and sunny day with the temperature close to 90 degrees, and I was there for the final launch of  space shuttle Atlantis.

Minutes before, I was sitting on the bleachers, finishing my pulled pork and baked beans lunch, waiting to watch Atlantis, also known as Space Transport System #132, the 132nd United States Space Shuttle, blast off. 

The shuttle sat 3.9 miles away across the bay.  Read whole story

No one marches alone in Band Geeks!

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CHESTER, Connecticut, U.S.A. – The new musical Band Geeks! is a remarkable combination of humor, romance and valuable life lessons about believing in yourself. Read whole story

Band Geeks! hits home

By Celeste Kurz in CHESTER, Connecticut, U.S.A. – Self-proclaimed band geeks Kevin and Nancy Cornell attended opening night of the Goodspeed Musicals tribute to high school marching band.

The couple, who live in East Granby, Conn., said the concept of Band Geeks! spoke to them.

They met in band at West Springfield High School in Massachusetts, the couple said, when he accidently hit her cast with his trumpet case as he passed by her in the French horn section.   Read whole story

-- NEWS --

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Canadian hockey star gets goals

By Mehran Shamit in TORONTO, Canada – Hayley Wickenheiser understands the importance of goals – and not just the kind she whacks pucks into.


If she weren’t one of the world’s best female hockey players, she’d be working toward another ambitious goal:  Becoming a doctor.

“If I wasn’t involved in hockey, I would be in medical school,” Wickenheiser said in a telephone interview after leading the Canadian women’s hockey team win Olympic gold this year.


Wickenheiser has made quite a name for herself in her chosen profession.


At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Wickenheiser served as captain of the Canadian women’s hockey team.


“Being in Canada with all the other athletes made it a very unique experience,” she said. Read whole story



Gold medal coach advises hard work, tough skin


By Jenna Potter in MANOTICK, Ontario, Canada – After the Canadian women’s hockey team beat their American rivals to win gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada erupted with celebration.

At the heart of it was Coach Melody Davidson, who took time after the victory to talk with Youth Journalism International about the long road to Vancouver. Read whole story


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Young writers, photographers, cartoonists and other journalists are encouraged to join YJI now and add your name to the high-achieving teens across the globe who belong. It is free to participate. Please see for more information. Click on the "Students" link.




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