Rapids in the Community

UPDATED: 13th Annual Food Drive ends Monday

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By: Dylan Lepore, Staff Writer

The 13th annual Hokies vs. Hoos Food Drive to benefit the local Feedmore food bank is in full swing and will be ending Monday, February 13th, after an extension given on Friday, February 10th. The cans that students gather are desperately needed for donations to give to families and kids in need who don’t know where their next meal will come from.

JRHS plays a big part in supporting the city-wide revile between Virginia Tech and UVA to see who can raise the most food for the Central Virginia Food Bank. It is especially important in late winter when donations are drastically low.

“The Food Bank is in desperate need of the following items: peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, low sodium vegetables, fruits packed in juice, pasta sauce (no glass), canned or dry beans, hot and cold cereal, and whole grain snack.  (Please, no ramen noodles!),” Principal Dr. Jennifer Coleman said in the JRHS Newsletter.

Each class is competing for privileges and many teachers are giving their own incentives to students. The winning grade level will earn the senior privileges of leaving early on Fridays for five weeks following the Food Fight. They will also earn two days of both lunches, dates TBD. Last year the juniors won, so it’s possible for the seniors to lose their privileges for five weeks.

“What we are doing is a grain of sand on the beach. Kids are starving, we can’t be the problem but the solution,” social studies teacher Shannon Castelo said.

Cans from English classes are collected and taken to the library each period. Photo by Eva Dorn.

In addition, one thing to consider would be this from FeedingAmerica.org: “No One Can Thrive on an Empty Stomach, 42 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including nearly 13 million children and more than five million seniors. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including your own.”

The new incentives that were added on Wednesday, February 8th are: if seniors raise 2,400 cans (which is lower than they made last year) they can keep all their senior privileges. Also if the student body works together to come up with 7,100 cans everyone will get O.N.E Lunch for five weeks. As of this Wednesday, we have raised 3,700 cans, and if every student brought in two cans, we would reach that goal.
Last year we gained 7,000 donated food items and $1,500 in cash for a total of over 20,000 meals, and we have won the competition every year. The cans are being collected by the English teachers and placed in the library. Help beat last year’s earning and provide for your community by bringing in cans!

Bolded text reflects update on Friday, February 10th.


French exchange program kicks off at JRHS

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By: An-Vu Phan, Sports Editor

As the first lunch began on Tuesday October 25th, students streamed into room 1104 for the potluck lunch hosted by French Club for the French students. During the lunch, JRHS students got to mingle with French students from the Lycée Notre Dame Saint Victor as they begin their exchange program with their JRHS hosts.

“I’ve hosted four exchange students before this, so I already know I really enjoy showing French students around the U.S. and helping them try new things,” senior Blair Harvie said.

This is the third time that JRHS has partnered with the Lycée Notre Dame Saint Victor, a private high school in France, in a program that allows for JRHS students to correspond with their pen pals prior to the trip, host the French students in their homes, and eventually travel to France to stay with the French student’s families. During the two weeks that the French students stayed in America, they get to learn what American life is like while the hosts had to provide meals, a private room, and pay for the students properly.

“My daily routine with Alice is to go to school, eat with her friends, and spend our time in different places,” sophomore and Lycée Notre Dame Saint Victor student Aurore Masseron said.

While they are here, the French students got to see what American high schools are like and go on guided tours of Richmond, Monticello, Jamestown, and Washington D.C. The students would go on trips with their hosts when there is free time.

“I have done so many things with [my host] Alice,” Masseron said. “We have been to Libby Hill Park, Carytown, Halloween Parties, Busch Garden, the mall, Downtown, and the Hollywood Cemetery.”

Despite the places they were taken to, the hosts wished they could have taken them to places such as New York City or the Outer Banks, North Carolina. While the French students were here, the hosts got to show the students different aspects of American culture such as on how dinner is eaten in America at 6:30 while the French eat their dinner at 8:00 or that French high schools begin their day later than American high schools.

“What I like about James River was that the scholar system is based more on knowledge than marks,” Masseron said.

The French students went to school with their hosts and got to experience what their hosts experience in high school on daily basis. However, come spring break, JRHS students will also travel to France to experience French culture and life.

“I love nice scenery and pretty parks,” senior Alice Stitzer said. “So I guess my top thing I am looking forward to is Aurore walking me around her neighborhood,”

As with the French students coming here, the JRHS group of students will travel to Épernay, France from April 6-16 as they visit the  Lycée Notre Dame Saint Victor and live with the families of the French students that they hosted. This in turn completes an exchange program which comes around every two years at JRHS and has forged new connections.

“I have always been fascinated with learning about others and their cultures and I thought this would be a great way to make myself a more fluent French speaker by immersing myself in the language,” Stitzer said. “Making a new friend was a plus, too.”

Rapids run for veterans

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By: Corinne Minnick, News Editor

The third annual Rapids Run for Veterans 5k was held on Saturday, November 5th from 6am to 12pm. This event took place at the City Stadium and was hosted by James River’s NJROTC. Students and Faculty ran to support wounded veterans, their families, and the Fisher House. The winner was government teacher Alexander Addison with a time of 19 minutes and 29 seconds

Vote for William Noble!

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By: Eva Dorn, Online Editor 
JRHS football player William Noble is in the Richmond Times Dispatch Player of the Week poll.  Noble is credited with 14 carries, 160 yards, and two touchdowns in the 44-21 win against Chancellor. Show your support for Noble and JRHS football and go vote for him here.

Rapids voice their debate opinion

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By: An-Vu Phan, Staff Writer

Last Monday, the two presidential candidates for the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton of the Democrats and Donald Trump of the Republicans, faced off in the first of three presidential debates. It would become the most watched presidential debate ever, drawing in over 84 million viewers.

Among those viewers were also 258 James River students who participated in a post-presidential poll. Of the 258 who participated in the poll, 67.4 percent watched the debates.

“ As a teacher, I thought the debate was pretty one sided in terms of who had logical arguments and who didn’t,” Social Studies teacher Shannon Castelo said. “So it was pretty clear to me at the end that one person was pretty emotional in the debate and the other person was more logical and answered the questions more directly.”

In the poll conducted, there were many who were left feeling more worried for the future. Yet there still some who found humor within the debate.

“I felt like it was a comedy show, and both candidates just bashed each other more often than talking about their plans,” said one senior in his/her poll response.

In fact, it seems that this bashing of one another contributed heavily to the Rapids community opinion of who had won the debate. It was seen that amongst the pollsters that 34.9 percent felt that Hillary had won the debate while another 14  percent felt that Trump won the debate. However, 24.8 percent also felt that nobody had won the debate.

“In my opinion, when the debate was all said and done, they both had their fan base and nothing they said ruined that,” said another senior in his/her poll response. “They both addressed things that they already have, so nothing new caught my attention during the debate.”

However, this is just the first of three presidential debates, with the next two debates being scheduled for Sunday, October 9th and Wednesday, October 19th. As such, there is more to be expected from both for the next two debates. There is also the vice presidential debate featuring Mike Pence of the Republican party and Tim Kaine of the Democratic party airing at 9 tonight.


VPBA attempts to shut down crew

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By: Corinne Minnick, News Editor 2016-2017

On Wednesday, June 14th at 6:30 p.m. there will be a town meeting at Bettie Weaver Elementary School to address the concerns about the rowing programs at Robious Landing. According to coaches from Virginia Boat Club and James River Crew, some of the members of Virginia Power Boat Association (VPBA) want all rowing at Robious Landing to cease because some of the private teams, such as James River Crew, are using public property. This would mean the end of James River Crew, River City Crew, and the Virginia Boat Club. Members of these teams are attending the town meeting to save these programs at Robious Landing. Come out to Bettie Weaver to lend your support to our crew team.  

A day of remembrance

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By: Corinne Minnick, News Editor 2016-2017

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Each of the guests lit a candle in remembrance of the fallen war veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for America’s freedom. Photo by Corinne Minnick

On Tuesday, May 31st James River’s JROTC hosted the Memorial Day assembly. Memorial Day is an important time to honor and remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country. Sophomore Jessie Lynn Conner recited her original poem “Purple Hearts,” and the Chamber Ensemble sang the National Anthem. Speeches were made in honor of Lance Corporal Karl Linn, and Lance Corporal Jourdan Grez,  two former James River students who lost their lives in battle. Closing remarks were made by Dr.Siddiqi and the Chamber Ensemble sang “America the Beautiful,” as students were dismissed.