Young Reporters, May 28: Newsroom assignments for local students


In the May 14 issue of The Northern Light, we offered local kids the following newsroom assignment: How have our pets’ lives changed since the stay at home order? 

This is a tough question especially since we cannot ask our pets this question. Young reporters were asked to interview a friend with a pet or notice how their pet’s life has changed and explain their idea(s) in 200 words or less for elementary school students and 350 words or less for middle school and high school students. 

Here are the winning submissions. Congratulations to our winners, who will receive certificates and YMCA passes! See details about our toung Reporters series and the next assignment below. 


Stay-at-home order changes life for pets

By Kiera May
Age 11

Local pets’ lives all over have been changing due to the stay-at-home order. Sixth grader Adeline Sakali’s dog, Tula, is just one example.

Ever since the stay-at-home order started, Tula, a black Padderdale terrier, has had quite a different life then usual. Now that Adeline and her younger twin sisters, Isla and Brooklyn, have been home all day, Tula gets much more attention. 

Before the stay-at-home order started, Tula went on a walk every other day, but played in the backyard every day. Now that Adeline has more time, Tula gets to go on a walk every day. But because she gets to go on more walks, she’s often more tired, and is more lazy when she’s inside.

Because of this sudden lack of energy after long walks, Tula has stopped going after the family’s cats, Finnick and Blitzen, as much. Now that Blitzen isn’t being chased by Tula almost at all, Blitzen has been much more calm, so he has stopped going after the twins hamsters, in turn, making them more calm. Tula also barks less at other dogs.

Finnick, one of their cats, began to be more hyper about a month ago, and the Sakali family thinks it is because he is worried, because Blitz started not wanting to play as much. The cats also haven’t been going outside as often as usual, because Adeline, Brooklyn, and Isla are out riding their bikes a lot, so the cats stay inside a lot now.

Even though Blitzen is more calm, Finnick needs to go outside more, so he is much less calm now during the stay-at-home order. 

I think we can assume that no pet’s life has been the same ever since the stay-at- home order, but we can also agree that most of their lives have changed for the better, because they get to hang out with their owners all day, just like how Tula, Finnick, and Blitzen get to be with Adeline, Isla, and Brooklyn almost all day chilling.


Stay-at-Home Order: Dogs like it, but Punk the cat doesn’t

By Kaatri Glanzer
Age 14

I have three pets in my household, two goldendoodles and a cat. My goldendoodles are delighted to have us home. We spoil them; giving them more table scraps than we should and taking them for walks at least everyday. They cuddle next to us when we take out our books or movies and they jump gleefully when we throw them balls or Frisbees.

But our cat on the other hand ... he’s a punk, just like his name: Punk. I think he absolutely hates it that we’re home and he isn’t afraid to tell us so! Every night, he knocks down his bowl of food just to make us get on our hands and knees to pick it up. We usually have a vase of flowers on our table, but if we make the mistake of leaving them out at night and not in the sink, we usually find a mess of glass on the floor in the morning!

You’d think that hearing him meow is cute and a sign of love and affection. But hearing him at two in the morning is annoying, you’d think he was begging for something. But for what? He’s got a bowl of food and water, cat treats and a claw scratcher. What more can we give him? Nothing satisfies him. We give him two lovely friends to play with and instead he shows his gratitude by eating our socks! Like I said, he’s a punk. I think he liked it when we were gone for most of the day so he would have the whole quiet house to himself.

His only solution is to ignore us by sleeping most of the day, which is perfectly fine with us. We don’t need all the trouble he causes during the day as well.

But we love him regardless of what he does to make our lives slightly harder.


Pets still like walks and treats

By Na Major
Age 10

At my house, we have two pets: one cat and one poodle. My poodle’s name is Jackson and my cat’s name is Five. Jackson has not been getting his haircut since the stay-at-home order. He looks shaggy and fluffy. We’ve been walking Jackson almost everyday. He gets a lot more treats than usual. Five likes to hang out with us, he follows us around, when I have cat treats in my hand and he goes crazy. Jackson and Five are my best furry friends.

I asked my friends about their pets, and here are some of the funny things they said. Seryy is a cat who likes belly rubs and blueberry pie. Nanda and Sukanya can now do yoga at home with Maureen. Lilikoi, a super cute dog, likes to tell Ms. Jo Lynn what to do, that means: get me a treat or take me for a walk.

Joe, Aunt Marie’s cat, tells people to sit so he can sit on their lap. Big Boy, Guinness, and Tesla really like cuddles with miss Janet. 

Most of all, I learned that thing have not change very much for the pets. They just like being walked, cuddled and treats.


With more time with humans, pets are tired but happy

By Molly St. Martin
Age 11

My cat Soraya and my dog Shadow have had polar opposite experiences during quarantine. With their humans always home, they have been getting a lot of attention. 

For the cat it’s tiring, listening to loud annoying music and constantly getting attention – not a moment’s peace! But she will never run out of food, she gets treats more often and since we’ve been watching movies more often she can go do whatever she wants as long as she lays on my lap two minutes before the movie ends – so pros and cons.

For my dog, the attention and walks are all she wants. We go on walks about everyday and are almost always outside. For a dog, it’s heaven! But she has a bad leg, so we have to keep her from hurting herself – mostly pros. All in all, I’d say the pets are exhausted but happy!

Attention all kids of Blaine, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo! The Northern Light is looking for young reporters and photographers. We only have a couple of weeks left that we will be offering newsroom assignments for any interested students. 

Each newsroom assignment will come out in the paper on Thursday and young reporters can submit their work by 5 p.m. the following Thursday. 

Submissions should be emailed by a parent or legal guardian to and should include the parent’s contact number as well as the young reporter’s name and age. 

Following each assignment, three winning submissions will be chosen, one from each of three age groups if possible: 6 to 9 years, 10 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years. Winners are selected by Kristin Siemion, a certified teacher who is a print and digital media specialist with The Northern Light.

Prior to publication, parent permission slips will be required. Winning submissions will be published in The Northern Light, and their authors will receive a certificate and three-day YMCA youth pass.

Assignment #7: During the stay-at-home order, peoples’ lives have changed. Explain how your life has changed in positive and/or negative ways. Do you think some of these changes might be permanent? And once the stay-at home order is lifted, what are you looking forward to?


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