oski school, 3/6/13

Second graders in Julie Victor's class at David Weir Elementary School pose for pictures with UC Berkeley mascot Oski during a visit to the school, Wednesday morning. Each class at the school adopts a different college as part of their No Excuses University program and Victor's class has Berkeley, prompting them to ask Oski to visit David Weir. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)


Cal Berkeley mascot, Oski, delights children at David Weir

By From page A3 | March 07, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Cal Berkeley’s beloved mascot, Oski, sent the student body of David Weir Elementary School into “fandemonium” Wednesday as the bear paid a visit to an awards assembly.

After that, the costumed character posed for photos and signed autographs for second-graders in Julie Victor’s class.

The event was part of the school’s No Excuses University program, where each class adopts a specific college, ranging from Duke to the Air Force Academy. Victor’s class adopted UC Berkeley.

Principal Martha Lacey donned her Cal Berkeley hooded sweatshirt. The school was visited by UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor in 2011.

Oski was invited via letters written by Victor’s second graders. In her letter, Darcy De La Cruz-Tamayo told Oski he brings a smile to her face. Ashana Hunt wanted to know if Oski had a bear family. And, Josua Briceno was curious.

“I wonder if you walk with your two feet only or with your four legs?” he wrote.

It was the letters that drew Oski’s attention, Victor said.

After a short video about UC Berkeley, with most of the footage focused on the bear, Oski entered the multiple-purpose room. Happy and excited screams echoed.

Victor’s class members, who were wearing their No Excuses University T-shirts, held up “Go Bears” signs.

Oski did some high-fives and some high kicks before helping hand out awards. After that, he led Victor’s second-graders down the hallway to their classroom.

“I can see Oski from here,” said Sarah Rodriguez. “I want to see Oski. I’ve never seen him before.”

When reminded she had seen him at the assembly, she said she just really wanted to give him a hug. She got that opportunity in her classroom. Sarah also gave Oski a drawing she made for him.

Zuez Soto found Oski to be “nice, funny, cool and awesome.”

“I want to go to college at UC Berkeley,” the second-grader said.

And, maybe get to wear the Oski outfit, he said. Oski’s identity is only known to a select few.

Before departing, Oski taught the children a new cheer.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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