Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Monday, November 12, 2012
Junior journalists take first steps

When middle school students at the Basilica School of Saint Mary Star of the Sea began a new journalism class this year, they learned quickly that putting together a student news publication involves a lot more than getting words onto paper.

The two-sided, 8¬½-by-14-inch news sheet, complete with a masthead proclaiming its name -- the Student Voice -- debuted last week. It includes a welcome to readers by the students, short features of importance to the school and the entire community, as well as a joke feature.

The students say the project was worth the effort.

"We really liked writing the newspaper," said Alexis Esperanza,

Another student, Alley Couie, said editing copy to find mistakes was interesting and a challenge, noting that a typo had made it onto a final draft.

"We didn't see that one at first," she said, echoing words many writers and many editors have said at many newspapers over many years.

Ethan Gould wrote about a second-grade teacher who feels she is making a difference.

Owen Allen wrote about the school's running club, and Lizbeth Perez focused on the art club.

"Students will learn more about jazz and work on rhythm," was Kieran Weavers' projection for the seventh and eighth grade music class. Bridget Bunting supplied a cartoon and Daniel Valdez wrote about the iPads all students at the school now use.

Heidi Hemmesch, the teacher who created the project, noted that just as at any newspaper, the writers with the bylines are only part of the formula for success. Everyone in the class worked on aspects of the project, from conceptualization to layout.

And there are plans, she said, to take what the students are learning with their quarterly publications and use it in other ways.

"The yearbook," she said. "They are going to take a more journalistic approach to the yearbook."


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