Kids in journalism

This year, Georgia is in fourth grade. A few weeks ago, she came home announcing that she had joined the staff of her elementary school’s newspaper. She was so excited to be a part of this publication, and couldn’t wait to get her first story assignment.

As the days went on, I was excited to hear about the developments. She was hoping to be able to cover the story of the first grade field trip to the apple orchard (which would have included an interview with her sister, Sydney), but instead was assigned to cover the second graders’ science project.

She willingly gave up her recess time to watch the second graders do their project, and then gave up more recess time to write her article, along with a few classmates. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. She tells me that there are so many children on the “staff” that some are still waiting for a writing assignment!

I love so many things about this scenario. It is great that kids are learning to write for real purposes–to inform each other about things that are going on in their communitites. They now understand in a new way why writing must be clear and understandable. And the feeling of satisfaction they will have when their newspaper is printed and handed out will be huge!

In fifth and sixth grade, Audrey was fortunate to be a part of the elementary school news program. Each afternoon, instead of listening to announcements from the office, classrooms tuned in to watch news of the day. There were segments like weather, trivia, book reviews, and even times when items from the lost and found were featured.

Like Georgia’s newspaper, the “TV” time gave Audrey great experience in public speaking, improvisation, and working with a team of students to achieve a real, purposeful goal. I think it’s wonderful that my girls are getting experience with journalism at such a young age. I hope that they continue to ask the important questions and share what they learn with others.

This post was inspired by The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, a novel by P.D. Viner. Twenty years ago, college student Dani was murdered but her killer was never found.  Now a promising new lead may change everything. Join From Left to Write on November 7 as we discuss The Last Winter of Dani Lancing.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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