South Hill Fourth-Graders Start Student Newspaper ClubIn December, Clara Wilson, a fourth-grader at South Hill Elementary, left a note for her teacher, Consuelo Yanez, asking if they could start a student newspaper.
“I knew Clara enjoyed writing because whenever she got a chance after completing her work, she would work on a personal story,” Ms. Yanez said. “Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find her note on my desk before break inquiring about creating a newspaper.”
Ms. Yanez asked around to the other fourth-grade classes and found there was a lot of interest among the students. And so the South Hill Student Newspaper Club began! Since January, the club has grown from seven to 12 fourth-graders. The students meet every Friday during their recess and lunchtime to research and write for the newspaper, South Hill Hawks News.
For each issue, the students are all assigned one or more sections to work on. The club initially researched the types of sections typically included in newspapers and then discussed as a group any others that they had not thought of and included those as well. Clara created a Google Document with a chart that says the name of each section, how many positions are available to work on it, and a small statement about what those positions entail. Once one newspaper is complete, the students go over the positions and ask who wants to keep theirs and who wants to try a new one for the next issue.
In the newspaper’s first few issues, the content ranges from interesting facts about cows and coffee to a short biography of Mae Jemison to instructions for making a paper snowflake. Each newspaper also includes jokes, fourth-grade classroom updates, a debate (such as “should schools have class pets?”), birthday shoutouts, and more.
All issues of South Hill Hawks News can be read on the club’s Google Site: sites.google.com/icsd.k12.ny.us/south-hill-hawks-news/home. The club also recently added a polling function to the site to allow readers to weigh in on the latest debate! As the club grows, Ms. Yanez hopes to find ways to share the newspaper more broadly with the community.
“I am so proud of all of the students’ hard work and willingness to miss their recess and lunch with others just to keep working on their section,” Ms. Yanez said. “I am excited to see what else they create in the upcoming months!”