Selbyville Middle School (SMS) students have submitted their stories in the nick of deadline, and are now designing a pair of eye-pleasing newsletters for the readership.
Sharon Hall and Sherry Murray expected their sixth-grade Language Arts students (Honors grouping) would wrap things up this week. Papers should hit the streets after Easter break. After that, they’ll start working on their second edition.
Hall’s group is putting out the “RADical Times,” Murray’s is compiling the “Blast-off Bulletin.”
Murray said it was nice to have more flexibility now that state testing is over. “We can kind of have fun and change it up a little bit now,” she said.
The students have covered a lot of bases — everything from business and sports to international (tsunami relief) and local news (Jesse Steele recognized as SMS Teacher of the Year).
Kristi West of Millsboro seemed well equipped to handle the stress of the newspaper business. “I think it’s fun — putting everything together with a deadline,” she said. “You have to make sure everything’s perfect.”
West said she’d enjoyed working on the Teacher of the Year story. She said Steele had a ready smile and laugh during the interview, but noted, “He’s pretty much always like that.”
According to West, the interview process was even more fun than the actual writing, marking her as a potential on-air personality.
Others focused on production behind-the-scenes. Kayla Krzewski of Dagsboro said she was enjoying the work in layout.
“I think it’s fun, because we actually get to do something that’s not exactly what our teacher’s tell us to do,” Krzewski pointed out. “We get to do something on our own.”
She noted her artistic pursuits as a cartoonist — which should certainly fit well with the newspaper business.
Hall’s students asked for pointers from visiting Coastal Point staff on March 18, and Patrick Ruhl of Ocean View even interviewed a Coastal Point employee.
He shared a few of his own thoughts on writing in exchange. Ruhl said he preferred personal narratives, and was considering a piece on his first day out in the paintball field, or perhaps his first season in T-ball.
“It should have been my second year but I didn’t feel like playing before, so that was my first year,” he recalled.
As a newcomer, he had to play catch up with his fellows. “I was okay,” Ruhl said. “I wasn’t that great — it was fun, though.” He said his next-door neighbor, Steven Greene, was also on the team, and talking with him made waiting in the lineup more enjoyable.
Other than just using their imaginations, Ruhl said he and his classmates also wrote from visual prompts on occasion.
Logan Murray of Selbyville said he had a photograph with the first deer he’d ever killed. While some of his classmates thought hunting was “mean,” Murray remembered it as an important moment.
Four random students, but between them, they just happened to touch on four cornerstones of journalism — the well-mannered interview, the write-up focused on personal angles, the evocative photograph and the artistic design.
It could have been a coincidence, or it could be these sixth-graders already have a bit of ink in their blood.
Go with the latter.