On Friday, December 16, just before the year ended, we welcomed the newest Straight-Up News journalists to the 826 Valencia’s Writer’s Room at Everett Middle School. It was the last day before their winter break and the excitement in the room was palpable; the journalists traded jokes and waited curiously to see a semester’s worth of hard work in its final, tangible form.
This semester’s edition of Straight-Up News was a unique one. In partnership with Mr. Gardner’s Design and Architecture class, the students were asked to make a global connection in their articles. Over the nine-week period, the students learned what makes a successful newspaper article and followed the steps in writing their own: from brainstorming and choosing a topic, to researching, to finally setting their ideas to paper and editing the final product. While the global connection part of the assignment may have seemed challenging at first, each student stepped up to the plate to tell a unique story, helping to create a truly diverse issue of the News.
Some students compared domestic issues, such as the wage gap, to those of other countries; others explored how athletes from all over the world use their platform to speak against social injustice. A few students were inspired by their class and wrote about architectural advances around the world. After seeing his work in print, Everett student Roger Caixon Becerra, who compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the Civil Rights Movement, expressed: “I learned that if I can write about very important events then I can maybe tell other people about it.”
Though excited to see what they had accomplished, the students made sure to acknowledge the help of their tutors. Various students expressed gratitude for the support, which helped them to improve their writing and learn the mechanisms of a newspaper article.
Each student beamed with pride at the sight of their hard work, and rightfully so. Stop by the Pirate Store to pick up a copy of the Fall 2016 issue of Straight-Up News and see what all the excitement is about!