The Tribune and Elkin High School are teaming up to help high school students exercise their journalism skills.
Starting this fall, the Tribune is sponsoring a journalism club at the high school.
“We don’t have a school newspaper here, so there is no journalism class at the school to teach students newspaper writing,” said Elkin High School Principal Joel Hoyle. “This is a way to get students involved in an extracurricular club. The more writing students can do; the better.”
The idea was formed when two Elkin Middle School eighth graders shadowed Tribune reporter Jessica Pickens in February during the Students@Work shadowing program.
“During the job shadowing, I found out the high school didn’t have a newspaper,” Pickens said. “I wanted to find a way for students interested in journalism to learn about reporting and practice their writing before they went to college.”
The club will be advised by English teacher April Swarey, who has a newspaper background working with the Wake Weekly and the Raleigh News before starting her teaching career.
Students will meet with Swarey and Pickens twice a month to discuss story ideas and learn reporting skills such as headline writing and proper interview questions to ask.
Members of the journalism club will then write stories that will be published in the Tribune. The Tribune’s general manager Nathan DiBagno predicts that there will be one student story per issue. Swarey predicts students will be prepared to have their stories published in the newspaper by October.
“I have several students who are strong writers interested in journalism,” Swarey said. “The club works well under our new curriculum that is all about teaching real world experiences.”
The curriculum is about learning more through hands on activities rather, said Hoyle.
“The curriculum is about getting students to do more real world activities rather than just throwing material at them,” he said. “It’s great anytime the school can partner with an organization or business to help our students gain real world experiences.”
The first Journalism Club for Elkin High School students will be after school at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, in Room 303.