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Why are connections to the school, local and national communities necessary to the learning community?

  • If you want students to feel as though they are working as part of a larger community, then your program should be connected to that community.
  • The school community can offer tremendous support for the students. Teachers can write both letters of commendation as well as letters of criticism to show that the newspaper is in fact a central forum for the school community. It is a way to get information out to the community and the student should feel as though they are providing a good service.
  • The local newspapers can offer the students a glimpse into what the real journalistic world is like. Most newspaper reporters and editors welcome the opportunity to be connected with the school in some way. They are happy to be speakers, judge contests, and offer suggestions, if students or the adviser asks.
  • The local community also offers support incase of first amendment issues.
  • The national community of student journalists such as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association or National Scholastic Press Association or Quill and Scroll provide national critiques of student work. They offer support as well as educational opportunities for both the students and the adviser.
  • The national student organizations help connect student journalists to other student journalists giving students an opportunity to meet other young people with similar interests.
  • Most of these groups have student conferences two times per year; taking students to these conferences is a wonderful experience for them to meet others and to improve their writing skills. It is also an exceptional way to motivate students.
  • The work student journalists is influenced by their peers in other communities. It is important for students to exchange newspapers and read each others' papers to get story ideas and ideas about writing styles. Students can also see what other student journalists are doing and compare their work.
  • Sometimes students will read articles in other student newspapers and get ideas for stories; other times, they will find mistakes in other student newspapers and learn from those mistakes.

© 2002 - Esther Wojcicki - Email: thewoj@hotmail.com