GSPI goes to school for Newspapers in Education Week |

GSPI goes to school for Newspapers in Education Week

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

RIFLE – Students in Bill Krejci’s fifth-grade class are making headlines – literally.

For the past couple weeks, the Esma Lewis Elementary School class has been studying a unit on the ins and outs of the newspaper business.

They’ve made up their own newspaper names, like “The Eagle Post” and “The Shabang News.” They’ve laid out front pages and written stories.

And they’ve drawn comics – something that, as every fifth-grader knows, is a crucial ingredient to all good newspapers.

Krista Rushlow, an English teacher at Esma Lewis, has been working with the kids on a journalism unit. Their studies coincided with Newspapers in Education Week, March 5-7, a nationally-recognized week designed to link newspaper professionals and schoolchildren.

That’s what brought me and Kelley Cox, Glenwood Springs Post Independent staff photographer, to Krejci’s class on Tuesday. We admired the fifth-graders’ newspaper mock-ups and read some of their stories. We asked the kids a lot of questions, and we answered a lot of questions, too.

We weren’t the only ones venturing into area schools. Other Post Independent staff members participated in NIE this week.

GSPI publisher Valerie Smith visited Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale to read her favorite Dr. Seuss book, “McGillicot’s Pool,” to a group of kindergartners.

Jim Hemig, plant manager at Colorado Mountain News Media’s printing facility in Gypsum, talked to Basalt High School journalism students about what it takes to create a newspaper.

And GSPI managing editor Heather McGregor will discussed good writing skills with a Glenwood Springs High School journalism class today.

Cox and I had an hour and a half with our budding newshounds. At first, we thought we wouldn’t be able to hold the kids’ interest for that long. Not true. The kids were chock full of good questions and they were attentive listeners.

Listening was actually one of the topics we addressed with the kids. Demonstrating the importance of reporters listening with crystal clear certainty, I started a spirited game of “telephone” – the game where someone whispers a phrase or sentence to another person who whispers to another – and so on. My sentence, “Dr. Pack said Highland Elementary School is going to be ready on July 1,” ended up to be “Kids are cool” when it finished weaving its way through the class.

And Cox fielded lots of questions.

“How many pictures do you take to get the one picture that gets in the paper?” Answer: “Sometimes 100.”

“Does the newspaper buy you a car to drive around and take pictures?” Answer: “No.”

Our visit had another mission. At the end of our hour and a half, Kelley passed out five cameras to some budding shutterbugs picked at random. Their photos will appear on a Panorama page in the Post Independent on Sunday, March 16 – and may motivate them to a career in photojournalism.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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