Superior students share passion for journalism
Superior High School students offered Lake Superior Elementary fifth graders tips to tackle current issues in their newsletter.
SUPERIOR — Staff members from the Spartan Spin, Superior High School’s student newspaper, recently spent an afternoon sharing their passion for journalism with the next generation at Lake Superior Elementary School.
Sue Correll’s fifth grade students launched a class newsletter in October. Stories ranged from playground problems like cracks on the four square court and the lack of lines on the football field to a breakdown of what the students were learning in physical education, art and science.
On Nov. 11, they got some feedback from the high school reporters. The older students offered some tips, suggested some layout changes and shared their own work — including the newest weekly webcast — with the young reporters.
“It was a really good experience to learn new things about the newsletter,” said fifth grader Kaelyn Conley.
Her classmate Karoline Banks said she appreciated that the high school students pointed out things they liked in the newsletter, as well as things that could be improved.
“I’m really new to writing … I liked how they showed us better ways to do things,” Banks said.
The newsletter writers were also encouraged to make the font styles and colors consistent, break large blocks of text into smaller paragraphs and get both sides of the story.
“I learned that you should probably add pictures and quotes and if you have just 'Mrs.' (in the story) you should actually put the (person's) full name,” said fifth grader Colin Larson.
The Spartan Spin staff were impressed with what the young writers had already accomplished.
“I want to just let you guys know that I think it’s really awesome that you guys are starting young and that you guys are so educated on it. It’s really amazing to see,” said SHS senior Addi Aker.
“I don’t think any of us were expecting you guys to be as informed as you are,” said Spartan Spin webmaster Jasen Bruzek.
“And all the questions,” said Cyrus Olson, who is involved in layout and marketing for the student paper.
Other Spartan Spin members who attended included print editor Liv Strand and photographer Josiah Payne. They encouraged the fifth graders to bring their nose for news with them to Superior Middle School and on to SHS.
"I hope you guys stick with it," Aker said.
There's no such thing as a perfect story, they told the students, but reporters grow and improve with time and experience.
"There's always more to learn," Olson said.
When asked if they would like to meet with the high school students again, the fifth graders gave a resounding “Yes.” Until then, they have started putting some of what they learned into practice. Correll emailed a rough draft of a story for the next newsletter, titled “Snowman Conflict,” to the Spartan Spin staff.
“After your visit our newsletter staff is very serious about their responsibility to report current events at our school,” Correll wrote in the email.
The article focuses on the fact that students are destroying a snowman that other students have been building on the playground. It includes a picture of a snowman as well as room for both student interviews and a proposed solution — an area on the playground where students are not allowed to destroy snowmen.