Mountain View School District’s After School Journalism Program Develops Exceptional Young Writers
Mountain View School District’s After School Journalism Program continues to provide students who are English Language Learners with effective intervention emphasizing the development of academic language skills. The successful program has been offered in the District for four years and focuses on the highly engaging style of journalistic writing, as it targets listening, speaking, reading and writing development in the context of a real-world application.
For this session, student journalists from Madrid Middle School, Magnolia Learning Center, Maxson School, Monte Vista School, Payne School, Twin Lakes School and Voorhis School spent ten weeks immersed in learning about the field of journalism and what it takes to be a journalist. Following this session’s theme of wellness, the student journalists put their interviewing and research skills to use during field study trips to various agencies that provide health related services, exercise, and nutrition to the community. Once they obtained their research for their articles, they began the writing process and produced wonderful articles on wellness, nutrition and community health services which were published in their student created newspaper, The Mountain View Voices.
A special celebration was recently held to honor the young journalists for their hard work and dedication.
MVSD’s superintendent, Lillian Maldonado French congratulated the students and thanked them and the instructors for their hard work.
“I am so proud of your efforts and the well written articles on these important topics,” said Maldonado-French. “All of us in the District and your parents want you to be healthy and the places you visited, the people you interviewed and the programs you highlighted in your articles reflect health and wellness. I am impressed by your work and look forward to seeing much more writing from each of you.”
Keeping in line with wellness, those in attendance took part in a stretching exercise led by Madrid Bulldog News journalists, Jessy Torres and Magali Diosdado. Journalists from each school also shared about their experience in the program.
“Being in the Journalism program was a great experience,” said Diosdado. “I learned not to be shy when asking questions that are important and the practice interviews and actual interviews I did with people really helped me.”
Alexia Basham, a journalist from the Maxson Star News liked the writing the best.
“We learned to write in complete sentences and build an article around the 5 W’s – who, what, where, when and why. It was also fun meeting the people who we got to interview,” she said.
At Monte Vista School, The Eagle News team worked together to ensure their articles would be great.
“We learned to write better and to interview people,” said Steven Bobadilla. “We worked together, made new friends and we all had a lot of fun from beginning to end. We learned a lot about the El Monte Promise and Bike SGV, two community resources here in El Monte.”
All aspects of the program align to the Common Core and provide great practice for the students.
“This was a journey for our young journalists and they did an amazing job,” said Angelica Sifuentes-Donoso, MVSD’s Director of Family Engagement and After School Programs. “They learned valuable instructional strategies as well as developed their communications skills. We are so grateful to our community members and the wellness resources who allowed our young reporters to interview them and visit their sites. Thank you to our parents and families for allowing your children to participate and our wonderful instructors for their time and effort,” said Sifuentes-Donoso.
Featured in this issue of The Mountain View Voices are community resources, ChapCare, New Hope Church, Beastin Beauties, El Monte Promise, Bike SGV, Kaiser Permanente, El Monte Police Department and Fire Station #168. Also featured are MVSD’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program, Students Run L.A. (SRLA) program, THINK Together program, crossing guard program, after school sports program, and the Food Services and Nutrition program.
The students were presented with certificates, a water bottle and enjoyed some refreshing and nutritious fruit and spa water with their families as they proudly read their published work.
MVSD is committed to student wellness and is dedicated to students’ health, well-being and their ability to learn. The District is part of the Network for a Healthy California and incorporates several nutrition related activities in classrooms which are integrated into the curriculum. Teachers have received nutrition training and utilize programs like the Harvest of the Month, Choose My Plate, and Cooking in the Classroom to emphasize proper nutrition and well-being. Additionally, 10 schools participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant enabling them to provide a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks throughout the school year. To promote physical fitness, all schools have physical education teachers, and provide Zumba or self-defense courses, as well as some type of walking club for parents. The District also provides resources for families through health fairs, parent meetings, school family fitness and nutrition nights, health insurance fairs, community events and more.