MVSD recently celebrated 87 student journalists from eight MVSD schools for their achievements in the District’s After School Journalism Program. Over the course of the ten week program, the students were immersed in reading, speaking, listening, writing and learning about the field of journalism and the skills and knowledge it takes to be a journalist.
Reporting for the Cogswell Cubs Gazette, the Payne Highlights, the Parkview Eagle News, the Madrid Bulldog News, the Magnolia Times, the La Primaria Cub News, the Monte Vista Eagle News and the Twin Lakes Comet Chronicle, among the many things the student journalists learned were proper interviewing techniques, how to write a catchy lead and hook, and how to construct an article.
Following this session’s theme, The Beauty of Diversity, student journalists put their interviewing skills to use during interviews with city staff, community members, and business owners. They also gathered information and conducted research during their field study trips to museums, restaurants, Olvera Street, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, local libraries, schools and a professional ballet. They had a great time learning about various cultures, celebrations, strengths, beauty and pride, which convey the diversity in our state. After obtaining their research the students began the writing process and produced wonderful articles celebrating the beauty of diversity which were published in the student created newspaper, The Mountain View Voices.
“Congratulations to our exceptional journalists,” said Raymond Andry, MVSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. “Journalism is so important because it expands our communications skills. The language you learned during the program will help you to be successful academically. Journalism and newspapers are a tradition in America and what you accomplished through your excellent writing and published articles make you part of an American tradition and we are extremely proud of you!”
According to Angelica Sifuentes Donoso, MVSD’s Director of Family Engagement and Extended Learning, the Journalism program aligns with Common Core standards and creates improvement in writing skills.
“Part of the Common Core is cooperative learning and working in teams and that’s what the Journalism program provides. Additionally, the writing, listening, vocabulary and vernacular embedded in the program all support Common Core. Our data shows that students who have participated in the program have improved in their writing skills,” said Sifuentes-Donoso.
In addition to having students become journalists, the program’s theme enabled them to research the sensitive topic of diversity.
“El Monte is a phenomenal city that is composed of approximately 25% white, 25 % Asian and 50% Hispanic. Although those percent’s may not be exact, it gives you an idea of the wide diversity range that exists here and how much we can learn and share. That diversity of course, extends to our schools. The makeup of our students represents an array of cultures and it is important the students stand tall knowing that each and every one of them contribute to this amazing plethora of cultures. We need to embrace differences and celebrate them because it only strengthens our ability to grow as human beings,” said Sifuentes-Donoso.
Joining in to congratulate the student journalists were MVSD Board of Education members, Jacqueline Saldaña and Christian Diaz as well as their journalism instructors and school principals. Each journalist received a certificate and a water bottle and copies of their published newspaper.