Rebecca Webster/Recorder staff Seventh-grade photographer Molly Monge glances through a print-out version of the latest issue of the Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy newspaper, The Broadcaster.
By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
Students at the Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy are bringing back a piece of the district's history.
With the help of their adviser, Christine Eggleston, a small group of students are reporting, editing, photographing, and selling ads as they create new versions of the Greater Amsterdam School District's historic middle school newspaper: The Broadcaster.
Only this time, it has a slightly different look.
"It's completely paperless," Eggleston said. "If people want to print them, print them out, but that way only people that want them will do it."
There are about 12 students in the school club, and they meet every other week after school to obtain story ideas, brainstorm for new ones, and get some pointers from their peers and Eggleston while they write.
Eight-grader Tarren Rivers, who serves as the top student editor for the newspaper, said she heard about the opportunity to be a part of the newspaper over the announcements at the beginning of the year.
"I wanted to do something new, like different," she said, adding that she knew the students who would be on the newspaper staff did little stories.
That first meeting, with 20 or so students, brought the interested students together where they decided what position they would hold and what they would do.
"It was different than what I'd experienced before," she said. "You really have to take responsibility in something."
Also eager to go to the meeting was eight-grader Phillip Tambasco.
"I wanted to do something my last year here because I've never done any clubs before," Tambasco said.
"It was fun. It was exciting because I've never done it before so I wanted to see what it was like."
Now one of the ad salesmen for the paper, Tambasco said after advice from Eggleston on how to go about soliciting ads, he feels like a pro.
"You get to know about places in Amsterdam and meet people along the way," he said.
And throughout the process, the students are starting to learn what it's like to be part of a news team.
Eggleston periodically talks with the students about deadlines and gives pointers on best practices for writing.
And recently she took them on tours of local publications, including The Recorder.
"These kids are taking it so seriously," Eggleston said. "They're going out and getting their ads. They're just doing a great job."
Sports writer for the newspaper Jacob Reed, a sixth-grader, said he joined by the request of a friend and he thought it would be "really fun."
His favorite part is meeting new people and getting to learn about different sports.
"It's pretty exciting because I get to see what it's actually like to write a newspaper," he said.
Julianna Busseno, a sixth-grader who writes as a general reporter, said she loves interviewing, her favorite one being the conversation she had with the former interim principal, Helen Stuetzel, about what she has done during her retirement.
And some students are also learning a thing or two about photography.
Seventh-grade photographer Molly Monge said she feels she's gotten so much better at taking photographs.
"You get to see people not when they're just looking at you regularly, but how they act outside of school, too," she said.
She's learned not to be afraid to go up and ask questions, she added.
As the year progresses and faculty timing gets figured out, the students will soon be putting the layout together themselves, not just writing and taking photographs.
"I spend a lot of time reading their stuff over," Eggleston said. "I'm very proud of the kids. It brings me great joy."
The Broadcaster can be accessed through the Greater Amsterdam School District website, www.gasd.org.