SAINT PETERSBURG ? For local elementary, middle and high school students, the idea of interviewing a community leader or celebrity might seem like a far-fetched dream. For students in the Journeys in Journalism program at Melrose elementary, John Hopkins middle and Lakewood high schools, dreams become reality. Students in this Pinellas County Schools/Tampa Bay Times partnership program get first-class training from professional journalists and have the opportunity to design, write, photograph and produce a school newspaper and website and become fluent in social media while learning valuable, lifelong skills.
Through this program, students learn about reporting, photojournalism, multimedia/videography, podcasting and web design while producing a newspaper and news website (snntoday.pcsb.org; JHopTimes@pcsb.org; and ManateeMessenger.pcsb.org). High school students have the opportunity to be considered for an internship at the Tampa Bay Times and to earn industry certifications in Microsoft Office, Premiere and Photoshop.
Honored nationally every year since the program?s inception for outstanding scholastic journalism, the school newspapers produced through these programs repeatedly have been named the “best school newspaper in the nation” for each of the school levels.
However, the most compelling reason to consider involvement in this program comes from the students themselves. “The Journeys in Journalism program is the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Brandon Sweat, a junior in the Center for Journalism and Media at Lakewood. As a result of the program he plans to study photojournalism in college. Alexa Volland, Melrose program graduate and current University of Florida journalism major, says, “My participation in the program at Melrose helped me improve my writing, gain confidence and set my career path.”
If you know of a student who could benefit from having strong professional role models, and an engaging, hands-on, fulfilling program, contact Cynda Mort at 727-430-7773 or firstname.lastname@example.org for enrollment information. Or visit, www.pscb.org to learn more.