In a classroom at Chatsworth School, small fingers have been keeping busy, sifting through papers, tapping away at keyboards, and writing out notes. But what’s got them so busy, you ask? It’s the release of The Chatsworth Chatter, the school’s new student-run newspaper.
This school year, seven Chatsworth students are on staff for the newspaper’s first edition. With the hope to publish the newspaper before winter break, they’re in the development stage now, brainstorming ideas about what it should feature.
“We want to include news about the school community, opinions, student stories, book reviews, games, and upcoming events,” said Lauren Becker-Leiphart, the school’s literacy specialist, who is working with the students on the newspaper.
To do that, the students are reaching out to their peers for submissions. Reviewing all of the submissions they get, the students are editing and formatting them on their S.T.A.T. (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow) devices.
“They’re creating the newspaper on their devices,” said Becker-Leiphart. “They’re also reviewing the formats of established papers and seeking advice from professionals in the field.”
As much as they’re discovering about newspapers, though, Becker-Leiphart said the students are also gaining other skills, as well.
“They’re learning effective writing strategies, leadership, perseverance, time management, and collaboration,” she said.
Although most of the work has taken place this school year, Becker-Leiphart said planning for the newspaper began at the end of last school year when she and a group of Grade 5 students came up with the idea.
“We wanted to get students interested in writing,” she said, “and start a new tradition at Chatsworth.”
When the newspaper’s first edition comes out later this year, that new tradition will be in place. To keep it going after that, Becker-Leiphart said she and her students already have an idea in mind.
“We plan on passing it on!” she said.