Students turn their ‘Eye’ on Renaissance
December 3, 2008
By Christopher Huber
The 90 students at the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning, and their parents, will soon get their first issue of The Raven Eye, the school’s new newspaper.
Eighteen students, three parent advisors and one teacher are hard at work to meet their deadline of Dec. 17 to send out the brand new publication.
What makes this school paper different is that it is not part of the school’s curriculum — it’s essentially an after-school club, said parent advisor Denise Pearl. The group is run like a class but is not graded. What’s better, especially in a time of school budget constraints, is that the newspaper costs nothing for the school, which is housed at Eastlake High School, said Renaissance lead teacher Diane Kane.
It also won’t go to press like most newspapers. The mostly student-run paper will be completely digital and will only be disseminated via email and on the school’s Web site, Kane said.
“The kids are so tech savvy and they get a lot of information from the net already,” Kane said. “So it kind of makes sense to continue to use that vehicle.”
The student-journalists meet for an hour every Wednesday and thus far have assigned typical teenage-interest beats, such as fashion, health, music and entertainment, news and comics, among other subjects.
The newspaper will also feature student art and poetry by various staff writers.
Renaissance eighth grader Katie Bond joined the newspaper to become the news and nonsense editor.
“Misspelled words bother me, so I like that,” Bond said about editing stories.
Students like fashion writer and seventh grader Madison Pearl joined the staff to continue their passion for writing.
“When I was little I used to write stories for my friends,” she said. “It’s fun to get to know everybody and to write for a paper everyone will see.”
The parent advisors Pearl, Amy Rapada and Delphine McCracken each contribute their expertise to create lesson plans for each meeting. McCracken specializes in photography and design and advises the students on visual storytelling and Pearl and Rapada each offer their experience as writers to teach the newspaper staff how to interview, write and edit their stories, Pearl said.
Although they collaborate to provide guidelines for the development of the paper, Pearl said they have to innovate because it’s the first year for the Raven Eye.
“We’re just kind of winging it,” she said. “We’re figuring it out as we go. But the students are enthusiastic.”
The Dec. 17 issue will technically be the first issue of the Raven Eye, but the school did attempt to start a newspaper last year. It failed to launch, due in part to it being too heavily student-run, Kane said. However, this year’s parent commitment has allowed it to succeed.
“It’s structured differently, and I think that’s what is making it successful,” Kane said. “And in the past it was a little more student-directed. With all the junior high kids, if you don’t have a strong foundation, you lose a little ground there. We’re fortunate to have dedicated parents.”
After the Dec. 17 issue, The Raven Eye comes out in February, April and June.
“Were hoping that if goes well and we stick together well be able to put out more papers next year,” Denise Pearl said.
Reporter Christopher Huber can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 242, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This version corrects the headline.