Newsworthy: Longfellow Elementary Students Create School Newspaper – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Year four student Mac Hanson had a vision for how he could help his classmates stay up to date with each other. So he went to the principal with a plan and carried it out.

From there, the Longfellow Leopard Student News was born, a student-run newspaper for his elementary school community.

Located in southeast Rochester on Marion Road, Longfellow Elementary is a unique school in the district, operating on a 45- to 15-day schedule rather than the traditional school calendar.

“One day I was just thinking, ‘We really should have (a) better connection at school,’” Hanson said. “There are so many big things going on, and nobody really knows.”

Now the group of students have their first edition under their belt and have started working on the next one. On Tuesday, the group of students were gathered in one of the school’s classrooms, all working on various elements of the publication.

Solomon Tarr, left, and Mac Hanson, both 10 and fourth grade, work together during a journal class at Longfellow 45-15 District-Wide Elementary School Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Rochester. The students in the class publish a quarterly student newspaper.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Hanson described his role as that of editor. And, he was dressed for the lead role, with a tie tucked under a green sweater topped with a striped sports coat.

The quarterly project includes several sections: recipes and jokes, a mystery student and a teacher to be identified, a sports section, a science section, etc.

“We mostly report things we heard in our class or things that happened around school that might be important,” said lead reporter Felix Herr.

Some students were assigned to take photos for publication.

A student, Chloe Creo, wrote an article about puppy mill issues.

“It’s not good for the mom dog or the puppies,” she said. “There are no good conditions.”

Longfellow School Diary
Chloe Creo, 10 and in fourth grade, works during a journal class at Longfellow 45-15 District-Wide Elementary School Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Rochester. The students in the class publish a quarterly student newspaper.

Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Along with Hanson, Creo was one of the first students to collaborate on the journal project.

The teacher who helped put the paper together, Vandi King, said she leaves the content selection up to the students. And even though the students are directing the content, it still provides opportunities to talk about real-world concepts like copyright and attribution.

“I’m not trying to structure this,” she said. “We really want it to be student-focused. If they submit jokes, we’ll include some jokes. That’s really what they offer.

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