Teen journalists discover “More to the Story” covering news in their school and community

Attucks Middle School prides itself on wearing many hats in order to consistently create opportunities for students to engage with and experience the community around them. In doing so, Attucks has made itself a home for a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) magnet programs including a gardening club, an award-winning robotics program, and a culinary club via the Attucks STEAM Academy.

Despite the great strides Attucks has made in diversifying their image, some students in Sijourney Porter’s journalism class believe that the best things about Attucks are sometimes overshadowed by negative perspectives outside of the Attucks community.

The theme of Scholastic Journalism Week this year is “More to the Story,” a notion that resonates with Porter’s young journalists as they utilize the unique perspective of investigative writers within the Attucks community to report accurately on their school’s happenings. The articles the Attucks journalists write are posted on Cams News, their own website, along with sports news, a photo gallery, and student and teacher spotlight pages. They also write and read the morning announcements.

The student journalists have their eyes and ears on the ground, and they take the task of showcasing the goings-on at their school very seriously.

“It’s important that we’re the ones who write about Attucks because everything we write about is something we’ve seen before and we know about,” seventh-grader Justice Collins said.

“We have good activities, we have a STEM program, and we’re a magnet school,” added eight grader Trevion Reed.

The young journalists also tackle more universal subjects such as peer pressure and suicide prevention, and they cite their catchy, entertaining leads as the hooks that keep people reading.

Reed interviewed school police officer Saint Andrew Joseph and conducted research to write an article on bullying and fighting in schools in hopes of informing other students and making Attucks safer. He and his classmates emphasized the importance of using their own voices to make their work stand out and help connect with their community.

The journalism class is a unique offering, as it earns participating middle school students high school credit.

Though Porter’s class admitted to struggling with the expected length of their articles, they also recognize the benefits of writing consistently. Writing every day stimulates all parts of the brain, builds vocabulary, improves memory, and enhances useful communication skills. The middle schoolers reflected that they feel their journalistic efforts have made them into stronger writers in general and will help to prepare them for writing in high school and college.    

“I don’t know that I want to pursue [journalism],” said Collins. “But I think it’s always good to know how to do something that’s creative.”

To read articles by the Attucks journalism students, visit Cams News, or follow them at CAMSDailyNews on Twitter. For more information on Scholastic Journalism Week, visit the Journalism Education Association website.