Newspaper gives a voice to students

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Talented and Gifted (TAG) students at Buckingham Middle School have debuted The Knightly News, a new publication at the school.

“I have been the librarian for Buckingham Middle School for seven years,” said Joanne Seay, the school’s librarian and club sponsor, “and this is my first year sponsoring the school newspaper. Actually, this is the first year we have had a student-created newspaper

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since I’ve been here.”

Seay said the idea to create a student newspaper was born when principal J.B. Heslip decided it was time to revamp the school’s old newsletter.

Heslip said the newsletter was typically written from the perspective of the teachers; however, the newspaper is student friendly and from the students perspective.

“I was in a newspaper club, The Blue Devil, many years ago when I was in junior high school, and I enjoyed it so much that I was interested in starting one here at the middle school,” Seay said. “After consulting with Heslip, we came to the conclusion that now was a perfect time to start a newspaper club, The Knightly News.”

Students were initially slow to react to the idea of a newspaper club at the school, Seay said. “I distributed Newspaper Club applications throughout the school and urged all students to participate. Sadly, we only had a couple of interested students due to the fact that it was a new club here.”

However, Faith Jones, a Talented and Gifted (TAG) program adviser and teacher at the school stepped in and volunteered her own group of students to help put together the school newspaper as a special project.

“Thankfully, some of the TAG students had put together a newspaper at the elementary school so they brought some experience to the table,” Seay said.

According to Jones, during the first TAG meeting she listed potential projects the students could consider, one of which included working with Seay to provide news to the school.

“The news is published every nine weeks at the end of our grading period,” Jones said. “The students are involved in every part except the editing and each homeroom teacher is given enough copies for the students in his or her classroom,” she said.

While the process of putting together a news publication can be complex, students are excited to tackle the challenge.

“The process has been rewarding, fun and exciting while learning a new experience,” said sixth-grader Jaylen Anderson.

Eighth-grader Elizabeth Bailey said, “The school paper has been an amazing opportunity and is a great way to make creativity useful.”

The Knightly News features a collection of school-related news ranging from sports, individual classroom reports, club events, astrology and more.

“First, we each pick a subject to write about like our school’s Box Tops drive, club updates or a ‘Did You Know?’ column,” said Amil Bolden, an eighth grader. “Next, we write our articles and submit them about a week from when report cards come out. Then, Ms. Seay edits them and they are given out with the report cards.”

Heslip said the new publication is an asset to the school. “It provides our kids a way to have a voice.”