Posted March 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Middle school students organize school newspaper

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PHOTO: The staff members of “The Prowl,” the new Monticello Middle School newspaper, are Ashley Jenkins and Marisa Braford (seated), Eden Smith, Cameron McDonald and Rachel Larabee (standing). Absent from the photo are Courtney Campbell, Cassie Gillmore and Kiley Wall. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

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PHOTO: The students work on school laptops as they write articles  to appear in the April issue of “The Prowl.”


By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

“The Prowl” is a new addition to Monticello Middle School, offering students in grades fifth through eighth information on upcoming school events, introducing them to new students and offering reviews on the latest books, movies and music to hit the scene.

The new middle school newspaper was the brainchild of several students who wanted to explore their writing abilities and inform their fellow classmates at the same time.

In the first issue of “The Prowl,” published on March 1, the newspaper staff included a student profile on Mike Decker; a reminder of author Dr. Seuss’ birthday; a list of up-coming middle school events; an article on “Rachel’s Challenge,” a school assembly and guest speaker; a book review on “Unbroken,” part of a series by Paula Morris; and an article on the seventh and eighth grade basketball teams.

This monthly school newspaper takes a lot of work to put together. The staff, co-editors and teachers hold staff meetings to discuss what they’d like to see in the next issue. They assign stories to each other as well, much like a real newspaper.

The teachers leading the extra-curricular group of students are Karin Bloomquist and Angie Sconsa. Once the students proposed the idea to have a middle school newspaper, they opened it up to the whole school. Much of the work is done either after school or during the students’ free time.

Unlike the “Monticello Express,” “The Prowl” is specifically catered to a small audience, the students. This allows the staff to expand on their coverage a bit, with book reviews, etc.

Those putting in extra time to work on “The Prowl” are co-editors Eden Smith and Courtney Campbell, and staff members Cassie Gillmore, Rachel Larabee, Ashley Jenkins, Marisa Braford and Kiley Wall.

The editors are in charge of reading all of the content and making suggestions on grammar and spelling errors. Each month, the writers share responsibilities so each student isn’t doing the same article all of the time, such as student profiles or sports coverage. They also divide the stories based on what appeals to each student.

The students said being part of “The Prowl” gives them a chance to use skills they’ll need later in life when interviewing for a job or writing a report and eventually a resume.

Since the first issue of “The Prowl,” the newspaper staff said they’ve had classmates inquire about joining the team.