With Focus, Students Start Newspaper

Who says print is dead? Not this future generation of reporters from Friends Community School, who launched The FoCuS, a student-run newspaper, last Friday.
Landing on students’ and teachers’ desks mid-morning on Friday, the first issue updated the FCS community on the progress of the 6th-grade musical, Mary Poppins, recent field trips, and more. Tapping into a trending topic among students, “Magic is Back” gathered student input on the return of the game Magic: The Gathering to recess on Wednesdays.
 
The newspaper isn’t part of a class or committee; it’s just something the students decided they want to do. Giving up recess and work periods, the team of middle-schoolers have created the newspaper between regular classwork and after-school commitments. The next issue is forecast for the end of April, and another before school lets out. If momentum holds, the students hope the newspaper will be a formal committee next year.
 
Over 25 students—mostly 5th graders—contributed to the inaugural effort. Beyond writing and taking photos, responsibilities ranged from inputting byline and photo credit information to photo correction to coordinating the printing and folding of 350 copies. The newspaper is the brainchild of 6th grader Claire D., who wanted a way for students to come together and inform the community about events and issues happening at FCS. “This is something that you have to commit to, and the fact that kids are wanting to do it is really cool.”
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Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
301-441-2100