Equipment for Alternative Education newspaper program

Educator Name: Amanda Thorpe
School Name: Portage Community High School

We have a state championship newspaper program here at Community High School. This achievement is even more spectacular when you take into account the fact that we are an "alternative" educational facility. Many of our students have beeen expelled from other schools or have simply not found success there for a variety of reasons. They are all significantly behind in grade-level reading and writing skills, but they are still hopelessly devoted to the school newspaper. We have been getting by with an ages-old digital camera provided by the school that finally died this year. We are asking for a grant to buy a new digital camera for the journalism class to use so that we can continue our tradition of newspaper excellence.

In addition to newswriting, students can continue to gain valuable instruction in journalistic photography. They can also increase their self-efficacy through having their photos published in the newspaper and online.

A newspaper cannot function without photos, and currently we have no camera! It will benefit the journalism class as well as the entire school. The journalism staff takes all of the official photos for the school, creating photo galleries online for every sport, spirit week, and assembly. Students love to get online and view the galleries to see pictures of themselves, and community members frequent the albums to see what is going on at our school. Without a camera, these albums become obsolete!

Our newspaper program continues to change the lives of our students. More newspaper staff members graduate and go on to college than their peers, many studying journalism at local colleges. For the others, it is a life-changing experience and a chance for them to make a positive impact on their environment. We will use the camera to continue our tradition of excellence in the state newspaper contest.