The two year old program of the Erie Square Gazette going to Woodrow Wilson is expanding.
After being contacted by Hannah Palmer, a third grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Port Huron, the SC4 student-run newspaper the Erie Square Gazette (ESG) have been visiting the school teaching the children how to be a journalist.
After the Erie Square Gazette’s Coats for Kids campaign last year, the ESG received thank you letters from Palmer’s third grade class. Some of the students had received some of the donated coats.
“Hannah and I talked. She shared that her students didn’t get some of the breaks in life that other kids had, so I decided to do something about it, thus the idea of Erie Square Gazette goes to Woodrow Wilson was born, ” said Twana Pinskey, Editor-in-Chief of the Erie Square Gazette.
The class learns how to write articles and even make their own paper, the Palmer Town News.
“The support that SC4 has given in this project has been incredible. Shawn Starkey has readily assisted with anything I have needed. He even helps by getting the paper printed for us,” said Pinskey.
According to Pinskey, starting in January the Erie Square Gazette will visit Cleveland Elementary School in Port Huron, where they will be able to extend the program there with two fifth grade classes.
After speaking with Pinskey, Paul Miller, a SC4 adjunct instructor, advisor for the school’s radio program WSGR-FM (91.3), and the host for the WPHM Morning Show (1380 am) at “Radio First” is looking into expanding the program to include the radio broadcast segment.
“I think it’s a great idea and it sounds like everything the ESG has done has gone really well. So hopefully we can replicate that with the radio program,” said Miller.
The most recent trip to Woodrow Wilson was on Nov. 30, 2011.
Zachary Penzien, cartoonist and Production Editor for the Erie Square Gazette, went on the visit for the first time.
“I was super psyched when I asked them to draw whatever they liked, and a little girl started drawing ‘Pokémon.’ Best thing ever,” said Penzien.
Clay Kimball, a dual enrolled student at SC4 and Northern High School as well as Webmaster for the Erie Square Gazette, also went on the recent visit.
“The kids, they really look up to us. It feels good knowing that we’re helping out the next generation. I’m glad that I get to be part of this great experience,” said Kimball.
Rachel Kobylas, Global Awareness Club President, participated in one of the first visits to Woodrow Wilson.
“It was really cool to be able to utilize the experiences that we’ve had in college to encourage these children to move forward with their own hopes and dreams, but it was also really amazing to be able to be right there, sitting on the floor with them and sharing their dreams,” said Kobylas.
“My favorite memory hands down was when we delivered the first ever issue to the children. A little boy named Ethan saw his photo in that first issue. He looked at me and says, ‘Miss Twana that says Ethan, that’s me!’ It was an empowering experience for the child to see his name in print. You could see the pride and confidence in the way he carried himself. I had to turn away for a minute because I was getting choked up,” said Pinskey.
“It was a powerful experience twofold, for the children to get this experience from these college students of various age groups and diversity to come into their room, but also for these kids who are 8, 9, or 10 years old pouring their hearts out, such innocence and these amazing dreams that they have and what they want to be when they grow up,” said Kobylas.
On the recent trip to Woodrow Wilson, Hannah Palmer revealed a brand new $250 camera for the class that was purchased via a grant, to encourage the program.
The completed work of the third grade class Woodrow Wilson Elementary can be viewed on the Erie Square Gazette’s website at www. esgonline. org. There is a link to the Palmer Town News in the heading.