February 2012…I have been a staff member of my schools’ healthy newspapers for six years—first the Healthy Comet at Cole Manor Elementary School and now the Bulldog Bulletin at East Norriton Middle School, both in Norristown Area School District.
Working on the newspaper makes me feel like a real reporter. I have liked how adults take me seriously. I feel our newspaper helps other kids get interested in health.
I have learned a lot. I am comfortable interviewing people and I learned over the years to plan for what is needed to make the story successful. For example, it’s important to listen carefully for good quotes.
When I am assigned a topic, I try my hardest to make it perfect. I like to write long stories but have learned that it is not the length that matters, but the facts and sources they contain.
One of the stories I was most proud to write involved traveling to Washington, D.C., with other healthy newspaper reporters. We covered a major conference about preventing obesity and interviewed then-Acting U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Steven K. Galson.
More recently, I wrote a story about two healthy salad recipes that I created. After reading the story, a student said he wanted to make them too. I felt proud to write a story that someone paid close attention to.
If the school did not have a healthy paper, the recipes and health facts and tips would probably be lost for other students.
—By Elena Tzivekis, Bulldog Bulletin reporter