After a long hiatus, the latest issue of Stewart Middle School’s healthy newspaper, the Healthy Times, currently is in production. It last was published in 2012.
Dr. Deminico, the school’s instructional support teacher, told student reporters that she is excited to see the paper return. She answered questions about her previous experience with the paper and what she’s hoping the paper will bring to the Stewart students. Her answers have been lightly edited for space.
Question: Please describe your prior experience with Healthy NewsWorks?
Dr. Deminico: I started with Healthy NewsWorks in 2012 with my class of second and third graders at Cole Manor Elementary. Watching them learn to be journalists was very exciting. The year after, I became an instructional support teacher and was able to see the program grow throughout our school and throughout our district.
Question: Why did you want to bring the healthy newspaper back to Stewart?
Dr. Deminico: I have witnessed the effect the program has on students firsthand. Having students learn to be writers and investigators in a relevant way is so impactful for students today.
Question: What do you want students to know about the paper?
Dr. Deminico: I want them to know how much they can learn from the process and how fun it is! Interviewing peers, teachers and administrations and creating a real paper is really awesome.
Question: What do you hope the reporters learn by being involved with the paper?
Dr. Deminico: I hope they learn to be better writers. I hope they learn real world skills, and I hope they learn they have a voice and can make a difference in the world.
Question: What do you hope readers [other students] learn?
Dr. Deminico: I hope readers see what students can do and accomplish. I hope they learn more about real world topics from their peers.
Question: How does the paper benefit the Stewart community?
Dr. Deminico: The paper benefits our community because it gives our students the opportunity to write, create and take action. It gives us the opportunity to partner with an organization that enhances our literacy programs and connects the school world to the real world.
Question: How should the teachers share the paper with students? Families?
Dr. Deminico: I hope teachers will utilize the paper as a supplement to lessons in science, social studies, and language arts. Students love to read the paper, especially since it is created by their peers. I know we will also be sure our families are aware and have access to the paper so they can view it at home. The home school connection is essential, and I know our families will truly appreciate Healthy NewsWorks’ presence at our school.
Illustration by Angelina, eighth grade, Stewart Middle School.