Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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Young journalists find their voice 

Arbuckle Elementary Bulldogs have a lot to say about their experiences in journalism. Students in third through fifth grades were invited to create “The Bark,” the first printing of their newspaper, which is due to hit newsstands soon.

Kelly Garcia, fourth grade teacher at Arbuckle Elementary, volunteered for the pilot program. She spent more than two days training so she could guide her students. Garcia was not the only one to put in extra hours. Garcia commended her young journalists, who worked outside of school hours, weekends, spring and summer breaks to get get the project completed. 

The theme for the paper will be “careers.” 

Students wrote about various local professionals that they, themselves, interviewed. There will also be a review of a local play that the children saw, kid-friendly recipes, and even a sports section. 

The 13 students invited to be a part of the experience were Migrant Education students needing to improve their English Language Art skills. 

Garcia is aware of the curriculum standards. 

“One thing I can say from a teacher’s point of view, this program is an amazing asset to the kids as far as the things they are learning. And the writing skills are things that fold over into helping them in the classroom on a regular basis,” said Garcia. 

With the help of Rachel Goldstein, Migrant Education Instructional Program Specialist, the paper will be written in English and portions will be Spanish. 

“That way all parents will be able to read and at least understand a portion of the paper,” said Garcia.

Watching the students conduct interviews, Goldstein noted the students’ social development. 

“The kids have learned so much poise, practice as they interacted with adults. They have to present themselves nicely; they have to articulate; they have to stay engaged,” said Goldstein.

The students were able to select the newspaper’s title. 

“We talked about what “The Bark” meant,” Garcia said. “This is their voice, as being Bulldogs, this is their voice.” ■

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