CHAMPLAIN In its most recent effort to support students in their pursuit of a career in journalism, Denton Publications Inc. has made a $500 donation to the journalism class at Northeastern Clinton Central School. Jeremiah S. Papineau, editor of the North Countryman and the Clinton County Free Trader Today, two weekly newspapers for Denton Publications, recently presented a check for $500 to the school on behalf of the corporation. The donation was used toward the purchase of five digital cameras and camera accessories which included cases, software, memory cards, card readers, batteries, battery chargers, and all necessary cables to ensure compatibility with the schools computers. Denton Publications is proud to be able to help students on their path to become great writers and photographers, Papineau said of the donation. Its important to foster the students career interests now while theyre still in high school so they will carry those interests into institutions of higher learning and the workforce. Denton Publications first began working with the NCCS journalism class last year. Papineau was invited to be a presenter at the schools annual career day where he had the opportunity to speak with several students from the class and others wishing to pursue a career in journalism after high school. The students had many questions about the journalism field that you cant necessarily find an answer to in a classroom setting, said Papineau. Many wanted to know about things like how it feels to have your work published or what it takes to ask the tough questions on a controversial issue. The classroom offers great insight to the mechanics of writing and reporting, but its real-world experience that takes that education one step further. Not long after speaking at career day, Papineau coordinated with journalism class instructor Jessica Mehrman, who welcomed the idea of having students learn from someone who works in the field. Having Papineau speak with the class and provide answers to the students questions has made class more relevant and realistic to them, Mehrman said. The donation from Denton Publications was more than she said she could have ever expected to come from the partnership. The journalism class and I were thrilled to receive our five brand-new digital cameras, Mehrman said. In previous years, we have not had the opportunity to experience photojournalism to its fullest extent. We had one digital camera at our disposal, which was actually on loan from our library. The donation has allowed for Mehrmans class to more extensively explore photojournalism, she said. The class has already received a photo-essay assignment, on which the students are already working. The goal of the project will be to tell a story through the use of quality photos. Students will take photographs during school or their free time. Now, that we have five digital cameras at our disposal, allowing students to borrow a camera for a night is not a big deal, said Mehrman. One of Mehrmans students, Andrew J. Matott, began interning with Denton Publications over the summer in anticipation of his taking the journalism class this fall. Matott has utilized his own digital camera when covering assignments for the North Countryman, which is a luxury not all students have, he said. Not only do a lot of students not own digital cameras to use as they emerge into the journalism world, but our school also lacked the funding to spot us capital for the devices, said Matott. That is when the philanthropy of Denton Publications stepped up and helped out a bunch of aspiring students. Not only does it provide the students with nice new equipment with which to work, but it gives them a glimpse into what it takes to produce work of high enough quality to be published in a real newspaper, said high school principal Stephen Gratto, who commended the partnership between the newspaper corporation and the school. Upon hearing of the difference the partnership and donation has made, Denton Publications owner and publisher Daniel E. Alexander said it is a privilege to be in a position to assist young journalists in the development of the careers. Its important for businesses like ours to be involved in the education process, said Alexander. Our youth represent our future. Assisting them with tools, insight, guidance and direction is just plain common sense and good business. We hope through this donation that the resources now available to the class will allow them to expand their experiences and hone their skills, he added.