MIDDLEBURY -Five students from Beeman Elementary School in New Haven visited the office of New Market Press, publisher of the Eagle and Rutland Tribune on Dec. 2. The students, in the fifth and sixth grades, are part of a six-week-long apprenticeship program in journalism. The teacher of the program is Ms. Annette Carter.
"I am learning about newspapers. We are working on a tabloid and class newspaper," said Morgan Pratt, a sixth grader at the school.
Students met with Louis Varricchio, managing editor, of the newspapers. Varricchio discussed how newspapers are created, how photographers and writers interact, how editorials are submitted, and how advertising generates funds for newspapers.
Students had various experiences as part of their apprenticeship:
"The reason we're here is we want to get better at writing," said Danielle Morse, a sixth grader.
"I am learning about how to form my writing and make it exciting. My goal is to be more expressive in my writing," said Jackie Reiss, a fifth grader.
"I love to write a lot and elaborate on my work. I want to make my work more interesting and make people want to read it," said Alicia Stone, a sixth grader.
"I like to write because it's fun. I like to write about what happens to me. I keep a journal," said Ellie Gevry.
Students planned to take information gleaned from their tour of the newspaper office and write articles about their visit. The students plan to create a school newspaper as part of the apprenticeship program.
"I am using newspapers to match students to their needs and strengths," said teacher Annette Carter. "The students are powerful writers and we want to fine-tune their skills. Form habits of good writing in six weeks. We don't use dead words, dead verbs-we put them to rest,"
The students signed contracts to meet program goals which include news writing, writing style, teamwork, self direction, and the creation of school publications.
(A photo of the students will appear in next week's paper.)