Journalism abounds at Rosa Parks | Editor's Notebook
By ANDY NYSTROM
Redmond Reporter Editor
January 17, 2013 · 3:31 PM
Rosa Parks Elementary School up on Redmond Ridge is usually in the news about being overcrowded with students.
I’d been up there for a night meeting in September to speak with parents and Superintendent Traci Pierce about the issue. Everyone I met with was talkative and passionate about wanting students to learn in a comfortable atmosphere.
The students are fervent about learning, as well.
On Monday morning, I returned to Rosa Parks and met this time with third-grade instructor Alyssa Wachtveitl and 26 of her students to discuss journalism in her newspaper class.
When I arrived, Wachtveitl handed me a copy of their impressive paper, The Rosa Parks Reporter, and I sat in front of the class for the next 45 minutes and answered an array of the students’ questions about the newspaper business.
I’ve done this sort of Q-and-A thing before — with both adults and kids — and I must say that this was one of the most inspiring meetings I’ve had yet.
Right from the start, students raised their hands to ask their intelligent questions — and for the full 45 minutes, I was talking nonstop about reporting, writing, organizing a work week, meeting deadlines, taking photos and more.
I hope I sounded intelligent myself and maybe inspired some of these students to take a crack at a journalism career.
As I looked out at the students — many of whom were wearing pajamas to mark Spirit Week — I realized that it was around third grade when I began writing stories, as well. I first chronicled my youth soccer team’s results in The Dribble, our league’s magazine. I then moved on to writing reports on rock bands for my school’s newspaper in sixth grade, and continued on my journalistic path in high school, college and beyond.
From what I saw of the 26 young scribes at Rosa Parks on Monday, I know the future of journalism will be in good hands with these students.
And with Wachtveitl leading the way as editor-in-chief of her classroom, I’m sure there will be plenty of solid stories in The Rosa Parks Reporter to come and, of course, in the publications that these students choose to write for when they leave Rosa Parks and take on the world.
Contact Redmond Reporter Editor Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5050.