Students at the Kennedy School Celebrate Their Own Newspaper
Getting published in a newspaper isn’t easy, but don’t ask the students of Robert Kennedy School, who have been publishing their work since the sixth grade. Eight students at P.S. 169M got to celebrate their publishing and personal achievements, which were displayed in the latest issue of Education Update, at a launch ceremony held recently at the school.
Parents, teachers, and other local members of the community came out in support of the students, who received awards for their achievements in journalism. Included were psychologists and psychiatrists from the Counseling Center, housed in the school and affiliated with Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Several sponsors at the ceremony included Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Citibank, Le Pain Quotidien, Staples, and Starbucks. The manager of Best Buy offered gift cards, while Citibank provided gift bags with school supplies for all the students. Le Pain Quotidien provided delicious food for the event.
Students were awarded with certificates for completing one year of the Middle School Journalism Initiative, which gave students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience outside of their classroom on 88th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Education Update’s publishers, Dr. Pola Rosen and Adam Sugerman, who founded the journalism initiative, worked closely with the charismatic class to give them a greater insight of New York City and the journalism field.
Siobhan McNulty, the class’s teacher, made a few remarks during the ceremony. “These students really worked hard to improve their writing and really did their best for Education Update,” McNulty said.
“Perhaps most importantly, the journalism initiative has cultivated a sense of pride in their writing from the moment they saw their own writing in print,” added McNulty in a piece she wrote in the last issue of Education Update.
Principal Susan Finn also spoke at the ceremony. “As a principal, you always want to raise the bar for your kids, and they really put their heart into it.” Marsha Steinberg, assistant principal of P.S. 169M, delivered opening remarks.
Over the course of the journalism initiative, the students took several trips to destinations around New York City, including the Animal Medical Center, a visit with Chancellor Joel Klein at the Tweed Courthouse, and an education publisher, the McGraw-Hill Companies, to learn about the trajectory of a book from the time it is created to its arrival on a school desk.
Felipe Pau, a student in the class who wrote an article for their completed newspaper, which they named Kennedy Kids News, was very grateful for the opportunity to participate. “I got to express myself in the newspaper articles. It made me a better writer. Thank you, Dr. Rosen,” Pau said.
Zain Adams, another student, wrote, “When I opened that newspaper and saw my face, I felt famous. My class and I loved being in the newspaper.”
Richard Henkin, the school’s guidance counselor, said he is very proud to see his students improve so much over one year, and communicated yet another grateful comment from a student. “I just spoke to Felipe. He said today was the best day of his life.” #