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|Project Title: ||"The Buzz" Literary Magazine|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Sky View Middle School - Leominster|
|Contact Name:||Ann Boucher|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
"The Buzz", a 30 page literary magazine, involved a core group of forty seventh grade students. Contributions to the magazine were made by students outside of the 40-student group, thereby serving the creative/social needs of the entire Sky View Middle School community.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The need was not one in the greater Leominster community, but rather a need in our school environment. Each Thursday and Friday, we have an x-block for our last period. A number of students needed structure to this time, as well as a time to use their varied talents. The students had a lot of energy, and we sought a way for them to have a positive experience in school that they would take pride in. We thought of a small business, but we also wanted to give students authentic experiences in ELA (interviewing, writing) to support what was happening in the classroom. As a result of student ideas and lots of conversations, our school magazine was born.
|Service Component: |
The students began working on this CSL project back in September, and are presently still involved with the distribution/selling, as well as the decision making process of who in the community should we support with our profits. They worked for approximately 50 minutes very Thursday and Friday, as well as putting in some before school and a few after school hours. So in a nutshell they worked for about 52 - 55 hours each. Forty students worked on "The Buzz", but it was a schoolwide effort to contribute creative literary pieces, artwork, and participate in interviews by both staff and students. Our school has about 700 students, grades 5 - 8. The magazine was well received by students and staff alike. We currently have $50.00 in profits the students are deciding on who to support in the community. We are certain the donation will be appreciated.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
The framework connections were as follows: English Language Arts - Composition Strand, Standard 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and Language Strand, Standard 2 and 4.. Media Strand, Standard 26 and 27.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Although teachers at Leominster may have introduced the idea of a student project that would utilize x-block time, students were catalysts for The Buzz because of their desire to express themselves through writing. Students were responsible for all of the content in the magazine as well as planning for production and marketing its sale.
|Student Reflection Component: |
We did not do an actual piece of reflection in written form with the stduents. We did engage in lots of informal conversations with the students on how they felt about the process, product, and would they care to be involved with this type of CSL project again. A majority of the students found this experience positive and would do it again if possible. They said it was " a lot of fun", and made school "fun".
|Community Partners Involved: |
Potential community partners for a project like this could include a local newspaper or publishing company. Local colleges and universities also often have student literary magazines and could offer a compelling partnership.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
We had a celebratory pizza party for the entire group of 40 students involved with the publication of "The Buzz". After the panel of 4 students returned from their evening of petitioning for grant money, and told the group the good news, that we had money to move forward and publish a second magazine, they chose this form of celebration. We also presented a Sky View sack to Mrs. Wironen, our CSL guru, who guided the group on how to apply for grant money at this celebration. Certificates will be given to the seventh graders who participated at their end of the year "graduation".
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
Our magazine received a $1,000. grant from United Way/Youth Venture/Mount Wachusett Community College. The student body at Sky View was very receptive to the product as well. We sold approximately 350 copies of "The Buzz", which is about half of the student body.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Meeting deadline dates for publication was a challenge. Now that we have experienced the need for keeping a tight schedule we will work with a calendar which is specifically planned to have lots of time available for not only the creative process, but also the editing, layout, and transportation of the magazine to and from the printer.
The other problem we came up against is keeping the magazine within the budget. We also had trouble with keeping the magazine to a certain amount of pages. We could not go over 30 pages, otherwise the printer would have to do a "second run". This was a brand new concept to us, but now that we know we are limited to 30 pages we will
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.