We are an urban school that is 87 percent minority. The school is in a middle-class neighborhood of Los Angeles, with a population that is 56 percent Title One. The journalism program publishes a newspaper that is read by the entire school and distributed in our local community.
Many of my journalism students are on the federal lunch program, but they work hard to publish a student newspaper that can compete with the best of them.
They do everything from writing the stories, taking the photos, laying out out the paper, putting stories online, selling advertising and raising funds to help subsidize the cost of the convention.
The majority of the students at our school qualify for the Federal lunch program, yet intellectually and academically, they can compete with the best. As their journalism adviser, I work my hardest to make sure they have the same opportunities as wealthier students and school districts in different parts of the country. With that in mind, we raise funds all year to bring down the cost of the annual journalism convention, so that more kids can go. Almost every year we take one or two high school students who have never been on a plane before. Participating in the national high school journalism convention is often a life-changing experience. They see other newspapers, participate in workshops, hear professional journalists. They come back to school so energized.
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