Thursday, March 11, 2021 || By Raneen El-Barbarawi || @maywoodnews
In an attempt to enhance literacy and to discuss larger events in America, eighth-grade students at Lindop Elementary School, 2400 S. 18th Ave. in Broadview, have launched a student newspaper.
The newspaper, which they started in March 2020, engages them in current events while also discussing local events that are occurring in the school and community. The newspaper was started by the school’s librarian, but the students have put their own impressions on the publication.
John Knobbe, the assistant principal at Lindop, explained that the student paper began during remote learning to get students interested in current events, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There’s a lot of meaning and feeling in it; you could feel it,” he said. “It’s definitely current and makes you think. It makes the reader think. Even as an adult, you think about the perspective of an eighth grade student going through a pandemic and dealing with all these issues.”
Knobbe explained how the newspaper grants students the freedom to discuss relevant issues.
“There have been problems in the United States. The thing about it, is those problems have always been there, but they really came to the surface this past year,” he said. “These are generations of kids coming up and they’re going to be our future leaders. By understanding how processes work, they can fight and put together things for the future to take care of those problems.
“I believe personally that every opinion matters. Every person’s voice matters and all voices have to come together if we want change,” said Jarrell David, a seventh-grader at Lindop who is the commissioner of student affairs and also a writer for the newspaper. “I’m a proud person who supports the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. That’s why I believe the First Amendment in the newspaper is such a big thing in the community everywhere.”
David explained that they worked on a podcast that allowed them to interview administrators for a piece that was published in the student paper.
The focus on literacy extended even further to a book reading. Students read “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi in order to deepen their understanding of the history and causes of racism in America. The newspaper covered the reading, too.
“With any book, it’s about putting yourself in perspective of different people’s points of views and events that are happening,” Knobbe said. “It’s about keeping kids engaged in current events. When you’re reading books like that, they’re very meaningful. The kids can really have that personal experience because they’re living through different things that are in their current lives right now.”
“It gives us our voices,” David said of the newspaper.