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Who said the newspaper is a thing of the past?
Certainly not a group of students at New London Academy.
That crew of talented and gifted students have been busily crafting a newspaper during class time. It isn’t your run-of-the-mill newspaper, either. It’s an issue that is completely dedicated to honoring America’s veterans and it is titled, aptly enough, “Stand up and Salute.”
To be published, appropriately, on November 11, the newspaper will be distributed to the student body at NLA, as well as to the veterans who have been invited to the school that day.
With that Veterans Day deadline looming, the students have been toiling mightily under the supervision of their teacher, Kelly Steele.
The dozen students (from grades three through five) plan to go to press with the fruits of their labor two days before the holiday.
“We’ve been working the past couple of weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” noted Steele. “The students have been working on research, editing, writing and graphics.”
Steele added that the newspaper will include a variety of items, including a poem, word search, articles, columns and interviews.
Steele also invited a writer from the Bedford Bulletin to work with the class on topics such as writing effective lead sentences and interviewing techniques.
She gave a preview of some of the students’ efforts ahead of press time. One of the students, fifth grader Jesse Lee, wrote a piece for Stand up and Salute, titled “Veterans Are Worth More Than Our Hearts.”
“(Veterans) fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All they care about is keeping freedom and peace for our country, not for themselves.
“Veterans have fought so bravely in so many wars, we cannot repay for everything they have done for us.
“They have sacrificed so much for their country; all we can do is hope. Hope for safety, hope for their loyalty, hope for their friendship and hope for their lives.
“So, just remember whenever you see a US veteran, give them a US military salute.”
The class learning objective was two-pronged: learn about veterans and learn about assembling a newspaper.
The students didn’t have to search far to find resources to assist in their learning. Relatives and friends were ready sources of first-hand experience with the military.
Nicholas Shenton, one of the students, had the pleasure of interviewing his grandfather, Boyd Hubbard, and his great-grandfather, Woodrow Hubbard. Both are veterans, with the elder Hubbard having served in the Navy during World War II.
“I learned a lot about them that I didn’t know (before),” said Shenton.
The young man also came away with an appreciation for the newspaper business. “I definitely learned about what has to go into a newspaper and what readers expect from a newspaper,” Shenton said. “We kept (our fellow) students in mind when writing our stories.”
Another who enjoyed putting the paper together was fourth grader Carrie Craig, though she was unwilling to state that becoming a journalist was her career ambition. Nevertheless, “I’ve enjoyed working with my friends on the articles,” said Craig. “It’s hard work. We have deadlines that have been hard to meet.”
Still, she added with a smile, “We’ll get it out on time.”
One of the writers Craig has been working with is Annalise Eaton. “I liked working on the newspaper,” Eaton stated. “It was fun brainstorming together...and you need a lot of detail for a newspaper article.”
Eaton also noted that the class work wasn’t all about having fun, though.
“I learned you should honor veterans because they did so much for our country,” said Eaton. “It’s good for people to learn more about Veterans Day. It’s not just something we celebrate.”
Perhaps a good way for folks to learn more about veterans and why we honor them this week might be to pick up a copy of this group’s efforts.
It’ll be on the newsstand at New London Academy.
On Veterans Day, of course.