Middle School Students Explore Journalism Opportunities at Workshop

Middle School Students Explore Journalism Opportunities at Workshop
Shawnee Mission School District

Budding journalists from all Shawnee Mission middle schools gathered to hone their reporting and publishing skills this fall.

These students attended the second-annual Shawnee Mission School District Journalism Workshop, held at the Center for Academic Achievement. Journalism teachers, high school journalism students, and professionals currently working in the field were on-hand to present sessions and serve as guides throughout the day.

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It was a chance for students to explore opportunities they can pursue not only in high school, but also as they plan for college and career. During the workshop, middle school students were able to hear from a panel of experts about how journalism training in Shawnee Mission prepared them for college and careers.

Students had opportunities to practice reporting and photography skills, design and layout, and also participated in the press pool of a simulated press conference.

“The students are excited about the possibilities,” Rachel Basden, Indian Hills Middle School journalism teacher said. “That is the whole point of this. Getting to practice with high school students, getting to work in this building, makes them feel like they are getting to be journalists as opposed to just learning how to be journalists.”

Serving as a panelist, Randy Withers, SM Northwest graduate and communications and marketing manager for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, encouraged students to try as many different activities and classes as they can while in school.

“This is helping people learn about potential career tracks earlier,” Withers said. “It sparks something sometimes. You can learn a little more about it and possibly get paid for doing something you enjoy doing and I think there is a lot of value in that.”