Would you like to be involved?
We are looking for volunteers to mentor students in our partner high schools and to work in the management and expansion of our project.
If you are interested, please contact us.
Flora Peir, Assistant Metro Editor, The New York Times: I worked with Journalists in Schools for two semesters, helping students work on individual articles. With my first class, I worked primarily with three students who needed help staying on task. Their assignments lasted several weeks, and I would help edit each bit of progress, while suggesting questions or organizational ideas for the next segment. For my second class, I worked with a greater variety of students, and their assignments were largely completed by the time I became involved in the editing process. While working with both groups of students, we covered not just writing but also journalistic principles like balance and the importance of attribution. I had a great time helping out with this program. Serving as an assistant mentor allowed me to have all the fun and none of the stress involved in working with teenagers. I also had a great time getting to know the teachers and learning more about the local education system — something that any young parent or future employer should take the time to do.
Gabe Roth, Vice President, SKDKnickerbocker: Journalists in Schools is a unique volunteer program, in that it allows students and mentors to collaborate creatively on news-related projects that are outside the typical “3 R’s” of schooling. Of course, assisting with grammar and AP style is part of being a journalism mentor, but the effectiveness of this program comes in unlocking students’ ability to analyze and report on the world around them in a way that’s relevant to their peers — and often surprises themselves. More than an article or a column, the result builds confidence in students — a worthy endeavor.
Megan Hess, Assistant Editor, Mashable: When I moved to New York City to pursue my journalism career, I was looking for ways to get involved outside the newsroom. With Journalists in Schools, I immediately found myself wrapped up in its mission: bringing a journalism education to students in New York’s public high schools. During the six months I spent mentoring students at the Manhattan Theater Lab High School, I helped students think about multimedia angles to their stories. I noticed a burning desire to report and write in many of the students — a drive that otherwise would not have been satisfied. I recall one student whose story was about the shortage of storage space at school (the students did not have lockers). A brief class discussion about her piece brought up other issues: bias toward school athletes, who did receive lockers, and classroom thefts (students often left gear in classroom closets, to avoid carrying around bulky winter jackets). The excitement I saw in the students’ eyes as they discussed these issues — issues that affected their own communities — was one I know from my own work. The students were driven not only to get to the bottom of these issues (Did the principal know? What was her proposed course of action?), but also to make things better (Could they start a petition or raise money to build lockers?). The students I worked with had received an education in the traditional sense. But Journalists in Schools was able to bring in an education from beyond the confines of the classroom.