Colorado kids immersed in reporting at Youth Journalism Day

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Posted Wed, Aug 3, 2016

Youth Journalism Day future journalist put in some lab time to write their article on deadline. [Photo: Jonathan Rose]

Future reporters, participating on Youth Journalism Day, put in some lab time to write their articles on deadline. [Photo: Jonathan Rose]

DENVER, Auraria Campus— Seventy-five school-aged children from across the Front Range gathered at Metropolitan State University’s Auraria campus Thursday for the Denver Post’s annual Youth Journalism Day.

The children, ages 8 to 13, spent the morning learning journalism fundamentals from MSU professors, Denver Post staff and a freelance photographer. Then, as teams, they put those fundamentals into action.

Each team experienced a total immersion “writing experience.” The experiences, which ranged from touring the school’s hospitality program to a science and technology workshop sponsored by Lego, were then written up on deadline, and the articles posted at YourHub/NextGen, the Post’s youth blogging platform, in real time.

The day was fast and furious.

“What idiot would think of doing such a thing,” asked a smiling Dana Plewka, the Post’s educational services & youth content manager who has been coordinating the event for over 10 years. “That stress is in the moment, but it’s that adrenaline too. And also just seeing the kids seeing the looks on their faces…it’s so terrific to see them kind of hit their stride.”

Youth Journalism Day is sponsored every summer by the Denver Post as a one-day, intense and fun learning experience for kids. [Photo: Victoria Edstedt]

Youth Journalism Day is sponsored every summer by the Denver Post as a one-day, intense and fun learning experience for kids. [Photo: Victoria Edstedt]

Hannah Grober, a student who was placed on the Lego assignment, didn’t seem phased. “I thought it was very fun and innovative,” she said about her experience.

Cameron Hood, a student from the same group had a similar sentiment. “It was very fun and enjoyable,” she said.

Youth Journalism Day is sponsored every summer by the Post as a “one-day, intense and fun learning experience for kids.”

“My main goal is—at the end of the day—the kids have the confidence to go and do something that they wouldn’t have done without this day,” said Plewka. “In one day we give them the foundation to have them feel comfortable enough to go and talk to a total stranger, to write about it, to deal with the stress of working on deadline, to actually produce something and have pride in that and feel good about that.

Plewka adds, “Yes, I’m passionate about journalism, but just the fact that at the beginning of the day they would never have been able to accomplish what they did at the end of the day and that’s pretty amazing to me.”

About Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose is a Denver-area freelance writer.

View all posts by Jonathan Rose

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