Society of Professional Journalists Sends Representative to Glendale Elementary, Vero Beach, FL.

 

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Wesley Wright, Center

On March 14, 2019 Mr. Wesley Write travelled from Tallahassee to applaud and better understand the Glendale Young Authors, a group comprising six fourth an fifth graders.

The group has been meeting every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon since October 2 [except holiday time] and has published three magazines; the third just released; with 175 printed.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Mr. Wright is receiving a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Evaluation at FSU.  He has been a Free-Lance Reporter at Chalkbeat Colorado, the Sun Sentinel, and the Virginia Gazette.

“SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 7,500 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.”

Prominent guests included a current Vero Beach City Counselor and former Mayor, two School District of Indian River County Board members, two representatives from the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation, the Founder of Pioneering Change, two Board members of Vero Communiqué, a Special Needs Advocate and the Glendale Principal Adam Faust, who was appropriately dressed for an evening event.

 

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Glendale Principal Mr. Adam Faust.

“I am here because SPJ became aware of what you are doing to pioneer journalism by having students learn it by doing it at such a young age.  But regardless of age, it is an innovative educational program that we want to support.  This is something that is taught at higher levels of education, and not even in this way,” said Mr. Wright.

“SPJ wants to help promote and replicate the program.  We have all kinds of ideas.”

 

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The curriculum is based on plain old-fashioned journalism, rather than fake news, conspiracy theories, lies and insults; coming from all angles.

The emphasis has, on one hand, been on studying journalists including Walter Lippman,  E. B. White, Helen Thomas, Gwen Ifill, Tom Wolfe and Horace Greeley.  And on the other hand from reading their biographies the students identify sophisticated words.

Their favorite words are “Candor,” Sophisticated,” and “Espionage.”

The students have a “Who am I Game” and a “Sophisticated Words Game.”

The Program emphasizes curiosity, research, sources, writing/rewriting, collaboration and conceptualization.

The highlight of the session was the student’s excitement when they received their own copies of The Elements of Style. 

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K. L. Cogar and other Young Authors receiving their own copy of Elements of Style.

This a a book rarely introduced even in high school.

The original was composed by William Strunk Jr. in 1918, comprising eight “elementary rules of usage”, ten “elementary principles of composition”, “a few matters of form”, a list of 49 “words and expressions commonly misused”, and a list of 57 “words often misspelled”.

E. B. White greatly enlarged and revised the book for publication by Macmillan in 1959. That was the first edition of the so-called “Strunk & White“, which Time named in 2011 as one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.[2]

Upon its release, Charles Poor, writing for The New York Times, called it “a splendid trophy for all who are interested in reading and writing.”[15] American poet Dorothy Parker has, regarding the book, said:

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style.”

 

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The Glendale Young Authors program is made possible by Vero Communiqué, a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Online News Organization.

 

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