The Young Authors Program for Fourth and Fifth graders is an introduction to plain old-fashioned journalism and the stories of those who have left a lasting mark on the profession.
In reading biographies of such journalists as Walter Lippman, E.B. White, Helen Thomas, Gwen Ifill, Tom Wolfe and Hunter Thompson the Young Authors not only gain an understanding of journalism’s history but build a rich and expansive vocabulary.
Students invented two games to test each other’s knowledge on the journalists and the new words they learn through the biographies.
“Who Am I” involves a selected student, who shares facts about a Journalist while the others try to guess “who”.
“Sophisticated Words” (based on new words) gives each student a chance to share definitions while the others figure out the winning word. The Young Authors’ favorite words are candor, sophisticated and espionage.
The Young Authors Program emphasizes conceptualization, collaboration, curiosity, research, sources, writing styles, writing, editing and revising.
Vero Communiqué pioneered the Young Authors Program for the 2018-2019 academic year. Seven students at Glendale Elementary School in Vero Beach, Florida comprised the first class.
A major highlight of the Program was when the Young Authors’ received their very own copies of The Elements of Style. As American poet, Dorothy Parker 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.”
Young Authors is expanding to more elementary schools in 2020.
Through a new relationship with Sebastian River High School, International Baccalaureate students are participating in the Programs as mentors for the elementary students. They will not only have the opportunity to learn a new curriculum, but also to work with fourth and fifth graders teaching and coaching at four participating schools.
Young Authors was recognized by The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ Florida) who paid for a visit from their representative Wesley Wright to travel from Tallahassee to observe a Young Authors class in the Spring of 2019.
According to Mr. Wright, “We’ve never seen anything like it.” Here is a link to his report.
Please consider a contribution to help us sustain the
Young Authors Program.