J2 students using media to raise awareness of issues

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Journalism, Technology

By Ashley Renowden
Staff writer

Journalism 2 students are not just writing for the Cougar News Blog, or even for the local newspaper. Starting in April, the students in the class each thought up issues that were important to them. With these topics they wrote editorials, created Web sites, used social media, and even reached out to people who are big in those areas.
For instance, eighth graders Layla Heninger and Samantha Sobel picked puppy mills for their topic. They e-mailed Michael Schroeder and got a whole paragraph written about them in his newsletter. Schroeder is a man who has a Web site dedicated to making puppy mills illegal and is trying to spread awareness and rescue puppies.
“We have already two students get their work mentioned in another publication. Sammi Sobel and Layla Heninger, who are promoting making puppy mills illegal, were mentioned in the newsletter of a group called End Misery,” said Jason Davis, Journalism 2 teacher. “It’s really cool to see my students get excited about what they’re learning and when they get a new follower on Twitter.”
There are a several different topics including third world problems, global warming, effects of domestic violence, and poaching. These topics were decided by the students. It was their choice to what they wanted to write and what they researched.
“I’m doing this topic because I feel that it’s important,” said Layla Heninger. “And because people need to recognize that this is wrong and needs to be illegal.”
Starting with research, each student worked up the passion about each of their topics and are really getting into each of them.
“Students benefit because they are in charge of their own learning. They chose their topic,and they are deciding how they learn,” said Mr. Davis. “When students get that choice, they tend to be more interested and engaged in the learning and will hang on to the information longer.”
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