Castle Hayne Elementary-The Future Faces of Journalism

Karleigh Quinn, 11th Grade BC ECHS

Teen Freelance Writer (Karleigh Quinn)

What do you think of when you hear journalism? Perhaps a political debate or a local interviewer. Would a classroom filled with fourth and fifth grade students normally come to mind? A local Elementary school is on a mission to change this. 

On Friday, January twentieth, I interviewed the student journalism team at Castle Hayne Elementary. Led by school social worker Candy Robbins who originally began the club with no background in journalism. When asked what her favorite part about her club was, she stated that “It’s all really exciting because not only are you working with a group of students that are learning from you, you are learning from them.”

 While I knew that this group of students would be highly driven and intelligent, I was truly surprised by the amount of joy and professionalism these young journalists already held. Writing, Art and the drive to research and learn are only some of the things needed to create a journalist.  The students who participate in this student journalism program are skilled and driven in their writing, with the mission to publish a full paper each semester, each time with a new group of students. With 9 fourth graders and 6 fifth graders, the paper is heavily student run, with articles coming from common interests of the club members and school events. The club is able to decide everything from who writes what, to the overall look and format of their final paper. 

This club’s original intention was to allow students to express their interest in the world around them, however, it has turned into so much more. These students have inspired adults in their local community to read and be invested in school events and their writing. This club has not only impacted the students writing abilities and relationship skills, but is also having a positive impact on school attendance.  Having something as important as a club to look forward to gives many students a reason to go to school, and even allows them to enjoy it. 

While these writers may be young, many of them are already interested in pursuing careers in journalism. By promoting school clubs that help expression and nurture a love for learning, the community is allowing students to reach their full potential through exploring interest, and setting their futures up for success. This club helps create a place of success and pride for students, as Mrs.Robbins expressed, “Seeing their work and their articles reach a whole school, they are very proud of that.”