Student-written community newspaper

Imagine a community newspaper full of interesting and heartwarming stories, articles about local businesses, notices about school and neighborhood events, spotlights on volunteers in the community, book and movie reviews, interviews with elderly residents who survived the depression, etc. . . . 
       And now imagine neighborhood middle- and high-school students creating the paper, discovering hidden talents, improving literacy, using their creativity, increasing confidence, working as a team, learning about their community, and learning that they are an important part of that community.
                                              WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
       I held a tuition-based newspaper program with area homeschool students a few years ago, and what they created was amazing. (Take a video tour of their newspaper! .)
       My PREVIOUS campaign goal was to raise $25,000 so I could quit my full-time job and work full-time with middle- and high-school students in Inglewood and East Nashville.
       My NEW  (and more attainable) goal: Raise $2,000 to pay for the first few issues  of the paper. I'll cut back my current full-time job to part-time and donate half of my time to helping students create the newspaper. Because I'll be working part time, I won't be able to spend as much time with students, so for now  ANY middle-school or high-school student (public school, homeschool, charter school, etc.) in Inglewood and East Nashville can submit articles, but I'll just be working with students in Inglewood, my neighborhood of 16 years. I'll consider this first year's newspaper as a pilot program and will work toward securing a grant so that next year I'll be able to work with the East Nashville schools as well.
       Money raised in this campaign will pay for the first three printings of the paper (estimate from printing company is $740 for 5,000 copies). We will then find a few highly motivated high-school students who can gain real-life business experience selling advertising space (with commission) to pay for the printing of the paper. (This was the typical yearbook practice when I was in high school.)

Q: What about the environment? Why not just have a web presence?
A: Something I learned while working at Glencliff High School is that many families don’t own a computer. Coming from middle-class privilege, I hadn't considered such. To cut down on waste, we’ll use recycled newsprint, and I plan to have PDFs of the paper available online. Future plans for the paper include helping students develop an online version of the paper to accompany the printed paper.

Q: What do the schools have to say about this?
A: The newspaper program would not be directly connected with MNPS, but like many after-school programs (including great for-profit programs like A Novel Idea and the amazing free NAZA programs), schools often offer use of a space on the school campus.
          I've spoken with Stratford Assistant Principal Jeff Davis who is very supportive of any program which will benefit the Stratford students. Isaac Litton principal Tracy Bruno has been on board from day one and has offered use of the school library for after-school meetings. Bailey administration is also supportive and has planned time and space for students to participate. 

Q: Why do you think you’re qualified to do this?

A: As mentioned earlier, I've already operated a successful program leading a group school students to create a newspaper.  I worked as a newspaper reporter/photographer before I had kids. I have an undergraduate degree in English with a minor in Journalism and a Master’s degree in English. I also worked full time for MNPS as an English tutor at Glencliff High School. But mainly, I love kids. I have a passion for working with them, and I FIRMLY, 100%, ZERO DOUBT believe EVERY child has potential for greatness.
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Lisa Vinsant Connor 
Nashville, TN
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