There’s a new newspaper in Custer County.
Nine Stanley School students have published another issue of their colorful school newspaper, the Sawtooth Express, reporting on some of their recent fun learning activities.
The winter 2018 issue sold out of its first printing, said Lisa Muscavage, who, along with fellow teacher Ashley Baker Reese and Amanda Brady, the school’s instructional aide, helped the students in grades 1 through 8 publish the latest 20-page issue. The newspaper sells for 50 cents a copy, and a second printing has been distributed around Stanley.
The newspaper has received rave reviews around town.
“It’s been amazing,” Muscavage said. “People from all over have picked it up.” A Boise visitor picked up a copy at Mountain Village and sent a $25 donation to the school.
“People in the community love it because they see what the kids are doing,” Muscavage said. “They’ve been thrilled and we’ve received very positive feedback from community members.”
This is the third year the Sawtooth Express has been published, said Muscavage. The teachers wanted to make writing, proofreading and editing more real and relevant to the students, beyond school assignments, so they came up with the idea of publishing and distributing a newspaper. The full-color newspaper comes out twice during the academic year on 8½x11 paper. So far the school doesn’t have an electronic version online, but that’s a possibility for the future.
“We thought a purpose would make it more authentic,” Muscavage said of the usual task of writing. And putting out a newspaper shows students they can’t just stop with one issue. Coming up with ideas, writing, proofreading, editing, taking photos and producing artwork is a constant task. You can’t rest on your laurels. You always have to have new material ready to go into the next issue. Since two issues are published each school year, late fall and spring, students have to come up with story ideas, interview people or write first-person accounts, and write about topics and events that aren’t time sensitive, ones that people will be interested in reading about a month or two after the fact.
Work began in September and this issue took about two months, working around regular school assignments, for students to gather enough material to publish.
Students decide how to spend the money they make from sales of the paper. This fall they traveled to Ketchum and incorporated stories and photos from visits to the Idaho Mountain Express, where they learned some about how a weekly newspaper is produced, and the YMCA, where they swam and scrambled up the indoor climbing wall.
“I think the students were proud of it when it came out,” Muscavage said of the latest Sawtooth Express, “and seeing their names in print gave them a sense of accomplishment and made it more real.” They were a bit more conscientious in their work, knowing that a wider audience than the school staff would see the newspaper, she said.
The two older students, seventh-grader Annie Louderback and eighth-grader Alden Stewart, were the student editors, deciding where photos, artwork and stories would be placed, Muscavage said. All nine students in the school contributed. Teachers took most of the photos, which showcase students doing fun and educational things.
Besides Annie and Alden, the other reporters-writers-artists were Grady Klingler, Taylor Stewart, Lydia Clark, Avena Parker, JoJo Anderson, and Eli and Ben Christiansen.