The Westside Writing Project

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Westside Writing Project

Westside Wrting Project participated in National News Engagement Day on Tuesday, October 7th. Our first stop was at Cather Elementary School as we held an open discussion around the topic of news with close to 20 8th graders.

The discussion included topics such as:
* Where students go to receive news
* How they determine what to believe
* The difference between facts/information and opinions/gossip
* The importance of verifying information

After our discussion, students gained experience recording and interviewing each other about various news topics. As you can see from the photos, the students were very engaged!

Later that afternoon, several high school students stopped by our youth media/technology center to discuss the news and the role it plays in their daily lives.

The discussion began with the question, ‘If you were a news reporter, what would you like to talk about and why?’ We heard answers such as world wars, new video games/technology, neighborhood violence, student rights and school dress code.

From our one-day activities it was very clear that students on the West Side are indeed engaged with the news!

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About westsidewriting

The Westside Writing Project (WWP) is a youth enrichment program that works to expand the realm of opportunities for area students by providing exposure, guidance and support in areas of digital media and journalism. At a time when texting is the most common form of writing for many young people, and the dominant image of urban youth in the city of Chicago is one of being “at risk” for violence, drugs and educational failure, the Westside Writing Project (WWP), stands out as a powerful model for reaching and teaching our next generation of thinkers and doers. WWP was launched in 2007 on Chicago’s West Side as an after-school program by founding Executive Director Frank Latin. The mission of this largely volunteer initiative is to provide positive youth development by using writing, digital media and journalism as tools for civic engagement, as well as individual and community transformation. Ultimately, our organization gives urban youth from underserved neighborhoods—neighborhoods often dismissed in mainstream media as rife with only drugs, crime, and violence—a distinct voice. We are subtly shifting the lens of media and the look of typical media reporters to demonstrate that youth from at-risk neighborhoods facing critical social and economic challenges have unique perspectives and can deliver those perspectives to broader audiences.

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