CLASS ACTION 2012

Class Action is an exciting education project which offers primary and high schools the opportunity to produce their own ‘‘mini newspaper’’ in the Illawarra Mercury every Tuesday.

Class Action is now in its third year and has received an enthusiastic response from schools, students and the wider community.

This year Class Action will be extended to allow more schools to take part.

As part of the project, every school which takes part receives a free subscription to the Mercury for 10 weeks leading up to the publication of its mini newspaper and then a further bulk delivery on the day it is published.

Students source, write and edit stories, as well as take pictures for their own two-page spread, allowing them to showcase their school and their community.

Schools will receive a comprehensive information instruction pack containing a basic template they must follow – including how many stories are required and their length and how many pictures - plus classroom activities and teacher resources.

Resources will include an explanation of what a news story is and how to write it, interview tips, photography tips, and story ideas.

A senior Mercury journalist is available to visit schools and provide advice where required.

Newspapers and schools have worked together in a variety of NIE programs around the world for more than 50 years. Papers are a valuable teaching tool in subjects across the curriculum and contain something for every student – comics for reading enjoyment, business pages for maths problems, editorials for thinking skills.

Newspapers bridge the gap between the classroom and the "real world" outside and ensure that students are aware of and understand current affairs in their community.
NIE programs are aligned closely with the school curriculum. For example, the NSW Education Department’s English syllabus for Year 6 students requires them to publish their own writing dealing with more complex topics, ideas and issues, and to be able to communicate using a range of media, eg video, multimedia, print, audio.

Research has proven students who are familiar with and regularly read newspapers are more literate, more civic minded and better equipped to deal with the demands of the world in which they live. A US report which looked at the performance of students in schools with NIE programs found those students did 10 per cent better than students in schools with no NIE program.

IF YOUR SCHOOL WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN CLASS ACTION 2012, PLEASE EMAIL pclark@illawarramercury.com.au.

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