Young journalists publish their own school newspaper

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Extra! Extra! Read all about it! West Lauderdale Elementary School is buzzing over the school's first-ever newspaper, thanks to the idea of one student and her team of journalists.

"I read the book called 'The Laundry News'. It's about a girl starting a newspaper in her class. And so I thought, 'what would happen if my class started a newspaper?'" asked 4th grader Elizabeth Bailey.

WLE News is hot off the press with the first issue going out to every classroom Monday.

Bailey originally had no idea how she could pull this off, so she put on her investigative journalism cap and did some digging.

"West Lauderdale High School, they used to have a newspaper so I looked at a couple of their stuff and that sort of got our creative juices flowing," said Bailey.

This isn't a parent newsletter, nor did any of the teachers write it. Each story is from the students themselves.

The kids write their stories on a shared Google Docs, the teachers review it and they’re ready for publishing. From exclusive athlete interviews to even a comic section, this fresh take on news gives each student a chance to contribute.

"It started with just one of my friends and then more people wanted to do it, so I'm like, all right, let's go," exclaimed Bailey.

Kathy Gordon and Misty Atkinson set aside an hour every Friday for students to work on the school paper. Both teachers say this is the first time a student has approached them with an idea like this in mind.

"Not as motivated as Elizabeth was with this, and her excitement has spread to the rest of her staff, as she called them, and even to other 4th graders," said Gordon.

Bailey tells us that she might have come up with the plan to start it all, but she says none of this is possible without the help from the teachers and students.

"I couldn't have done this without them or my newspaper staff," said Bailey.

Students started working on the first edition of the newspaper in October. The plan is to release an issue every month.

Student contributors include Elizabeth Bailey, Galvin Knight, Miley Zingler, Jordan Mire, Ian Vincent, Tanner Spears, Graham Tillery, Lexi Bryce Vinet, Brody Gressett and Lanie Williams.