The reporting of Cubs begins in the fourth year for these students from Barnegat
BARNEGAT – Seasoned journalists may envy the expert advice shared with a class of budding young reporters at Joseph T. Donahue School in the Barnegat Township School District.
Deanna Buccella, who teaches gifted and talented students, says her fourth-grade class enjoyed the opportunity to learn from real reporters and practice their own interview skills. The students plan to launch a digital newspaper called “Turtle Talk”, which they named after the school’s turtle mascot.
âMy group expressed a desire to learn how to use Canva for their newsletter and mostly wanted to be environmentally conscious by NOT having their newsletter printed on paper,â Buccella explained. âStudents learn to add videos and graphics to their online newsletter.
âWe also plan to work on making a video report once our first digital newsletter is finished,â continued Buccella. âI am so impressed with the enthusiasm and perseverance of the students. “
Emily “Elle” Jones, who has worked as a freelance writer and writer since 2017, came to speak with the class about her experiences as a writer. She writes fiction under the pen name Elle Michael River, which she says is mostly contemporary fiction and horror. Jones also teaches writing workshops and has taught at Ocean County College.
Fourth-grader Azlynn Harker said the presentations had an impact on how you approach writing a story.
âI learned to use emotions in writing and to make an effective headline,â Azlynn said.
Program producer, reporter and host for NJN Public Television, the PBS subsidiary in New Jersey, for 23 years, Sandra Levine shared her experiences with the group of enthusiastic students. Levine shared with the students her interest in animals, which she attributed to her late father who was a veterinarian. Levine shared a story called “The Smart Goose,” written about his father’s heroic attempts to save a wise bird.
âI really enjoyed Ms. Levine and her story on ‘The Smart Goose,’ said fourth-grader Lexie Bucior. “She showed us how important it is to speak clearly and slowly when doing an interview.”
The third group of presenters gave the students a hands-on experience from a different perspective. Two students from Barnegat High School who participated in the âBengal Buzzâ actively engaged the fourth grade class. The Bengal Buzz focuses on broadcast journalism by presenting high school news.
Alanis Baumgardner, a high school English teacher and counselor at Bengal Buzz, showed a short promotional video and then discussed the interviews. The students from Buccella then came and practiced being interviewed and interviewing Amy Medina, a junior, and Melissa Hackett, a senior. Students were able to see and interact with the camera and microphones used by the class.
âI loved it when we talked to the high school kids and Bengal Buzz,â said Mila Ellis, one of the fourth graders. “It inspired me to want to interview people and join Bengal Buzz when I get to high school.”
Mary Cammarata, English Language Arts / Social Studies / Visual and Performing Arts District Supervisor, praised Buccella for her innovative approach to teaching journalism and the students’ enthusiasm for writing.
âThe students had great questions and were delighted to participate and interact with the high school students,â Cammarata said.