Bristol residents have another news source to consult, as a group of Bristol Consolidated School eighth-grade students recently relaunched the school newspaper.
Formerly known as the Bristol Newzflash, the paper has been renamed The Bristol Buzz and is available online through the school website. BCS language-arts teacher Becky Cooper advises the news team, which consists of eighth- graders Caden Lewis, Zach Farrin, Erika Mathieson, Addie Mullin, Brooke Seiders, Emily Kelsey, and Chase Crockett.
The idea of restarting the paper was sparked in the fall, after Cooper assigned the eighth-graders to write a news article during a unit on investigative journalism. Students chose a school-related subject, such as academic eligibility or gum-chewing in class, to write about and conducted multiple interviews.
The students impressed Cooper with their articles, and she wanted to find a way to share them with others.
“Each year, I like to have a fun project that’s an extension of what we’re doing in the classroom,” Cooper said. “I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to start the paper again, but they’ve really been interested and just ran with it.”
The group meets every Friday in Cooper’s room during study hall to brainstorm story ideas.
“It’s interesting for me as a teacher to see what is going on in the school through the students’ point of view,” Cooper said. “They see things in a completely different way sometimes.”
With some technical assistance from music teacher Wade Johnston, The Bristol Buzz website launched earlier this month. Crockett helps Johnston with the maintenance of the site.
“I get to edit and post the stories,” Crockett said. “It’s pretty cool the site is online now and people can see what’s happening in the school.”
The Bristol Buzz features the news stories the students wrote for Cooper’s class, including a profile by Mathieson about BCS Head Custodian Bob Onorato, who has worked at the school for 30 years.
“I really like writing, and this is a fun way to get to do it,” Mathieson said. “And now we get to share what we’re writing with everyone.”
The news team also covers school events, such as the school geography bee, and the site includes a recap of the basketball season.
The students plan to update the site regularly with new articles. Seiders and Kelsey are working on profiles about each of the new teachers at BCS. The girls work together to come up with questions and conduct the interviews.
“Scheduling the interviews can be hard, but it’s been interesting and I’ve learned a lot,” Seiders said.
Cooper said she has enjoyed working with the students to bring back the school newspaper.
“They’re a great group of kids who have accomplished a lot and work so well together,” Cooper said. “It’s going to be sad to say goodbye to them next year, but they’re leaving behind a framework for the next class to continue.”
To read The Bristol Buzz, go to https://goo.gl/APdOfD.