On Monday, April 17, 2017, a unique and visionary partnership between Saint Agatha and Phalanx Family Services began. Saint Agatha is a closed elementary school and day care program previously offered thru the Archdiocese of Chicago. Phalanx Family Services is a full-service, nonprofit organization offering a multitude of programming for in-need families and individuals living in Chicago.
Thirteen in-school youth, between the ages of 16-18, were identified to start training as cub reporters in an eight-week intensive boot camp. The program is designed to teach them how to become citizen reporters who, after successful program completion, will receive media credentials and a job reporting for one of nine online news vehicles committed to the project.
The very thought of 13 youth embracing an education created to improve reading and writing levels, in order to pursue career opportunities in journalism is exciting! Imagine, Chicago youth detailing positive and enlightening stories about the happenings around Chicago’s black and brown communities, as opposed to the horrific narratives coming from local and national media outlets daily.
I applaud this initiative and congratulate Father Larry Dowling of Saint Agatha, and Tina Sanders of Phalanx for having the vision and commitment to training our youth in a desperately needed skill set.
As I see it, technology (wrecknology) has eroded our youth’s reading and writing abilities. It has put more emphasis on talking to Siri than to one another.
My father was an old school AXIOM guy, you know, stuff like:
- You are what you are exposed to
- You can’t get rich on another man’s dream
- Common sense is not common
- Youth is wasted on the young
I took exception to some of his premises (not many… mind you), but “youth is wasted on the young,” only if they are not exposed to the wisdom of the old.
The News School offers training and the opportunity for our youth to become better stewards of the English language and avid participants in reporting the happenings and events they experience day to day.
History is only a record of his or her story as seen and recorded thru his or her lens. The News School offers youth the opportunity to record their stories through their unique lenses.
Opinion by James Cannon
Image Courtesy of Father Larry – Used With Permission