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Indian Peaks Charter School writing students publish monthly newspaper

by Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News
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“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” ” The December edition of Indian Peaks Charter School’s new student newspaper “Peaks Post” is being published Friday.

The “Peaks Post,” which is published monthly, is the work of Ali Delaney’s eighth-grade writing class at the charter school in Granby. Prior to its December issue, the students published two earlier editions in October and November.

“We do several projects for our writing class, but the paper is the largest one,” Delaney said. “Our students are such good writers. They love writing for it.”

The eighth-graders do all of the writing that appears in the paper except for a question-and-answer article by Principal Polly Gallagher. They also design and layout the paper using desktop publishing on their laptop computers.

The seven-member newspaper staff is led by its editor, Jacqueline Quinn.

“My job is to write the editorial and check over everyone else’s articles,” Quinn said. “I then format and put the articles in the paper using my laptop. We do a lot of technology here and it’s a lot of fun to use. The December issue is our holiday special with Christmas gift ideas and other things.”

Michael Moore is the paper’s sports reporter.

“I like writing about the Denver Broncos,” Moore said. “They’re doing OK, but they need to win a couple more games to stay alive.”

One of the paper’s reporters is Cole Conger who writes book and movie reviews as well as articles on school contests.

“I’ve already written a review of the book “Halo: The Fall of Reach,” which is based on the video game,” Conger said. “One of my writing projects, outside the paper, is writing a script for a Twilight Zone-type story with a surprise ending.”

Reporter Marina Koepke said she enjoys writing for the school’s paper. In her first article, she wrote about health issues and the danger of using a certain artificial sweetener.

Another staff reporter is Kode Wyatt who is writing an article related to fishing, which is one of his favorite pastimes.

“My article is about the running of the salmon in the local rivers and reservoirs and why they do it,” Wyatt said.

Ariana Fisher said her writing has been on a variety of subjects.

“I’ve written a movie review, a contest and an information article about the presidential candidates,” Fisher said. “For our next issue, I’ve written some holiday articles.”

Rounding out the seven-member staff is Celia Welcome who reports on classroom activities at Indian Peaks Charter School.

“I go around talking to teachers about what their classes are doing,” Welcome said. “I like writing for our paper. It’s fun.”

Delaney said she came up with the idea of starting a student newspaper as one of the projects for her writing class.

“When I student taught in Boulder, my class did a one-time newspaper,” she said. “I just loved working on it. When I came back to Indian Peaks after maternity leave last year, I asked Polly if we could do it because our students are such advanced writers and she said OK.”

To get the paper started, Delaney taught the eighth-graders some of the basics of newspaper writing in September. They also reviewed articles in the Grand County newspapers.

All the work on the “Peaks Paper” is done during the one-hour Monday class sessions. The first Monday of the month involves brainstorming story ideas and setting goals while the second Monday is devoted to the writing of the articles’ first drafts.

The paper’s production schedule then calls for the editing and writing of final drafts on the third Monday. The final Monday of the month is requires the students to work on the paper’s page design, layout and photo selection.

Before the paper is printed, it is reviewed and approved by Principal Gallagher, who acts as its “editor-in-chief,” Delaney said. The school’s secretary then prints out the paper and includes it in each student’s “Friday Folder,” which is taken home to parents.

Since it was first published in October, Delaney said the student newspaper has gotten a “positive response” from parents. Plans are to continue it into the foreseeable future at Indian Peaks.

“Writing for our paper is something that future eighth-grade classes can expect to participate in,” she said. “It gives our students so much freedom and they really enjoy it. It gives them a voice.”


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