background image

SRPMIC Recreation Department Teaches Students How to Tell Stories, Publishes Newsletter

Youth who participated in the News Flashers Gazette reported on the 2016 General Election held at the Salt River Community Building. (l-r) Tiffany Silversmith, Jasiel Waters, Jaden Aldana, Marcus Lasiloo and Christian Lopez.

Storytellers can be any age.

Just ask the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Recreation Department. Every Tuesday, students break up into special-interest classes that they have selected. One of the classes publishes a monthly newsletter, News Flashers Gazette, put together by a staff of five student reporters: Jasiel Waters, Jaden Aldana, Marcus Lasiloo, Tiffany Silversmith and Christian Lopez.

“The children brainstorm at the beginning of the month, they look out for activities we have within the [Social Programs division]—special presenters, field trips, etc.—and from there the assignments are made,” said Social Programs coordinator Diedre Goodluck. “They also conduct interviews with Recreation staff and Community members, as well as doing movie reviews.”

The kids come up with interview questions, write the stories and edit each other’s articles. The first issue, which was one sheet of paper front and back, appeared in September 2016. Soon after that, the children were able to work up to four pages.

“Overall, the goal is to have fun writing stories about what activities or topics interest them and help them put together their ideas into a final project that they are proud of,” Goodluck said. “So far, a few of the children have expressed [interest in] a future in journalism, which is great.”

The newsletter is created by students in grades 4 through 6 and is one of the five special-interest classes that the SRPMIC Recreation Department features for the youth. The other classes include sports, gardening, cooking, STEM, and arts and crafts, for all grade levels.

To get your hands on the latest News Flashers Gazette, visit the Salt River Recreation Department.