Plan Now to Celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week — a Few Ideas

Plan Now to Celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week — a Few Ideas

These ideas on how to celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week are truly timeless — so much so, that they could be implemented any other time of the year, too. Several years ago I had the joy to chair JEA’s Scholastic Journalism Week activities. Here’s a list I shared with advisers to help you put a little fun in the week! Scholastic Journalism Week is Feb.19-25, so it’s time to get on it. I’m almost certain you’ll have deadlines looming, but perhaps for just a day or two, you can set those aside and celebrate the week dedicated to you.

  1. Guest speakers. Invite a local pro or a yearbook alumni who is working in journalism to come and speak to your classes. A former yearbook editor might also be a great choice. A panel is a cool idea, too.
  1. Party. During class or after school, have a party to celebrate the week. Everyone loves a party, so make this one special. Do something during SJW you won’t repeat until the last week in February comes around again in 2018.
  1. No work worknight. Like a party. Plan to stay after school for fun only, no deadlines. Heck, isn’t that how most work nights end up anyway?
  1. PR. Send nice notes to faculty who help you out a lot. Leave them candy or snacks in the lounge. This helps staff members learn the art of writing a thank you note and spread goodwill throughout the school.
  1. Hang out with other area schools. Invite them to your party or challenge them to some kind of competition.
  1. Write letters to the editor. Have students write letters to the local paper detailing their love of scholastic journalism. Contact local television stations. Find ways to spread the message.
  1. Have a press conference. Have a local politician, athlete or school administrator come to class and let students ask questions.
  1. Exchangeapalooza. Send your publications to other schools or spend time looking through the ones you get for fresh ideas. Celebrate others.
  1. Try something new. Live it up. Break from the norm. Do something cool you hear other schools always talk about.
  1. Clean. It is almost spring… But at least work in donuts with cleaning.
  1. Participate in SPLC Penny War. Raise money for a good cause! If you have multiple periods, provide a reward for the winning class. Just one class? Split it in half!
  1. Clip stories/ideas/designs. Create a visual library or mood board from your favorite publications. Use notebooks or even a wall to showcase great ideas.
  1. Visit feeder schools. Get to know the middle schoolers who will one day take over. Have mini-workshops to teach them some skills to get them excited about your program.
  1. Take over the cafeteria. Publicize your program during lunch periods by passing out treats.
  1. Decorate. Make sure people know it is SJW by decorating your hallway area and classroom.

Every school and staff is different, so do what best fits your situation. However, one way or the other, celebrate the week and do something special.

Tom Gayda
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