Student journalism mentorships at Taipei American School

By Victoria H. '24, Fall 2022 Communications Intern

The Middle School publication GROWL has recently begun a mentorship program with our upper school journalists from The Blue & Gold. Led by the teacher advisor of GROWL, Ms. Tenebrini, and Amber W. (‘23), our middle school journalists hope to release a print issue of GROWL similar to those released by the Upper School newspaper, The Blue & Gold.

Two student journalists working together at Taipei American School

Amber hopes that this collaboration will help the middle school students grow as journalists and create interest in writing. “I want to create a space for middle school students to learn the fundamentals of journalism,” Amber said. “When they enter high school, they can join the student newspaper publication and further enhance their writing skills and interests there.”

Amber W. '23 working with MS journalism students

Other upper school volunteers interested in journalism have attended these sessions and helped teach the fundamentals of journalistic writing. At the beginning of each session, the mentors introduce aspects of journalism to the students through slideshow presentations.

“I think when the when the high school kids present it, this becomes an opportunity,” Ms. Tenebrini said, “It's just given a lot of energy to the group.”

MS Journalism students at Taipei American School

The middle school journalists choose a story they are interested in pursuing and begin to plan. The mentors help refine the story angle and interview questions but try to give the students as much stylistic freedom as possible.

The students do research on their story topics and conduct interviews on their own. They are made responsible for their own stories and deadlines. The club meets after school every Wednesday, which is the day all middle school clubs meet.

Students in MS Journalism Club at Taipei American School

There are currently 11 writers for the GROWL publication. Amber hopes that creating a print issue for the middle school will increase interest in students to join other TAS publications in the future.

“I think it's really cool that we get to participate in [the print making process] and it gives us experience,” Novella W. (‘28), one of the MS GROWL writers, said.