Revere Middle School launches student-led newspaper

by Wendy Turrell

When eighth-grader Kaylynn Waldron came to Kelly Peel with the idea to start a newspaper written by and for Revere Middle School students, she found an enthusiastic hands-on supporter. Peel, a Revere sixth-grade language arts teacher, is the advisor for the RMS Press, and takes an active role in assisting the 15 students who form the core of writers for the publication.

Waldron and two other students involved with the RMS Press, Chase France and Sam Hogan, were lauded for their efforts at the December Revere Board of Education meeting.

Unlike many adult newspapers that are struggling to bring their readers into the 21st century with digital versions, the RMS Press is solely digital. Peel said, “Once Kaylynn creates the layout, she sends it to me. I edit and proofread, and then I send it to our principals. Dr. Oberhauser, the assistant principal, sends it to the student body via email or their Google Classroom.”

Waldron said, “This is the easiest way to communicate the Press to the school … and has been successful so far.”

The student journalists have produced four monthly editions to date. Waldron added, “We are hoping to advance to bi-weekly publications in the near future.”

The first issue came together fairly rapidly. Waldron said, “The original idea was to put the paper together in a month, which was revised … to a month and an extra week to make sure all of the articles were edited and polished before publishing.”

She said she wanted to take her time because, “Putting together the first edition of the paper was the defining factor of how we would proceed with its creation. It was the tone we were going to set for the rest of the year.”

Waldron and Peel are co-partners in the creative process. Waldron explained, “After each publication, Miss Peel and I will usually meet with the students to discuss items pertaining to the last issue before starting up again.” The goal is to have student writers finish their first drafts of the new articles during the first two weeks after publication of the last issue.

Waldron continued, “Miss Peel and I will edit and help everyone revise their articles over the course of the next week.” She said most students choose their own images and media for their pieces. Exercising her editorial authority, Waldron added, “Occasionally I will throw a few more in, in order for the paper to be more visually appealing and enticing to read.”

The final step is putting everything together and formatting it before sending it for publication.

Waldron expressed appreciation for everyone who puts together the RMS Press saying, “They are what bring the paper to life and are committed to what they are doing.”

She concluded with gratitude for Peel’s support of the Press and its writers. “I can’t thank her enough for her wisdom, encouragement and involvement. I don’t think anybody else could have curated the club into the fun, hardworking group it is today,” Waldron said. ∞