The Franklin: what I learned from leading a high school student newspaper

The stairway of the Franklin Learning Center that I took to Mr. Sedwin's classroom each week.

You’re supposed to learn from teaching, or something like that.

I suppose with that knowledge in hand, I knew I’d learn something when, two years ago, I first walked into the Franklin Learning Center, a magnet high school in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia.

I was there to help launch a student newspaper. I, too, was a student, writing for The Temple News, the college newspaper of Temple University.

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One year ago: part of a panel discussion on high school newspapers

Mike Levin speaks on a panel about young reporters, with Dorothy Gilliam moderating, and Acel Moore, me, and Prime Mover participants looking on at fall 2007 JEA conference.

On Nov. 9 2007, one year ago today, after founding and leading a student newspaper at the Franklin Learning Center for a school year and a half, I was asked to present and take part in a panel discussion on youth journalism at the Journalism Education Association conference held at the Marriot in Center City, Philadelphia Nov. 8-11.

The panel was called “Building Journalism Programs Outside the Curriculum.” See the program here [PDF].

Among others, I was proud to speak alongside Pulitzer-Prize winner Acel Moore, among the journalists I most respect, and Philadelphia Inquirer photographer Mike Levin.

I mostly focused on the challenges I faced, contrasted with the effect it had on the small stable of loyal participants I found.