Student Reporting Labs Newsletter - August 2022
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SRL's latest news and resources for educators and students on journalism, media making, and media literacy.

Welcome Back to School!
Millions of students and educators are back to school—and we're here to help! Kick off the school year with our team. Learn about the award-winning mediamaking prompts, challenges, and projects in store for the 2022-23 school year, including our all-new Student Journalism Challenge, coverage of the U.S. midterms, and the 3rd season of "On Our Minds," our youth mental health podcast. Breakouts led by our talented youth media producers according to regions will take place in the last quarter of the hour.
SRL Launches Journalism Challenge

Get Published. Win Prizes. Inspire Change.

We are excited to formally launch our 🚀 Student Journalism Challenge! Students aged 13 to 18 years have the opportunity to be published and win prizes for their written, video and audio pieces on the theme "My Education, My Future". Expert judges will select the best of each format and stories will be shared widely on local and national public media platforms. Submission form opens September 22. Deadline for entries: Friday, December 2, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET
Explore + Share
SRL wins prestigious Murrow Award
We are over the moon about winning one of the most prestigious awards in journalism for our first-ever season of our youth mental health podcast On Our Minds with Noah & Zion, produced in partnership with WETA's Well Beings mental health awareness campaign. Lead producer Briget Ganske and teen co-hosts Noah & Zion will be honored at Gotham Hall in New York City on Oct. 10.
SRL on the NewsHour

2022 SRL Academy Stories

Three of our 2022 Summer Academy stories produced in Phoenix made it onto the PBS NewsHour nightly broadcast and YouTube channel!

Arizona camp teaches foster children cowboy skills

Young people in Arizona’s foster care system step out of their comfort zones, form deep friendship bonds, and have an experience that will stay with them the rest of their lives at cowboy camp. Produced by fellows Akilah Lewis, junior at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, Caedmon Peterson, junior at District of Columbia International School in Washington, DC, Giovanny Soriano, junior at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois, and Mariana Arboleda, junior at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, New York. Supported by Michael Kauffman, SRL teacher from Frederick V. Pankow Center in Harrison Township, Michigan, and Mohammad Pasha, SRL Youth Media Producer. WATCH

One year after evacuating Afghanistan, teen refugee pursues musical dreams

An Afghan refugee who fled her home country after the Taliban takeover, settled in Phoenix with nothing but a backpack. She reached out to a youth-led nonprofit organization that provides musical instruments to refugees, allowing her to pursue her passion for music. Produced by fellows Elizabeth Pegg, sophomore at Hempfield High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Maikel De Avila, senior at Alief Kerr High School in Katy, Texas, Orion Boone, junior at Sickles High School in Tampa, Florida, and Alexis Schmidt, junior at Frederick V. Pankow Center in Harrison Township, Michigan. Support provided by Briget Ganske, SRL Youth Media Producer and Anurag Papolu, SRL graphic designer. WATCH

Latin American studio helps young dancers achieve their dreams

Rescapetatiando Dance Company founder Frank Ornelas discovered his passion for dance by watching ballets on PBS as a child, but could not afford classes. Now he trains the promising next generation of dancers who don’t have the financial means to enroll in dance classes. Produced by fellows Marlo Brown, junior at Cape May Technical High School in Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey, Savanna Atstupenas, sophomore at Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Natalie Lett, junior at Kauai High School in Lihue, Hawaii, and Roberto Suarez, junior at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland. Support provided by Jaylah Moore-Ross, SRL Production Assistant and Chris Schwalm, SRL Youth Media Producer. WATCH

NEW Prompts, Challenges, Projects in StoryMaker
With the new school year already here, it's time for the freshest prompts, challenges, and projects for student media makers!
Latest Student-Produced Media
Painting helps this artist with autism “Speak Up”

Amari Taylor is on the autism spectrum and sometimes has trouble speaking, but through making and even selling his art, he’s able to express himself just fine. Produced by student Hania Perez at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland with support from SRL Educator Andrew Inches and SRL Associate Youth Media Producer Becky Wandel. WATCH

This teen is reclaiming her Hispanic heritage through poetry

Ashleigh Esquivel grew up in Texas feeling disconnected from her Hispanic heritage. So she dedicated herself to learning Spanish in school and poetry. Produced by students Cuauhtemoc Nunez, Flora Farr, Rachel Setlik, Sergio Torres and Noha Miller from Communication Arts High School in San Antonio, Texas with support from SRL Educator Carey McCarthy and SRL Associate Youth Media Producer Becky Wandel. WATCH

Why do males get cancer more than females?

Student reporter & our STEM Fellow Shaun Karakkattu interviews experts to better understand how and why females may be more protected from most cancer types in comparison to males. Produced by Shaun Karakkatuu in Mesa, Arizona with support from SRL Youth Media Producers Eli Kintisch and Mohammad Pasha. WATCH

These teens are reviving the art of editorial cartoons

From COVID to school shootings to the war in Ukraine, teen artists at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland are reviving the art of political commentary via editorial cartoons. Produced by students Johanna Krejza and Ellis Chung Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland with support from SRL Educators David Lopilato and Bill Toscano and SRL Associate Youth Media Producer Becky Wandel. Music: “Something Fun” by Bill Toscano. WATCH

University of Arizona professor, Indigenous communities problem solve climate change

The Indigenous Resource Center founded by Professor of Environmental Science Karletta Chief at the University of Arizona connects students to Indigenous communities to solve problems with water, food and natural resources caused by climate change with funding from the National Science Foundation. Produced by students Alex Gonzalez and Jordan Chin at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Instruction provided by SRL Educator Nancy Montoya with support from SRL Youth Media Producer Chris Schwalm. WATCH

This postal worker turned painter taps into his Latin heritage to make art

San Antonio-based artist René Cantu was a postal worker before choosing to follow his dream full time. Now he paints scenes that honor his Mexican heritage. Produced by students Megan Gonzales, Ariyana Galvan, Alyssa Requejo and Eva Pate at Communication Arts High School in San Antonio, Texas with assistance from SRL Educator Carey McCarthy and SRL Youth Media Producer Becky Wandel. WATCH

Student Opportunity

2022 Student Press Freedom Awards

Each year, SPLC (Student Press Law Center) recognizes one high school and one college student journalism program for their courageous work and efforts in fighting for student press freedom. SPLC extended its submission deadline for both awards (covering stories published during the 2021-22 academic year) to Sept. 6, 2022. Both awards come with cash prizes! Submit your application or nomination today.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
Lesson of the Month

 Explore Classroom's website with timely current event lesson plans featuring NewsHour broadcast episodes and news stories.

Featured lesson: 
Experiencing back-to-school nerves? Watch these stories and share your own

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