Middle school students experience backpack journalism during media shadow day

Photo+by+Elizabeth+Sims.

Photo by Elizabeth Sims.

Editor’s Note: The following stories were written by Multimedia students from Coppell Middle School West during a “shadow day” and media workshop hosted by the EMAC Academy which includes The Sidekick newspaper, Round-Up Yearbook, and KCBY . The students put together these pieces under the instruction of Christina Burke Managing Editor, Elizabeth Sims Enterprise Editor, Tolu Salako Editorial Page Editor,  John Loop Sports Editor, Mabry Culp and Braden Creel Business/PR Managers and Alex Nicoll Staff Writer.

Middle schoolers explore 21st century learning

Bright colors and comfortable furniture line the walls of blended classrooms at Coppell High School, and

Photo by Christina Burke.
Photo by Christina Burke.

the best part is that it was designed by students.

In 2011, Becky Richards’ interior design class designed a 21st century blended learning lab for students to learn in a new way. Due to the comfortable atmosphere, these classrooms allow students to learn better.

“This room was actually designed the year before last by the interior design class students. They picked out the furniture and everything,” facilitator Lynn Hardin said. “We are even hanging student artwork up in here next week.”

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner wanted the labs to be student oriented. By letting the students design the labs, it let them put their opinion into how they would like to learn. Many different classes are involved in the Blended program, which allows students to reach there goals in a different way than usual. This allows students to learning and be productive in new ways.

 Eighth graders explore Sidekick experiences

The Sidekick is the student newspaper publication at Coppell High School. There is a lot of work and responsibility that is put into The Sidekick by the staff members.

Senior Elizabeth Sims, second year Sidekick student, has many responsibilities as an executive editor.

“I work with front page and center spread, the color pages and more in-depth pieces. I also decide featured headlines for Coppell Student Media,” Sims said. “I love writing and everything that I get to do everyday.”

Senior Caroline Carter is the news editor for The Sidekick. She is in charge of editing the news stories.

“Sidekick is a lot of fun, and it is a good experience, even if you don’t want to go into journalism,” Carter said. “You can always use good writing skills and good communication skills.”

The Sidekick is a great program to learn important skills, even if you do not want to go into journalism. It

Photo by Elizabeth Sims.
Photo by Elizabeth Sims.

is an experience that everyone enjoys.

Middle school reporters get scoop on high school life

Today, middle schoolers from Coppell Middle School West had the opportunity to go around Coppell High School and ask students and teachers for their advice on starting high school.

The first bit of advice was to stay diligent in school work.

“I’d say stay on top of school work and activities because once you get behind it’s hard to catch up,” junior Caitlin Nutt said.

Other students emphasized the importance of trying out as many activities as possible.

“I’d say to try to getting involved with as many things as possible as a freshman,” senior Madeline Saiter said. “It looks good on your college applications.”

Teachers also placed a great deal of importance on determining classes to help with the future.

“Think about what you want to do in the future. Don’t rule anything out just yet always be open to new career choices. Once you start thinking about those start thinking about what classes would help out in that future career,” yearbook adviser Sallyanne Harris said.

Overall, high school is determined to be something enjoyable and filled with adventure.

“It’s exciting, you get see many new people. You get to see your friends,” junior Naeem Shaikh said. “You have many more adventures to come.”

Middle schoolers find out about life of Sidekick staff members

Eighth grade multimedia students from Coppell Middle School West came to Coppell High School to participate in the EMAC Academy mentorship program. They had the opportunity to talk to Sidekick staff members and get the scoop on their jobs.

Right of the bat, they got to talk to managing editor of The Sidekick, senior Christina Burke and find out what she does on a day to day basis.

“I am a second level editor. I help the section editors and staff writers with all of their work,” Burke said.

She gave a bit of advice for prospective Sidekick members.

“Sidekick is so much fun. We’re all kind of a big family,” Burke said. “It’s really nice to have a group like that, especially if we are all passionate about journalism. It’s just a great thing to be involved with.”

Photo by Elizabeth Sims.
Photo by Elizabeth Sims.

Later the students spoke to junior Alex Nicoll, who is a staff writer with a specialty with sports, and shared his job on staff.

“We cover games,football every sport, we are at every game and we live tweet the games we write  features at the players that had a good game  they also go to every practice,” Nicoll said.

Nicoll also shared a piece of advice for not only sports writers but any journalist-in-training.

“The key to success in journalism is getting out of your comfort zone. You are going to be in situations where you don’t want to talk to people, but you have to be willing to take the risk and talk to people,” Nicoll said.

A day in the life of a newspaper junkie in the eyes of middle school kids

Have you ever wondered what a Sidekick member does in class?

Enterprise Editor Elizabeth Sims gave us a sneak preview into the daily routine of these creative people.

“Personally I love writing so that is a plus,” Sims said. “We are also one big family of 40 people and that is really fun; we do a lot of social events together.”

Sims is one of the editors that can go behind scenes for the athletics department.

On a daily basis, if she is not writing, then she is editing.

The Sidekick is not all about fun and games though. Being in a student publication, everyone is still susceptible to some of the stresses of the news world.

“Sometimes around deadline week, it can get a ready stressful,” Sims said.

Newspaper is not just a fun experience; it gives you with some skills that help over time.

“In the long run, my communication skills have gotten better,” Sims said. “Also my writing ability has improved significantly.