Sapulpa's ' Woodlawn Word' newspaper

Monday, March 7th 2005, 1:00 pm
By: News On 6

When did you discover your life's work? Was it as early as the 5th grade? Three boys in Sapulpa have gotten a jump on the rest of their lives by writing and publishing their own newspaper.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells introduces us to three 5th graders with the “Write Stuff".

Meet Dillon Myrick, Ben Warden and Hunter Edwards, the editorial staff of the 'Woodlawn Word', Woodlawn Elementary School's newspaper. Fifth grader Ben Warden got the idea out of a book he read at the beginning of the school year. “It talks about this girl that had, that came up with her own newspaper at school so I decided to try it too."

Teacher Dacia Walsh: "At first I was a little bit skeptical." But why not, so the boys went to work. They created a format with regular columns. "Events, teacher feature, student spotlight." Every month he writes an editorial about something special. "Here I write about Valentine's day and how it's our last holiday of the year."

They do newsy stuff too. Back when Sapulpa passed a school bond issue, the paper focused on what Woodlawn would get out of it. And early in the year, an article on the least favorite lunch, grilled cheese. We talked about the next issue which will come out on April 1st, April Fools Day. "Oh, we could put a joke then probably, then we could do something, in the editorial I could write about April Fools Day."

In the middle of my interview with the students, my pager went off, our newsroom wanting to know something about their newsroom. Rick Wells: "When you're doing your interviews, there are not interruptions, like a pager going off or your cell phone going off. Ben Warden: "I wish I had a pager. I wish I had a cell phone." Well, you guys can have mine.

The toughest part, they've learned, fitting it in with school, after I talked to them, they had a spelling test. The boys have published eight issues with two more to go, April and May.

They say they'd like to continue their newspaper next year when they move on to Middle School.