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Elementary students start newsletter

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Nine-year-old Isabelle Choe scribbles notes while interviewing Principal Shon Davis at Alford Elementary School. Choe is a reporter for the school's new student-run newsletter. Corey McHargue, a teacher at the school, observes the interview.

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Nine-year-old Isabelle Choe scribbles notes while interviewing Principal Shon Davis at Alford Elementary School. Choe is a reporter for the school's new student-run newsletter. Corey McHargue, a teacher at the school, observes the interview.

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Staff Photo: Frank Reddy About 30 students at Alford Elementary meet bi-weekly to discuss the newsletter, which prints once every nine weeks.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- It's hot off the press.

Young journalists at Alford Elementary are learning the tools of the trade as they prepare to publish the school's first student-run newspaper.

Every nine weeks, students plan to write, edit and print copy for the Alford Starfall, a newsletter-type publication.

Advisors Beth Carter and Corey McHargue meet bi-weekly with about 30 students to talk about what to put between the pages of the paper.

They brainstorm through different topics that may be of interest to elementary school students as well as teachers. In addition, they try to come up with story ideas that feature school personalities.

Upcoming articles include a feature story about the school's principal, Shon Davis. Fourth-grade student Isabelle Choe, 9, got to sit down for an interview with the administrator earlier this month.

Clutching a pen and scribbling on a notepad, the young girl asked the man what he likes most about Alford Elementary and why he enjoys being a school principal.

Choe said she joined the staff of the Alford Starfall because she likes "talking to people, taking pictures and making new friends."

Davis said programs like the school's new journalism club "give young people a passion for writing and literacy."

"It also teaches them to be better communicators and to use the written word to communicate more effectively," Davis added.

Carter said advisors and students decided to start the club as a "different kind of opportunity for our kids who enjoy writing."

"There are a number of students here who are excited about the prospect of becoming an author or a newspaper reporter," Carter said. "We wanted to give those kinds of children an outlet for their interests."

For more information, visit www.alfordes.org.