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In Young AmeriTowne, citizens still get their news the “old fashioned” way: by reading the newspaper! Newspaper shop sponsor The Denver Post, specifically Denver Post Educational Services, provides students with a real-world lesson in journalism.
The first task students working in the Newspaper shop face is to decide what layout readers will most enjoy. The Editor collaborates with the Reporters and Photojournalists to pick one of four layout options. Each layout has different main stories:
- Mayor and Judge profile
- Opening Ceremony and Bank Happenings
- Manager and Accountant interview
- How will AmeriTowne help us in the future and a current event
While the Reporters and Photojournalists research their stories, the Editor stays busy working on his or her own article—the daily editorial feature. Many 5th graders have never heard of an editorial, so they receive a short instruction about the difference between fact and opinion before they begin.
Reporters, wearing The Denver Post aprons and armed with clipboards and pencils, work on their articles throughout the morning. They interview fellow citizens to get the facts, and even choose a citizen-submitted story to add to their collection. Photojournalists upload photos and advertisements into the newspaper to accompany each page. At last, the AmeriTowne Newspaper receives one final look by the Editor, who approves it for printing.
After lunch, the Newspaper staff works together to sell their product: a real, four-page newspaper! The revenue, combined with income from selling advertisements, is used to pay back the Newspaper shop’s bank loan. Any profit can then be donated to six different nonprofit charities.
Young Americans Center is grateful for the long-time support of The Denver Post, which continues to ensure that students experience a job-for-a-day working in the Newspaper shop. As students receive a taste of what it’s like to work in journalism, they also create a memento from their day that they treasure for years to come.