DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Student newspapers across the country have been dying off for decades, but one Vermilion County High School is bringing theirs back. Students at Schlarman Academy are dropping their first issue of Tops News Wednesday.
The school has been without a paper for 10 to 15 years, according to officials. They say students just weren’t interested. But this year, that changed. Students approached yearbook teacher Anne Sacheli with the idea to resurrect the paper.
“I was thrilled because I could tell it wasn’t just, ‘here’s an idea.’ They were serious. They really meant it.”
Junior Emma Wilkins was one of those students, and she says the reason was simple.
“We really just wanted to voice other people’s opinions who usually don’t get a say.”
With some help from mrs. Sacheli, Emma and her classmates have been doing just that.
“This has been initiated by them, developed my them. It’s all them. I’m just the proof reader.”
Students who write for the paper have a couple different goals: to entertain, to lift school spirit and to keep the students who walk the halls of Schlarmaninformed.
“A lot of people just don’t pay attention, and I think that to be informed is your greatest weapon against anything.”
And Mrs. Sacheli says students who work on the paper are arming themselves with some important skills, too.
“The bravery of interviewing, the ability to write, the ability to investigate. No matter what position you’re in in the future, you need to be able to look beyond the surface of things.”
Right now, officials say they plan to publish monthly to start. Then they’ll move to every other week. They also plan to publish online.