9-year-old starts newspaper at Arkansas elementary school
GREENBRIER, Ark. (AP) — In the fall of 2017, Greenbrier Eastside Elementary’s Israel Bollinger approached principal Mandi Dunlap with an idea to start a school newspaper.
Bollinger said the idea came to him after reading a book and decided the school needed one.
Dunlap told the fourth grader that they had to table the idea for a bit, but during Christmas Break, couldn’t stop thinking about it.
After the school returned, Dunlap said she approached school counselor Sherry Hogg, who now oversees the paper, and got everything up and running.
“Israel is definitely the brains behind how it all got started,” she said.
Dunlap said the group of around 15-16 second through fifth grade students meets every morning during the school’s enrichment time to work on the project, which comes out about once a month.
Bollinger said it took a bit to get used to working with the Google Docs and coming up with ideas and even longer to decide on the name, “What’s Up Eastside.”
The paper has multiple sections including, “Feature Teacher,” where they ask a teacher questions about what made them want to go into education and what they like most about being a teacher, a part that Bollinger said he agreed on when the idea was presented so that the paper wasn’t just restricted to kids but could involve teachers as well.
Other sections include important Eastside dates, track and field tips, tech and testing tips and more, the Log Cabin Democrat reported .
Bollinger’s section, “Crackups,” is about jokes.
The paper also has a section called, “Super Facts.”
“It’s a bunch of completely, 100 percent random facts that have absolutely nothing to do with all the other facts,” he said, laughing.
When the Log Cabin Democrat asked Bollinger what his favorite area of the paper was, he was taken aback.
“Well, I actually haven’t thought about that, but I think all of it,” he said, decidedly. “Pretty much, they’re all even. They each have their own special purpose. You can’t measure them all by the same thing because they all do different things.”
When each section is done, Dunlap said, a couple of administrators edit it before they print it off.
“When we printed the first one, it was really exciting,” she said. “We were ready to print.”
Dunlap said a copy is printed off for everyone in the school, including more than 400 students, and is also put out on social media, and so far, feedback has been positive.
“I am very glad they like it because that means (I’m not) doing this all for nothing,” Bollinger said.
He said it’s a good feeling to know that the one idea he had is now a reality.
“It’s really fun working on the newspaper, basically, giving info to all the students in the school about exactly what’s going on,” Bollinger said, excitedly. “That, I really like.”
Dunlap said through this project, she’s had an opportunity to talk with the 9-year-old about how this is one of those examples where he had an idea and, instead of keeping it to himself, shared it and it became something.
“He was the catalyst for this project,” she said.
Dunlap said it was just a “huge life moment” for Bollinger to be able to realize he had these qualities.
“My parents say I’m a mover and a shaker,” Bollinger said, smiling.
Dunlap agreed, laughing.
“You are,” she said. “That’s a good way to describe you.”
Information from: Log Cabin Democrat, http://www.thecabin.net