Launching a new project, encouraging the next generation

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

For many years while still a staff reporter, my main beat was covering area schools and board of education from prekindergarten programs up through community college.

I feel like education an integral and extremely important part of a person’s life. Without it, we can’t do even the simplest things like get a driver’s license or even a job in many cases, so it is the foundation for everything we will do in our lives.

Education, classes don’t have to be boring. When I was in high school, history was my least favorite subject, but when I got to college and got to study more specific topics and pick the history classes I would take, I learned to love it. No, I still can’t remember a lot of dates for exactly when things happened, it is the substance of the issues we learned about and discussed that truly interest me.

But I digress.

Part of my love of education and the educational system always had me wanting to share what I love about my job and the process of sharing a story through journalism with the younger generation so they can come to appreciate not just print journalism, but also the news shared through social media, websites and other formats.

It is with this goal, giving the students an opportunity to become staff reporters themselves, that I introduce a new project we are launching with this edition. The project, which doesn’t have a formal name, is giving the local high school journalism students a chance to write their own articles, take their own pictures and then run them in print and on our website so they can share the news that is important to them and their lives with the rest of the community.

Starmount High School, which previously didn’t have a journalism class or club, had enough students show interest in the concept that the school formed a journalism club this year just for those students who wanted to participate. I had the fortunate opportunity to get to meet with those students last month to explain the idea to them and set up dates and talk about story ideas and answer any questions they had.

The Rams Register is featured on today’s edition of the newspaper for your reading enjoyment. The teens did a great job on their stories and photos.

Each month the Rams writers will share new stories with the community in The Tribune and The Yadkin Ripple, since the school’s students live in both newspapers’ coverage areas.

In October, the Elkin High School journalism club will be sharing stories with readers of The Tribune as well. I met with them a couple of weeks ago.

It is my hope that eventually all four of our newspapers’ primary schools, including Forbush and East Wilkes, could have a page each month for the students to share their news.

So it is with great excitement I invite you to enjoy the stories in today’s edition of The Rams Register.

Wendy Byerly Wood is the editor of The Tribune and The Yadkin Ripple. She can be reached at 336-258-4035, at or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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