March 20, 2019

M.J. Francis Students get Journalism Class


Students at Myron J. Francis Elementary School in East Providence were recently treated to an afterschool journalistic writing program. The month long program was conducted by Francis School parent and Rumford resident Samantha Burnett. Burnett has previously written for the Seattle Times and other news mediums. Burnett is a graduate of Washington State University and also a Summa Cum Laude, Legal Studies-Paralegal from Boston University. She is also a freelance paralegal and marketing coach among other journalistic experiences.

Each week, students learned about the process of journalistic writing. There were 10 students in which two news teams were created. "The first week was creating their team and understanding the talent within their group. They appointed an editor, reporters and graphics assistants. The following weeks included research and relevant questions to ask during a press conference, etiquette for a press conference and finally, drafting their story," explained Burnett.

"The hour long press conference was with Captain Bob DaSilva of the Pawtucket Police Department. The students asked thought provoking questions that formulated their article. Through the process they learned the appreciation of factual reporting, quoting in proper format and working as a news team to create a final product," added Burnett.

The junior reporter teams consisted of: Aeron Fargnoli, Sadie Gagnon, Leah Hicks, Kya LeDuc, Juniell Luciano, Helen Molly Penden, Megan Pita, Marcus Rocha, Ian Saraiva and Olivia Sousa. Both Marcus Rocha and Molly Penden served as the editors for this project. Here are samples of articles written by the students:

Story One, by Sadie Gagnon:
Bob DaSilva, The Police Captain
"We are kids from Myron Francis Elementary School and we interviewed Bob Dasilva, the police captain. Read more to find out what we learned. He is a very important part of the community. Bob decided to be a policeman because he like to help people. The police academy was fun and a lot of work because of driving and learning how to shoot a gun. He says that shooting a gun can be scary, which I do not blame him because it sounds terrifying to me. Bob DaSilva does have a few back up jobs. They are Mayor, dad, and soccer coach. There are hundreds of people in jail and I am glad that I don’t know any of them. One last thing I found out is that he is a very brave person, but he still can get a little nervous. Thank you for reading."

Story Two, by News Team One: Editor-Marcus Rocha, Megan Pita, Kya LeDuc, Sadie Gagnon, Ian Saraiva and Leah Hicks.
Bob DaSilva
"We are going to tell you about our police interview with Bob DaSilva. Bob works for the Pawtucket police. He is running for mayor. He’s President of the EPYSA Soccer Association. Bob DaSilva has been a police officer for over 25 years. He liked the police academy. He thought it was really fun. He decided he wanted to be a police man to help people in bad situations. He is a good police man.

Story Three by News Team Two: Editor-Molly Penden, Aeron Fargnoli, Leah Hicks, Ian Saraiva, Juniell Luciano and Olivia Soares.
Police Captain or Police Master?
"This man is a 49 year old Pawtucket police captain, soccer president, and mayor in the running. When does he stop? He has all that to do and he has two sons. Who is this? This is Captain Bob DaSilva. He has handled hundreds of problems in and out of the police business. He drives a Crown Victoria car and spend his Easter at his mother’s house. Captain DaSilva was that kid you could count on to stand up to bullies and still helps the world today! This is Captain Bob DaSilva."

"This Junior Journalist Program was intended to help students discover the world of journalism," said Burnett. Students were introduced to the process of writing a news story. We prepared questions, held an actual press conference with important people in East Providence, and students learned to write and select photos that support their stories. Our two “news teams” worked well together. The program was open to all grades, K-5," said Burnett.


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