Student expression is an essential part of the Lausanne experience, and a group of our sixth-graders has found a unique way to share their voices and creative abilities with fellow classmates.
Elinor Barrett '27, Ruby Gsanger '27, Maya Clark '27, Rebeca Batalha '27 and Manuela Batalha '27 recently launched, The 6th Page, a student-led online newspaper featuring short stories, student interviews, a kindness corner, teacher features, trivia, animations and comics, drawings and exciting events coming up in sixth grade.
For Elinor, the student who initiated the publication's creation, the idea of starting a newspaper has been weighing on her mind ever since fifth-grade after she found inspiration from a book she read called The Landry News.
"When I read The Landry News, I thought it was so amazing how quickly the characters in the story put together the newspaper and how everyone had different jobs," said Elinor. "When I decided in 5th grade that I wanted to make my own newspaper I got together a group of girls and we had a meeting. It didn't work out due to Covid, but over the summer before 6th grade, I decided it was time to make it a reality."
The group's first issue of The 6th Page was released through the website Canva in February, featuring a Valentine's Day theme, followed by a second in February with a St. Patrick's Day theme. The newspaper is entirely student-led, with sixth-grade teacher Maria Pirani helping to facilitate meetings and deadlines.
"I was very excited when I heard that there was a student-run newspaper that was looking for members," said Ruby. "I came up with the idea of making a Canva version of the paper, and that was my assignment, to figure out how to do it. It was super fun to experiment with the templates and designs of Canva. During the first issue, I accidentally added an audio clip, and when we were looking over the PDF, there was a button prompting us to play the music! It was a perfect mistake that we will replicate over the issues!"
Since production for the newspaper began, the group has been able to forge meaningful relationships with each other and their classmates while also giving them the freedom to explore their creative abilities.
"I love to create things, and when Ms. Pirani and Elinor brought the newspaper to my attention, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it," said Maya. "In our first meeting about the newspaper, we all decided that it would be fun to have an art section. I instantly knew that I wanted to be involved in it and collaborate with other artists like Avery! In our first issue, I began with illustrating stories and created the logo for the newspaper with Elinor. In the second issue, we started a new article called "Maya's Monthly," which includes drawings requested by our classmates and then drawn by me."
The first two issues have provided fun and relatable content for students in sixth grade while keeping them informed about events happening in their grade level and around Lausanne.
"In the What's Up In 6th Grade articles, we write about exciting and important events that are happening or coming up in the 6th grade, said Manuela Batalha. "In our first issue, we talked about the Mock Trial, which was a fun and creative new project coming up in English class. We usually interview students or teachers that know a lot about the event, and we get some information from them."
Along with helping students connect and learn more about each other, the newspaper also gives insight into their teachers' lives.
"We include articles where we interview both students and teachers," said Rebeca. "We call them the "Teacher Feature" and "Student Interviews." We do this to let other people know more about their teachers and classmates. For example, in the first issue of the newspaper the 6th-grade science teacher, Tom Brezina was interviewed. He told us some fun stories about himself that made us laugh. We like to have the readers participate as much as possible. We want this newspaper to be just as enjoyable for the readers as it is for us."
Since launching, The 6th Page has been a popular hit among the sixth-graders, and as their success continues to grow, the group's future goals for the newspaper are expanding too.
"We hope is to eventually make it a newspaper for the whole Middle School," shared Elinor. "But for now, we are keeping it a cool sixth-grade thing."
To read The 6th Page, click here.
Click here to view the PDF (sound on for music as you read)