Memphis high school students get a chance to sharpen their journalism skills

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The presses are rolling but this isn't your ordinary morning newspaper. It's the Teen Appeal, written by and for high school students within the Memphis City Schools. "The journalism department realized that many of the Memphis City Schools did not have a high school newspaper, and the kids that were interested in journalism and wanted to write really didn't have that opportunity." So the U of M, with a grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation started the Teen Appeal. The reporters, editors and photographers are all students from the 31 Memphis City High Schools. Not only does the reporting sharpen their writing skills, and gives them the confidence to conduct an interview; It broadens their view of the world. "Recently, I did an editorial about police brutality and I did research about police brutality, and I really didn't know anything about it, and probably wouldn't have if I hadn't had the opportunity to write a story about it." Recently, the kids have interviewed their classmates on issues such as the Michael Jackson case and "How do you feel about the recent resignation of Hamilton's principal Hicks?" issues closer to home like the Hamilton high Coach that got a student pregnant and the principal's ultimate resignation. For Sheffield High student Kenneth Cummings, working at the paper has helped him make college and career choices. He already knows that taking pictures is what he wants to do. "When the picture comes out, and you see something different that you didn't see, once you were standing there with the camera, through the lens. You see something better." If you want to know what students are talking about, it's probably within these pages. And you never know, who might be featured in the latest edition.