Amazing 8 under 18: The Ordean Times

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The sound of a school bell echos through the hallways and suddenly kids appear from everywhere. Students fly out of classrooms by the dozens scrambling to their lockers.

It’s a scene that plays out every hour, every school day at Ordean middle school, but today one group of kids is not heading to math class, or English class, they are going to work at their newspaper.

There is a team of reporters and writers, a team of editors, a team doing photography, another team doing artwork and another managing all the technology.

12-year old Oscar Thomas is on the technology team. "I think since about third grade, I learned that I really like to fix computers and technology."

Oscar is putting his techno talents to good use here, helping to launch the online version of a new school newspaper, The Odean Times.

A tall order for a little guy, and the technology team has had a few bumps along the way. "Once all the date disappeared, we were like, oh no, it’s all gone! And once we accidentally created copies for different people that we shared with everyone, and we couldn’t get everything in the same place!" But that can happen in the newspaper business.

So in this age of what many people feel is a time of information overload, why a newpaper? Elsa Bissen told us, "One of the reasons I do it and I think a lot of people would agree with me is when you have this whole community of students out participating in lots of different programs, a lot of students don’t know what’s going on. They may have heard bits and pieces of news, they may have heard something from the school announcements, but they don’t know exactly what’s happening. So for us, it’s it’s a way to just gather and communicate all the information."

Elsa is a reporter and in that role is doing a quite a bit of writing. "I think it’s really hard because at our age, a lot of people don’t think that we are capable of doing stuff" she said. "They assume that all of these clubs are run by teachers, but the newspaper is a really good example that students, when they come together, can do cool things without having adults be in charge."

After all the pandemic related unpredictability, The Ordean Times is bringing students together again.

"We add artwork and pictures and all that stuff into it and then we put it into a digital copy." Elsa said it’s already available online and that a printed version will be out soon too.

She said she hopes The Ordean Times grows in readership. "I hope more students are starting to read these articles. I hope people are seeing us as a newspaper, but also as a whole organization they can rely on for articles and for good content." Oscar agrees, adding he hopes the newspaper has an even broader impact than just on students. "I’m hoping that it can help people and once their older they will know more about what happens in their community and how they can help others do the same."

These 6th graders are in school to get an education, yet here they are educating us.