County schools excel at PACERS

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 27, 2012

Shown are members of the Red Level Elementary School Tiger TImes newspaper at the luncheon during the PACERS conference yesterday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Covington County students took home five of the 13 awards for the PACERS community newspaper awards at Thursday’s annual Conference, held at Red Level Elementary School.

Dr. Jennifer Adams, coordinator of the project, said she was pleased by the efforts the students made this year.

“It’s been a pleasure coming in and working with you all,” she said.

Best business article went to Jayla Poindexter of Red Level; best graphic to Alyssa Arnold and Taylor Wilkerson of Red Level; best sports photo to Wilkerson; best feature photo to Paige Irwin of Florala; and best ad sales to RLES for selling 50 ads and raising $5,333.

“I’m expecting bigger things from the rest of you next year,” Adams said.

Camp Hill won the best community involvement award; Flomaton won the best website; Section won the best newspaper; best newspaper article went to Alyssa White of Section; best community news article went to Waylon Jones of Flomaton and Flecia Sparkman of Section; best school news story went to Brooke Harden of Flomaton and Brody Lee of Section; Section’s White also took home best sports article and Breanna Baker of Section won the best opinion award.

Student had the opportunity to present their school projects during a session, which included community gardens and greenhouses, the community newspaper project, aquaponics and community documentation.

During the newspaper presentation, students heard from each group, including Flomaton’s The Storm, which is an online publication a small group of students are working on.

Noah McAnnually, managing editor of The Storm, told students gathered their goal was to put out four editions of a print publication, but they have run into some difficulties, but are flourishing with their web product.

“We use social networking such as Facebook to let everyone know when we’ve updated a story,” he said. “We haven’t given up on our print product and we are working diligently to put out a graduation section in the coming weeks.”

In the library, students gathered for the community documentation portion.

Students from Florala, WS Harlan, Camp Hill and Section have teamed up with the Community Newspaper Project to create documentation on the older generation.

Students have interviewed older residents to document what life was like when they were growing up, find out about their occupations, education, rural life, cultural events, family life and more.

At W.S. Harlan, second and third graders, along with the staff are working to document the history of Lockhart.

WSH Principal Brent Zessin said many students go through life and new know why their school is there.

“A lot of people go 12 years and know nothing about them,” he said. “At one time, Florala and Lockhart were very large. That was in the 1910s to 1930s.”

During the session, students from the four schools had the opportunity to show clips from their documentation and talk about what they have learned.