The New Haven Student Journalism Project
The New Haven Student Journalism Project brings the joy and power of journalism to New Haven Public School students. From its start in 2011 at the Celentano School, the project has moved and grown. Since 2013, it has been based at the East Rock Community & Cultural Studeies Magnet School and supported by Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs. Student journalists in grades 3-8 work in reporting teams with Yale mentors to produce The East Rock Record. The newspaper is published twice a year with 3,000 copies distributed throughout the New Haven community and to state legislators.
NHSJP reporters cover the most important stories of the day. Reporters tracked the 2016 election, from primary through Election Day and organized a mock election for fellow students. Students have reported on immigration issues, climate change, the 2019 New Haven Mayoral election. Reporters have tackled food security, gun violence, computer hacking, dating in middle school — and the addicting power of Fornite.
Reporters have interviewed prominent leaders — including Mayor Toni Harp and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia Ferrick — during press conferences held in the school. They have met street youth workers and food pantry organizers, police officers, and school department officials. Reporters have hosted guest artists, including muralist Kwadwo Adae, filmmaker Phen Dest, the Long Wharf Theatre cast of Brownsville Song, the Yale Wiffenpoofs and musician José Oyola. Reporters have interviewed experts in medicine, public health and bullying. They travel each spring to the state Capitol in Hartford to interview lawmakers and visit the press room. They write opinion pieces on subjects like fake news and U.S. border policy.
The finished newspaper is top quality. But the greatest value comes from the process. Students think, observe and make meaning out of events and ideas. From brainstorming to publication, reporters lead the conversation. This project — like much in journalism — is about exercising curiosity, asking questions and communicating what they know (and on opinion pages, what they believe). We value social skills and civility. Each issue has a publication party with community guests, teachers and family members who celebrate as reporters practice their conversational and hosting skills (including cutting and serving cake). Follow us on Instagram.