News Literacy Project partners with Citizen Schools in after-school program


Five New York Times journalists and former CNN financial editor Myron Kandel are the News Literacy Project’s first participants in an after-school apprenticeship program in partnership with Citizen Schools.

The journalists are working with a dozen middle school students at STARS Prep Academy MS 45 in East Harlem during the 11-week program. The students are learning about journalism and news literacy and plan to produce a mini-documentary focusing on issues in their community.

“The News Literacy group has made quite an impression on Citizen Schools’ students here at MS 45 in East Harlem!” said Liz Crowley, Citizen Schools’ liaison at the school. “In their ‘Make a News Show’ apprenticeship, students will write, direct and produce a news show focusing on the issues they think are most important and unique about their neighborhood — all under the guidance of multimedia professionals. The experience is sure to make a lasting impact on these students.”

The nonprofit Citizen Schools, which was founded 13 years ago in Boston, has become a national model by providing after-school programs to low-income middle school students that blend real-world learning projects and rigorous academics.  A core ingredient is a hands-on apprenticeship that utilizes adult volunteers as “Citizen Teachers” and culminates with a presentation by the students to members of the community that demonstrates their mastery of new skills.

Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools’ CEO and co-founder, is a member of the News Literacy Project’s advisory committee.

Jane Bornemeier, editor of New York Times Radio, is the project leader. The other Times participants are video journalists Kassie Bracken, Emily Hager, Robert Harris and Michele Monteleone. Myron Kandel was CNN’s founding financial editor and an economic commentator for 25 years.

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