Clockwise from Top Left: Traveling to Salt Lake City in one van, MediaOne’s mail room, lunch at the mall, our 10,000 newspapers at the release party, Jeremy (Photo Editor at SL Tribune), and seeing our paper for the first time.
We did it.
For the last month, we’ve been running all around town, photographing and writing about Green River in partnership with teenagers from town. We pushed them to think about their home, their families and their futures, and transform it all into publishable content. After four weeks of after-school sessions with junior high and high school students, and many conversations with local people, we wrapped up our files and sent them to the printer.
Last Friday, we loaded five students and two teen interns into a van and drove up to Salt Lake City. We took the kids to see the 100-gallon tanks of magenta ink at the newspaper press, get a tour of the Salt Lake Tribune newsroom, and pick up 10,000 copies of the newspaper. The kids learned a lot, but also had fun.
On Saturday, we held the newspaper release party for the community, complete with homemade donuts, cupcakes and chili. Broadway was PACKED with cars, both sides of the street. Epicenter staff told us the event brought record-breaking numbers of party-goers. The sun was shining, the wind was quiet, and it felt like spring. The best moment was maybe when the mayor told us (not once, but twice!) how proud he was of our hard work on the paper, and what a great engaging project the paper had been for the town.
On Sunday morning, Epicenter split into teams (one for the north side of Main, one for the south side) and hand-delivered papers to as many houses as possible. We tossed papers over barking dogs, and we handed them to people doing yard work. This morning, at the post office, we ran into a lady who was mailing a copy of the paper to her son. “It’s a success,” she said.
We’re proud of what we’ve made, but the true gauge of success will be in learning how the community of Green River views the project. Green River, what do you think? Did we get it right? What could be better? We’ve set up an email address where you can share your opinions, good or bad. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the end, we had 24 contributors to the newspaper, 17 of whom are in grades 7-12 at Green River High. The other contributors were a healthy mix of Epicenter staff, local adult residents, and teachers at the high school.
That said… We have about a million more people to thank. Specifically, huge thanks to Corbin LaMont for taking a plane and a train to get here and help us with design instead of sleeping. Ashley Ross, Armando Rios, Maria Sykes, Chris Lezama, and Jack Forinash were a critical support system. Kathy Brady and Cheryl Crowson at CHEER made this project happen.
We’d also like to thank Doreen Allen, Pat Brady, Keith Brady, Jolene Dalton, Allyson Mecham, Adriana Cordova, Jean Tidwell, Joanne Ekker, Jo Anne Chandler, JoAnn Wetherington, Kris Farnsworth, Olive Anderson, Craig Gowans, Burke Simmons, Kerry Goldman, Sheri Vetere, Nolan Johnson, Obdulia Lujan, Eugene Swalberg, Mia Molly Vetere, Natalie Vetere, Destiney Holbrook, Carlei Gee, Cassi Mecham, Amber Burnett, Elizabeth Anguiano, Anthony “Coco” Rivera, Brittany and Janeice at The Chow Hound, Sarah and Alex Urquhart, Corinne Haase, Zachary Schomburg, Miles Mattison, and our moms. And our dads.
Today, Nicole and Sarah leave Green River after a month of hard work. Don’t fret, we’re already planning their return.