We’re halfway through our third week here, and our new reality is HIGH SCHOOL (!!!!!)
We’ve spent the last two weeks immersed in the delightful chaos that is high school, leading workshops and running the CHEER after school program. We made comics with the Drawing class, explored photographic contrasts with the Yearbook staff, and made unconventional advertisements for Green River in Graphic Arts. We led a two-week research and creative writing project in the 12th grade Language Arts class, and took a field trip to the Green River City Archives. Whew! And now that we’re finished, we have some excellent content from the young people of Green River to share in the newspaper.
We’ve also been hanging out with junior high and high school students who come to CHEER’s after-school program, working with them one-on-one and in groups to make projects based on the things they’re into. One student is into cooking, and so last week we made flan in the home-ec room. One student has developed an interest in photography, and so she’s been taking our portraits and documenting walks we take in the afternoon. A pair of brothers are SUPER into parkour, and so they’re collaborating on an article to demystify the sport. Their older sister is into fashion, and so tomorrow we’ll work with a woman from the Green River Thrift Store to do a photo shoot in the desert.
It’s been a wild ride. To put it simply, teenagers are unpredictable. We were prepared to be adaptable, and thank goodness, things change minute to minute. We weren’t necessarily prepared for how consuming it can be to support a class of students in making creative work. We anticipated being able to collaborate more closely with people from Green River who aren’t teenagers, but in reality our focus has undoubtedly been high school.
It’s all coming together, though! Collaborations are growing organically, with members of the Green River community. We’ve received submissions of photographs, letters and articles, and anything could happen in the week before we go to print.
In a week we send the paper to the printer, and we are so excited. Our friend from Portland, Corbin Lamont (future Frontier Fellow!) is arriving tonight for a four-day design blitz, to help us plug content into the paper.
There are a number of Epicenter High School Interns who have been involved in the process from start to finish, dedicated to making the newspaper a reality. When it’s all printed and ready, we’ll take them up to the Salt Lake City Tribune to see where it was printed and talk with news reporters and photographers. The next day, we’ll have a release party at the Epicenter to celebrate the students’ hard work. There will be cupcakes and newspapers galore.