The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

May 29, 2003

Davenport, Des Moines Students Participate In Journalism Academy

A University of Iowa program is training Iowa's future journalists with week-long camps for elementary and junior high school students in Davenport and Des Moines.

The Iowa Summer Journalism Academies offer young students a first taste of journalism while giving high school students a chance to share the skills they have learned in class. The academies are hosted at Davenport Central High School and Des Moines Roosevelt High School with journalism teachers overseeing the program and high school journalists working with the younger students.

Vanessa Shelton, director of the Iowa High School Press Association and the project director for the academies, said participants are recruited from elementary and junior high schools with diverse student populations. One goal of the program is to introduce minority students to high school, college and career opportunities in journalism.

This year's program runs June 9-13 at both sites, with about 30 participants expected in Des Moines and nearly 100 in Davenport. Each group will spend one day at the UI meeting college journalists at the Daily Iowan, visiting the WSUI radio studio and touring other campus sites. The students also will visit professional journalists in their hometowns, including the Quad City Times in Davenport and the Des Moines Register and KCCI in Des Moines.

All instruction and field trips lead to production of final projects by Academy groups. Using their new skills in brainstorming, interviewing, observation, writing, story-telling, grammar, photography and technology, the students create a publication distributed at the end of the Academy. A video production also is prepared as a final project in Davenport. The Des Moines Academy produces an insert distributed in the Roosevelt High School newspaper.

Now in the fifth year in Davenport and in the second year in Des Moines, the Iowa Summer Journalism Academies recently won a first place award for Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism from the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). In addition, Shelton won the division's Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award.

The Iowa Summer Journalism Academies are supported by Opportunity at Iowa, the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Summer Journalism Workshops, the Iowa High School Press Association and the Davenport and Des Moines school districts.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Vanessa Shelton, 319-335-3318,