Leah Boone-Stewart, right, a student journalist at Kingsbury High School in Memphis, interviews Lanaya Hamilton and Bionica Barnes for school news she was reporting. Boone-Stewart is just one of the many students who will benefit from the JEA Partner Project KHS has been awarded. Photo by Malorie Paine

By Sha’Zariea Rogers

MEMPHIS, TN — Kingsbury High School was awarded a two-year partnership through Journalism Education Association to assist in building a strong journalism program at the school.

KHS was selected in part because of the dedicated journalism students and staff already in place. KHS is a largely diverse public school in Memphis with more than 90% of students coming from a minority background, which contributed to the partnership selection as well. A focus of the JEA partner project is to help in schools where students and advisers may not be able to attend national trainings, according the the JEA website.

Kingsbury’s interim principal Shenar Miller says the program will be a great opportunity for the students.

“I am overly excited about this partnership,” Miller said. “I think is great opportunity for our scholars to receive hands-on training from experts.”

Miller also said the partnership will allow the student media program to expand. Kingsbury’s student media program started last year, and several students have already been able to achieve great results within the program.

Malorie Paine, Journalism teacher and student media adviser said this opportunity is another way that goes to show what the Kingsbury student media program is is doing works. One KHS student journalist, Ortavia Easly, was selected to attend the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, and several others have had opportunities to be published in professional newspapers. 

Paine believes the program is a way to enhance what students are already doing. 

“This program will provide our students a truly hands-on learning opportunity,” Paine said. “We have a lot going on already, but this is just an opportunity to make our program stronger and to help grow our students in many ways.”

Nationally, student journalists tend to perform higher in all areas of study, and journalism helps develop skills that can be applied in other areas of life including future careers in any industry, Paine said.

Through the partnership program, KHS will receive trainers through JEA for a two-day bootcamp in the fall. The trainers will work with all student media areas including the newspaper and yearbook to develop reporting, design, photography, and other skills. Then, for the two following school years, the trainers will conduct Google hangouts with the students to ensure development and training continues.

“I know our students are going to take what they learn through this program and implement it,” Paine said. “I can’t wait to see where this partnership helps take our journalism program.”