Spotlight on The Villa Times

Spotlight on The Villa Times

Assistant Librarian Marta Franzen has been shepherding the The Villa Times since 2009. What began as a project when she was an instructional assistant in 2nd grade, has blossomed over the years into an amazing enrichment experience through our Extended Day Program—and always with a full complement of 26 students from 4th through 8th grade.

Marta, who worked as a professional proofreader and copy editor earlier in her career, emphasizes that The Villa Times belongs to the students from beginning to end. While she plays an advisory role along with Learning Support Specialist Brit Pauser, the students are responsible for all phases of the publishing process. Each section of the paper has an editor, which, says Marta, "is an amazing leadership experience. It is wonderful to see students from a range of grades working together so collaboratively."

The latest issue featured a front page story by Peter K. on the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Inside content covered more climate change news, plus topics from science experiments, to animal facts, to World Series news, to recipes. When asked why The VIlla Times doesn't go digital when so much content is now online, Marta says, "The kids don't want it! The hands-on process of creating a physically tangible product is satisfying, and when copies are distributed to fellow students on publishing day, it becomes a community experience." The Villa Times can be purchased for 25¢ from the paperbox across from the main office. Proceeds (along with those from in-school subscriptions) are donated to a charity voted upon by the students.