With fall approaching, Know Your City has been hard at work gearing up for the East Portland Newspaper Project (EPNP) at Harrison Park School. As Lead Educator for the program, I’ve spent the past few weeks writing the curriculum and meeting with amazing artists and civic leaders to discuss and get feedback on the project. We’re really excited about the EPNP and can’t wait to meet the students!
Some background: the East Portland Newspaper Project is a collaboration between Know Your City, Tim Schulze’s fifth grade students at Harrison Park School and the surrounding SE 82nd Avenue community, a neighborhood known for its multicultural makeup. Over ten weeks students will study the history, sociology and changing demographics of the area, then produce 5,000 free newspapers that are informed by their study. To gain an understanding of the complex issues addressed by their study students will research and interview civic leaders and tour neighborhood organizations and businesses.
In the first few weeks of the course, students will participate in a series of workshops and activities to prepare them for their investigation. Classroom visits by photographers Intisar Abioto and Julie Keefe will teach students the skills of photo journalism and Brad Schmidt of the Oregonian will visit to the class to share his practice as a journalist covering the stories of SE 82nd Ave.
After learning interviewing skills, students will lead interviews with community members and civic leaders. In this way, students will become community historians and will be selecting interview questions and topics that resonate with their own lives. To prepare for each interview, students will research their classroom guest and develop a series of open ended questions for the visitor. All interviews and tours will be documented by the students using digital cameras and Zoom audio recorders.
This project is a great way to take learning outside of the classroom, investigate community, and honor the knowledge and expertise that students. We can’t wait until the start of the program in September. Keep an eye out for program updates throughout the fall.
To receive a final copy of the paper, simply sign up as a supporter and become a member of Know Your City. All members will be mailed a final copy of the paper as a benefit of membership! Membership starts at just $50/ year – for full info, click here.
East Portland Newspaper Project is made possible with the generous support of Black United Fund of Oregon and Oregon Arts Commission.