Kwalikum Secondary students have published the school’s first-ever newspaper, the Kwalikum Observer.
Grade 10 student and editor Sophie Bruner is the driving force behind the paper, first published on April 27.
Bruner is an active person who loves sports. She plays volleyball at KSS but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school sports have been shut down and she needed something else to keep her focused and busy.
“I didn’t have a lot of things going on other than my academics,” said Bruner. “So I just decided to start a newspaper using my passion for writing. I think it will be a good outlet for other students at the school who don’t have a lot going on right now.”
The first issue of the Observer, which Bruner said they began organizing last March, focused on issues that touched on mental health, sexism, sleep deprivation, self-esteem, the environment and food.
“Because we don’t have a lot going on right now, I really wanted it to be something that could help students with mental health or just give them something to read,” said Bruner. “Something for our school. We had a couple of articles on mental health in our first issue here and I think those definitely helped people.”
Creating the newspaper wasn’t easy and Bruner said there were some tough moments but she is grateful for the support she received from classmates, friends and teachers.
“The biggest challenge was getting people from all the different areas,” said Bruner. “I personally am very interested in sports and in my academics. I’m not an artist and finding people to help with comic strips and do things like that has been the biggest difficulty for sure.”
Editing copy presented a major learning curve for Bruner, who had to read through a number of submitted articles.
The response to the inaugural issue has been positive, she said.
Bruner plans to publish the second issue in June, before the school year ends. And she hopes to continue publishing next year.
“My goal is to have one paper a month next school year,” said Bruner. “I am hoping to get more students involved. I am going to use this summer to work on that.”