GREENVILLE — A culmination of months of hard work came hot off the presses Wednesday.
A group of students dedicated to writing and reading embarked on a journey to start up a student-run newspaper at Greenville Middle School about six months ago.
On Wednesday, they got to see the newspaper they designed and created, Mornings in the Middle, printed at Stafford Media in Greenville.
The group, comprised of students, chaperones and faculty adviser Lori Holland, was taken through the printing plant and given a tour before watching their newspaper go through the presses.
Rob Stafford, president of Stafford Media, and John Moy, vice president of sales at Stafford Media, led the tour and gave the group the rundown on what goes on in the factory.
Moy explained the printing process and what goes into printing the various publications and other projects Stafford Media publishes, including The Daily News.
“We want photos to stand out and your stories to be readable and everything with a good image,” he said. “We are happy to be able to do this today.”
The tour rounded out the experience for the students, who received a crash course in newspapers over the last few months. It started when a few students got together and decided they’d like to see a newspaper in the school instead of the morning announcements.
From there, they formed a club with other people who had the same interests. They approached Holland, a language arts teacher at the middle school, who said she would be willing to supervise the club.
The budding journalists really wanted the chance to put together a newspaper and have it printed. Holland wasn’t sure how that was going to happen. Then she got an email reminding her about an upcoming deadline to apply for grants with the Greenville Area Community Foundation (GACF). She got to work.
The GACF granted funds for the newspaper club for the purposes of putting together and printing their own newspaper. The club received a total of $1,035.
After the tour of the printing plant, when students got to see the presses in action and the first few usable copies of the paper came off those presses, the excitement in the room was palpable.
Heidi Raih, 13, one of the original members of the newspaper club from when it formed last November, said the newspaper was everything she had hoped it would be. She held the paper to her face to inhale the smell of the freshly printed paper.
Holland was happy for the students in the club.
“I’m so happy we’ve all done this. I know there were some days the kids were tired and didn’t want to do this. We had snow days and we had to get back to catch up on things,” she said. “In the end … this is exactly what we did this for and to see it in print and see the end product and know we have something for next year. I’m so proud of them and I’m so happy.”
Raih and Kayla Jeffery, 12, are both eighth-graders and will be moving on to the high school next year, but both of them have expressed interest in coming back to help get the ball rolling for students interested in continuing on with Mornings in the Middle.
Holland’s proud of the commitment the students have demonstrated in getting the newspaper together on top of their normal responsibilities, especially given recent standardized testing they’ve had to undergo.
She pointed to Jeffery as another example of that commitment because Jeffery wanted to join track but was worried about the practice schedule conflicting with the newspaper club. Luckily, she was able to compromise with her track coach and was able to do both.
“She was still on board 100 percent,” Holland said. “I was pretty impressed. I’m pretty happy with them and for them.”