The Center for Christian Education recently sponsored a journalism competition for students at Lutheran High School in Martin. The challenge was for students to write about their school and extracurricular activities, and report on the education they are receiving, then post the articles on their social media sites.
The goal of the competition was to present the bilingual high school education program at Lutheran High School on Facebook and other social networks. The student volunteers took their roles as investigative journalists seriously. After a short introduction on the ‘how-to’s’ of writing journalistic reports for the media, students went to work, writing articles focusing on school life and leisure activities.
Students were encouraged to write about the school using six different themes—Lutheran High School as: Cheerful, Sociable, Fun in English, Social, Creative, and as an exceptional Slovak school. Articles appeared on student Facebook pages and some were printed in the local newspaper. Thanks to this activity, parents, friends, school supporters, as well as the wider public, learned more about the school and its unique educational system. A diverse group of people had the opportunity to look closely at the education and teaching program at Lutheran High School and to see it through the eyes of the students.
The students’ articles covered such things as students’ being able to read English accounts of the winter Olympics. There were articles on the school’s presentation of Sophocles’ play Antigone, on how the debate team was doing, and on a writing competition on the topic of human trafficking. Slovak media received a lot of positive reports on current social and cultural issues, which, we believe, are a desirable alternative to the current dominant negative reporting.
The journalism competition had a good impact in our school as well as in the wider community, and it brought about two desired results: The student writers at Lutheran High School were awarded prizes—vouchers for free books, and they also became young journalists who helped build our school’s excellent reputation in our region.