The staff of the East Wellington Times posed in 2012 with the first issue of their monthly newsletter. Justin LaBarre, left, Zachary Simms, Aidan Simms, Judd Spaulding, Libby Spaulding and Savannah Johnson delivered the first 40 issues to residents Saturday, Jan. 7. Since then, a new staff member, Chad Carges, not pictured, has been added and distribution is nearly 50 copies every month. The publication includes interviews, photos, weekly columns and seriealized fiction.
Cazenovia The East Wellington Times is a monthly newsletter with interviews, photos, weekly columns and serialized fiction. Almost 50 copies are distributed free to the public every month.
And it’s run by middle schoolers.
Justin LaBarre, Zachary Simms, Aidan Simms, Judd Spaulding, Libby Spaulding, Chad Carges and Savannah Johnson are between the ages of nine and 12 and celebrated their one-year anniversary as reporters and publishers in January.
As a group they have produced twelve issues of the East Wellington Times, which reports on happenings in the area in which the staff lives, East Road and Wellington Avenue. Some of the most memorable stories of the past year include the repaving of Wellington Avenue and the reconstruction of the Cazenovia Equipment buildings, a company owned by a family who lives in the area.
The newspaper was started by Savannah Johnson, who told the Republican one year ago, “[I] just felt like doing something with everyone in the neighborhood. All I had to do was send an invitation out for a meeting. I chose to work with the people I knew the best.”
Since January of 2012, the staff gained a member, Chad Carges, who specializes in writing sports. The other members of the staff have established roles for themselves in the context of the paper.
“I do weather and ‘did you know?’” said Justin LaBarre, a seventh grader. “Did you know?” is a segment that includes trivia with a connection to the season. This month’s subject is Valentine’s Day.
For the weather segment of the paper, LaBarre lists the past month’s average temperatures. He has also been in touch with Dave Longley at News Channel 9
Savannah Johnson, a fifth grader, has provided a piece of fiction for the newspaper every month, often with stories continued through multiple issues. She aspires to be an author and graphic designer.