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.
continued Zachary Simms, a seventh grader, usually writes the “Pet of the Month” column, which focuses on a different neighborhood pet in each issue. According to the staff, “Pet of the Month” is the paper’s most popular column.
The paper also reviews a different book every month. Reading the book and writing up a review is a job that rotates among the staff. Each month, Cazenovia Public Library displays the book as well as the latest copy of the East Wellington Times.
This year, the Times staff has learned about the most effective ways to interview and write. “I type my questions and fill them in while the person talks,” Johnson said about her process.
The paper has a hard deadline of the first Friday of the month. “For Pet of the Month this week, I did it right on the night it was due,” said Aidan Simms, a fourth grader.
“I like making stories. I like [that] after the fact I feel proud of myself,” said Zachary Simms on his stories from the past year.
The staff has already begun working on stories that will run in the March and April issues of the paper. Justin LaBarre rode along with a snowplow on a snowy Friday in February while Cazenovia Central Schools were closed due to weather.
“It was really fun … I asked how long they had the trucks and how long they’ve been working there and how the salt is distributed,” he said.
The East Wellington Times is available in hard copy by delivery or at the Cazenovia Public Library and can also be distributed by email upon request.
For further information on the newspaper, or to suggest a story, email Krist_eye@yahoo.com. For more information on the staff and the East Wellington area visit theeast-wellingtonfort.weebly.com, a website run by staff members Zachary Simms and Justin LaBarre.
Terence Hartnett is an Eagle Newspapers contributor. He can be reached through the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org