Aubrey High School students revived the school’s newspaper with the release of Chap Chatter in early January.
The school had a paper long ago that was discontinued. Journalism teacher Michelle Rasure was not sure when. The school, which has always had a yearbook, launched a web version of the paper last year. However, that did not pan out, as the paper lacked exposure and could not reach others like a printed product can.
Students picked the name Chap Chatter, but it was the second choice, as they originally chose the Aubrey Post. Rasure, though, did not want there to be any confusion with The Pilot Point Post-Signal, so the second name stuck. Chap Chatter was inserted in the Jan. 5 issue of The Post-Signal.
Rasure directs some of the coverage, as she advises students on basics, and students suggest stories and pictures and then sign up for them.
“Once we get that set, we’ll go to our program on the computer and actually build and format and all those kind of things,” she said.
The paper works under a 12-page allotment, and most of the space in the first edition was dedicated to pictures, although there were news features on the Spanish Club, band, student activities in the community and at school, and a section on book recommendations, among other coverage. Another edition will be released this spring, at the end of the semester.
“That’s a financial decision at the moment, because when I asked for my budget at the end of last year, I didn’t know we were going to be doing this,” Rasure said about the number of editions to be released. “We don’t have the … money to pay for more than one [a semester]. I’d like to do two a semester.”
This semester, editors hope to have a Senior Shout-out section in which students can buy a 50-cent ad to give a message to a senior.
Students have three cameras to shoot pictures and will get a lesson on what subjects to shoot, Rasure said. Students are learning about newspapers and reporting in Journalism I and II classes.
Chap Chatter has four editors: Hannah Johnson, Keeli Dehtan, Emily Lowe and Meghan Schilling.
“They each took a section and it was their job to make sure pictures got put up or in or downloaded or fixed and then they helped their people with their sections,” Rasure said.
Dehtan, Lowe and Schilling said they liked seeing their first edition come together and look forward to piecing together the next paper. Rasure provided some guidance, but students had some freedom.
“She wanted it to be like own our project,” Dehtan said.
At least one of three editors was intrigued by a newspaper career.
“It sounds interesting to do for a job,” Schilling said.
Journalism students Mariah Garcia, Abby Gibson and Amia Carr have participated in the UIL journalism writing contests, with a district met set for March 20 in Bonham, and said they have had fun writing in the contests and that their writing has improved overall. Another practice meet is set for Feb. 10, with students having already had two meets. Journalism students took first in the Burleson meet in December.
AHS principal Matt Gore said the first edition of the paper was “awesome.”
“I think it’s great to provide an outlet for the positive things that our students are doing at the school,” he said. “It’s something that was really kind of student-run and it’s an opportunity for them to display their talents and the great things that are going on here and learn the journalism process and the photojournalism field.”