Students earn news writing contest mention

December 04, 2000

Students earn news writing contest mention

By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Writing contestThey didn't exactly rewrite history, but a group of Washington County Technical High School students traveled back in time to dig up news that happened nearly 50 years ago.

Their efforts earned them an honorable mention in a nationwide USA Today/ News of the Century contest.

Nine students in the visual communications class entered the contest as juniors last year and recently learned as seniors that they received an award.

The contest called on students to research and write eight articles and one opinion piece on events that happened in a year assigned by USA Today. The group was given the year 1953.


They won gift certificates from Barnes & Noble Online and T-shirts. Their work was published on

"It was really a well-done contest," said teacher Melinda Robino, who teaches the class. "The kids did a great job and learned a lot about the Web."

The group spent about three weeks working on the project, according to student Paula Price. The topics of their articles included the discovery of the double-helix structure to DNA; the end of the Korean War; the U.S. Women's National Basketball Team winning the first women's world championship in Santiago, Chile; the release of the first issue of Playboy; and two deadly tornadoes in Flint, Mich., and Worcester, Mass., which killed a total of 210 people. More than 2,100 people were injured.

The students also had to write about how an event impacted 1953 and the present year.

"We didn't realize that much stuff happened," Price said.

Josh LeFevre wrote an editorial called "Dang Commies Try to Take South," as if he were living during the time of the Korean War.

"This war has been a waste from beginning to end," he wrote. "A waste of resource, a waste of lives and a huge waste of money."

The students said they enhanced their Internet research skills and learned how to layout pages.

"I'd want to do it over again," student LaNitra Higgins said.

"We ruled," LeFevre said.

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