Guests:  Taylor Kilgore, Assistant Editor;  McKenna Kohlenberg, Editor, Simpson Street Free Press;  Sarah Useche, Teen Editor, La Prensa Libre de Simpson Street and Youth Leadership Group Leader;  Joan Collins, Joan Collins Publicity, Inc.

What began as a literacy program in 1992 based in a challenged neighborhood, today the Simpson Street Free Press publishes six separate youth newspapers – including two bilingual publications – produces content for multiple platforms, and is the recipient of numerous state and national awards.  About 260 students in grades 3 – 12 work in the newsrooms and are paid for their journalistic assignments.  The focus of SSFP is to inspire academic achievement through promoting literacy, gaining writing and reporting skills, and bridging achievement gaps.  Students are promoted through the newsroom ranks and take on leadership roles.

On this program, Taylor Kilgore (recipient of WKOW’s Jefferson Award), McKenna Kohlenberg and Sarah Useche take us behind the scenes of the SSFP and how it fosters academic excellence and young leaders. Joan Collins, recipient of the Governor’s Trailblazer Award for Women in Business, describes why she donated to the SSFP Teen Leadership Project to expand the number of high school journalists serving as assistant editors and writing instructors.

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