Letters From The Editors: The prize bag


Justin Curto and Jena Smith

Welcome back to Letters From The Editors. Last semester, we chose our favorite web story and photo after each web week. We awarded the staffers that created our favorite content with a certificate and their favorite candy. Our process worked for most of the semester, but at the beginning of this semester, we fell behind. The issue was that before we awarded, one of us (or Liz) had to make a special trip to the store for the candy part of the web award. After several late night and early morning trips to the store, we decided to change it up for second semester.

Remember when you did something good in kindergarten and you got to pull a prize out of the treasure chest? We do. Our new prize idea is very similar to the treasure chest  but, instead of a cute treasure chest, we’re using a black trash bag to store our goodies.

To put the prize bag together, we went to Dollar Tree earlier this week and went crazy. We bought a total of 25 prizes, which will hopefully last us through the rest of the year. Although we can’t tell you everything that’s in the bag — that would spoil the surprise for our staff — some of the prizes that have already been drawn include a giant pen, a “romance” scented candle and a glow-in-the-dark mini lamp. Basically, we bought anything that we thought an elementary school student — and, thus, a journalism student as well — would like.

While the idea of high schoolers drawing out of a prize bag might sound silly, there’s a method to our madness. It is so important to recognize when staffers create awesome things, whether it be a story, photo or multimedia element. Often times people outside of the J-room don’t recognize the hard work that goes into creating content, and we want the staffers to be recognized for their hard work.

We hope the new prize bag will give our staff members yet another incentive to make awesome content. Our staff members are excited about it, and you should be too, because it’ll mean there’s more awesome content for you to check out in the future as well.

Check it out: The Kansas Scholastic Press Association announced Of the Month contest results for December and January, and our multimedia entries placed first and second. Coming in first place was a compilation of newspaper’s second quarter special project, “After 2:55 p.m.” Second place was a compilation of coverage from the Saints Classic basketball tournament that we previously told you about a few weeks ago. So, if you haven’t already, you should check our award-winning content out.

Lessons of the week:

J-Curt: Well, this is really awkward. For the life of me, I can’t think of a lesson for this week. (Not that I’m not learning anything, but nothing really sticks out.) Sorry. Maybe I’ll make it up to you with two lessons another week — we’ll have to see.

Jena: We’ve mentioned before that J-Curt and I have one collective brain, and his lesson this week came from our collective brain. Sorry, we’re lame. Check back next week for a much better lesson.

Seniors Justin “J-Curt” Curto and Jena Smith are the editors-in-chief of Mill Valley News online. They appreciate captioned photos, categorized and tagged stories, staff members who don’t text about web assignments at 11 p.m., teachers and students who talk about things they read on Mill Valley News and all things multimedia.

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