Mrs. Z

Congratulations Mrs. Z!

Meet Eileen Zygarlicke, the ND Newspaper Association NIE Teacher of the Year. I nominated Eileen for this award because of her dedication in using the newspaper as a teaching tool. She was presented with the award Friday night at the ND Newspaper Association Banquet held at the Canad Inn in Grand Forks.

Here is an excerpt from Eileen on how she uses the Grand Forks Herald in her classroom at Community High School in Grand Forks. “Writing rules our relationships, our employment, and our lives. Without knowing how to write, people couldn’t email, text, fill out job applications or write love notes to their significant other. However, try telling teens the importance of learning how to write and they’ll roll their eyes and tune you out. But, if you can SHOW them that writing permeates our lives and apply writing to the world around them, you’ll have a chance of capturing their attention and teaching them something.

One of the best sources I’ve found for teaching certain types of writing is the newspaper. In the past students wrote for the Grand Forks Herald Teen Page. I loved it when students did this. They learned to interview people, write tight, and write for a specific audience all while applying writing, a school subject, to the real world. Community students had over 50 articles published in the Teen Page, which speaks to their ability to learn to write for a large audience.

I currently use the paper to teach persuasive writing. Students read through the paper and find an article they feel passionately about either in the mailbag or in the other parts of the paper. They learn how to articulate their ideas while trying to persuade an audience. Not only do they write letters, but they actually send them for publication. Again, my nontraditional students learn the thrill of seeing their words in print as well as see the power the printed word has.

I appreciate getting the paper daily in my classroom. When current events that rock nations occur, such as the uprising in Egypt, I can refer to the paper and discuss the ramifications. Many of my students would never see a paper if there wasn’t one in the classroom. Not only is the paper a tool for them to use in the classroom, but it offers them a snapshot of world events.

Here is a picture of Eileen and me at the banquet. The Grand Forks Herald NIE program was named ND Newspaper Association CO-NIE Newspaper of the Year along with The Forum NIE program. Congratulations to Kerri Kava and her NIE program at the Forum!

3 Responses

  1. Yes, congratulations to both of you for your ongoing efforts in the Newspapers in Education area! The judges were spot on picking you both in the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest!

  2. Paulette Tobin

    Congratulations, Mrs. Z, and thank you for the incredible work you do teaching the importance of the written word. I loved working with you and your kids on Teen Page. Thanks for the inspiration of your passion for doing what you do!

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