GVC Students take part in Mentorship Program

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Joel (Grade 12)

A group of students in Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, have been receiving feedback from someone other than their teacher. In fact, they received feedback from graduate students at the Carleton University in Ottawa, one of the top journalism schools in Canada.

The students were involved in a mentoring project, organized by the SchoolNet News Network. The GVC students have been sending rough drafts of news articles to the Carleton students, via Email. Within days, the Carleton students can send back comments suggestions for improvement. The articles have been submitted to SchoolNet News (SNN).

GVC student Crystal Siemens has enjoyed the opportunity to benifit from the experience of her mentor. "Through this mentorship project I have learned much about the techniques, creativity, and styles of writing", says Siemens.

GVC teacher, Larry Danielson is "impressed with the thoughtfulness of the Carleton students' responses." He also commented that a "teacher such as myself can be expected to have a wide-range of expertise, but in specialty areas such as journalism, the Carleton graduate students are much better trained and thus able to give more knowledgeable guidance."

Nancy Parsons-Heath, director of the SchoolNet News Network, said that the mentoring project "allows direct contact between the students and serves a purpose on both ends. The SNN student writers get some good feedback to help improve their writing skills and the journalism students get a chance to practice the skills that they are learning in their journalism program."

The mentoring project has also had some other positive benefits, many students have made some connections with their mentors. For example, Crystal Siemen's mentor, Gavin Adamson, has written for the Winnipeg Free Press, a daily newspaper distributed across Manitoba. Adamson has even reported for the Free Press from Winkler.

The next step? According to Ms. Parsons-Heath, SNN is "also hoping to run a similar type of program with some media organizations and professional journalists." She also comments that she is "very pleased with the project so far and we hope the success of this one will lead to more schools becoming involved."

Front Page News