by Christina Malliet
Students are getting involved in issues that matter to them by disseminating news and encouraging action on these issues as part of an innovative network. In collaboration with Taking It Global Organization (TIG), students and teachers from Washington International School created the Student News Action Network in 2009. A year later, students still maintain the network, with the help of newly-added member secondary schools from around the world.
The Network is a collaborative, interactive, online newspaper. It brings together a system of students from around the world to address such issues of global significance as poverty, the environment and human rights. Member schools, which include Washington International School, American School of Doha, KIS International School and many more, act as either regional hubs or contributor schools, and their students write news pieces for the online newspaper.
In light of recent talk about the effectiveness of journalism as a means of civic engagement, this network provides a particularly powerful solution. Not only do students gain valuable experience in the field before the age of 18, but they are also involved in the discussion and promotion of awareness of global issues. They have the power to make a difference in the world through this act of civic participation.
At ICP, we know, thanks to our extensive research, that youth service can be an invaluable resource for national and international development in areas of need. A first step to tackling these needs is promoting awareness and getting others to care. This is where Student News Action Network comes in – students write about these issues to encourage their peers (and adults) to care. As the Network continues to grow, other newspapers might benefit by looking to the example of these young people.