March 23, 2023

Our past three editions

March 2, 2023 School lunch • Debt ceiling • China balloon

Feb. 23, 2023 TikTok bans • Debt-relief • Marvel movie

Feb. 16, 2023 Gender-affirming care • MSU shooting • Earthquake scammers



Education solidarity strike hits LA public schools

Localization could include community

Los Angeles public school workers walked out starting a three-day strike Tuesday after a year of negotiations. The union is asking for an increase in wages and more full-time work for some part-time workers.

What you can do —

Examine the working conditions of your teachers and school support staff. Journalists could create an interactive infographic concerning how many have resigned or taken a leave at their school. An additional step might be to compare these numbers/percentages to the surrounding districts.

Some district teachers and staff report low morale. What might students be able to do to counter and help teachers? What practices might be impacting school staff?


Turmoil in banking hits home

How lending institutions can impact teens

By now you may have heard customers withdrew funds from Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank is shuttered and First Republic Bank has been helped by a group of American lenders. Internationally, issues abound as well. This might impact your local bank and who can get a loan.

According to Nicole Elam, the president and CEO of the National Bankers Association, this can especially impact banks used by brown, black and immigrants.

What you can do —

In any situation, you should first start by answering your readers’ questions. Have a “What you should know” interview with a finance teacher, economist or someone from a local financial institution. For those who use a traditional bank, how do they know if their money is safe? 

For those who are looking to obtain a tuition or car loan in the next six months, what might this mean for them? How might the tightening of bank lending impact them?

Much discussion has hinged on whether the United States will experience a recession. Some cite the recent news as an indicator it might occur. While talking to a local expert, ask about the effects a recession could have on the students and economy.

Seaweed may impact some spring breaks

Blob twice the size of the U.S. approaching Florida, Gulf of Mexico

While the impending seaweed blob might sound like the plot of a movie, it may become more of a modern-day nightmare for those either living in Florida or the Gulf of Mexico or planning to visit this spring break or summer. 

Scientists have been tracking large seaweed masses since 2011. This iteration of the seaweed, a variety called sargassum, has long formed large blooms in the Atlantic, and may span more than 5,000 miles from the coast of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.

What you can do —

The nightmare situation doesn’t just end there. The seaweed can use needed oxygen from the water and be detrimental to humans because of the gas that emanates from the rotting plants and the arsenic in the plant itself. 

For those who live on one of these coasts, talk to your local government about the plans for the cleanup. How do they plan to protect will meaning and self-directed volunteers from exposing themselves to this potentially harmful exposure?

It’s a great time for a reminder article about researching more than just the weather for upcoming trips. Research the area — including what to do and avoid — and talk to a travel pro about the ways to not identify yourself as an easy mark while traveling.

What’s viral

Busted brackets abound — again

It’s in more than just college and pro sports

It’s tourney time, and many have been more tuned in to the on-court happenings than the in-class work.

What you can do —

Instead of covering the obvious, look at your own state tournaments and brackets. How often does a lower seed like Ole Miss in the women’s or Fairleigh Dickenson in the men’s make it through?

How many hours of class (on average) did students watch the tournaments instead of watch the happenings in class? How has the transition from paper to more online features and work in classes impacted or enabled this? Have teachers worked to counter this or did they join in watching the games?

How does sports betting factor into this? What is the school guideline on this and why?


It’s the height of membership season

Don’t forget we need at least three weeks to process orders — and our mail service is slow

We’ve now hit the busiest season of the year, but don’t let that deter you. Just remember, we need at least three weeks lead time from when you order and the date it is needed. Also, we need to have either payment or the Purchase Order in order to send your order.

We are not receive mail on a daily basis. This is beyond our control. We are processing orders as soon as we can, but orders sent through the U.S. Postal Service may experience delays. The quickest way to submit an order is via our online system. If paying with a Purchase Order, you can submit the PO number and then we will still ship. If you want to use the paper version, that is fine. We suggest scanning and emailing these documents.

We will not be processing orders during the week of April 17 since we will be at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco. You may still submit your orders. They will be processed when we return in the order they were received. Currently, we are processing orders within a one-week timeframe upon receipt. This timing will change soon, so please plan accordingly.

Also, as a gentle reminder, our address changed in July 2022. Many business offices are still sending checks and orders to Iowa, which can result in a delay in sending orders. Please make sure to inform your business offices of our move to Minnesota. (Quill and Scroll, 2829 University Ave. SE, Suite 720, Minneapolis, MN 55414.) This error is delaying several orders.

> Start the process here.

New student opportunity from Quill and Scroll’s Student Advisory Board

Meet, collaborate and discuss with peers
Two of our Student Advisory Board members led our initial offering about motivation, and they are doing it again!

Quill and Scroll’s Student Journalism Collaboration Program aims to connect student journalists from across the nation. Through virtual meetings, participants will discuss, collaborate and troubleshoot with their peers about scholastic journalism issues pertaining to their student media.

Please fill out this form by March 24. Our next meeting will take place March 28 from 6-7 p.m. Central, and our topic of discussion will be teamwork and leadership. If you’ve already filled out the form, you will automatically receive it for all subsequent meetings. Those who have filled out the form will receive a zoom link 24 hours prior to the meeting. We look forward to seeing you!

Writing, Photo, Multimedia contest results to be released Friday, March 24

The announcement of school Blue and Gold winners as well as individual winners in the Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest will be Friday, March 24 on our website.

Quill and Scroll received nearly 1,700 entries in the 2023 contest, and the judges have just finished their work in combing through those entries and picking the top three winners in each of the 40 categories, as well as enough honorable mentions to honor at least 10 percent of all entries in each category.

See you Friday!

2023 Chapter of the Year applications open

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Quill and Scroll Vanessa Shelton Chapter of the Year Award. 

Chapters must have had initiated members in each of the past three years.

During the past 96 years, Quill and Scroll has granted charters to more than 11,400 schools around the world. When a school’s journalism program receives its charter, students in the school begin a Quill and Scroll chapter there. Quill and Scroll does not dictate how active a chapter should be, but the organization’s Chapter Manual does provide some guidance on the value of an “active chapter,” the activities it may engage in, and its general goals:

“The chapter can accomplish these goals: 

(1) inspire members of the staff to greater efforts; 

(2) attract students of higher ability to publications/media work by offering them journalistic recognition and honors; 

(3) provide incentive for the development of the journalism department and the improvement of school publications/media; and 

(4) secure greater recognition of journalism work by students, school officials and the community.”

The deadline is April 1, 2023, and the winner will be announced later that month. The application form is on our website. Applications are free and winners will receive a plaque, $250 for the classroom, four free memberships and honor cords and one member spot on our Student Advisory Board.

Benz Scholarship

Applications open for $250 adviser award

Quill and Scroll will award the $250 Lester G. Benz Scholarship to an adviser who undertakes a professional development activity over the summer or in the 2022-23 academic year.

The award can be used to attend a National High School Journalism Conference, to pay for tuition for a university course in a relevant subject area, or for a summer workshop, the JEA Summer Advisers Institute or a local summer workshop in your state, to name a few.

Applications are now being accepted. Deadline is April 14, 2023.

The award is named after former Quill and Scroll Executive Director Lester G. Benz.

Student Scholarship applications will open April 3, 2023 and will be due May 12, 2023.

PSJA Journalism Contest Opens

Q&S and Private School Journalism Association set up portfolio contest

The PSJA Journalism Contest, co-sponsored by Quill and Scroll, seeks to honor the best journalism produced by private and independent school students. It is a “portfolio” contest, one that seeks not to reward single stories, but a pattern of excellence over the course of a year.

Other than Editorial Leadership, work produced for the contest should have been published in a news publication — in print or online — or a yearbook between April 1, 2022 and March 30, 2023. Deadline for entries will be Friday, March 31, 2023.

For PSJA members, the cost for your school is $20 per entry. PSJA membership is free. To join, schools must enroll here to also receive the newsletter. Non-members pay $25 per entry. To become a member, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]) and sign up for the PSJA newsletter.

If you are interested in entering the contest, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]), who will send additional instructions and an entry form. We are excited to announce the awards ceremony will take place Saturday morning at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco.

Spring convention registration opens 

Join us in San Francisco for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. This year’s convention will be at the Hilton Union Square. Registration and the hotel link was sent to all registrants Feb. 14. Leave Your Heart, Find Your Voice at the JEA/NSPA spring convention April 20-22.

We are excited to announce Quill and Scroll will hand out its Writing, Photo and Multimedia and Private School Journalism Association awards from 8-10 a.m. Saturday morning. We will provide more details on this as we get closer to the convention.

Workshop set for June 26-29, in Dallas

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop returns to the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria June 26-29, 2023, with bonus classes on June 25. Workshop registration is $140 per student or adviser.  The extra cost for the Sunday bonus class is $20 per person.

In 2022, 635 students from 90 schools took advantage of the instruction from our exceptional faculty. Watch the workshop website for additional 2023 workshop details as they become available.

> Watch the preview video for 2023.

Chapter activity/discussion point idea: Induction planning

NSPA offers the sweatshirt “Journalism Matters Now More than Ever,” but what does it mean?

Why does journalism matter? Why is it more important than any time in recent history to make sure we cover our local communities? (Hint: many cuts to local journalism have occurred nationwide.)

How has the decline in local journalism added to misinformation and disinformation

Why is it important that we have journalism programs? What do they offer?

How do student journalists get their news? How do members of the student body get their news? Can the identify the source of the information and assess the credibility?

What can we do to help educate people on the importance of journalism?

How do recent current events show this?

And yes, NSPA will be selling these sweatshirts here and at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco in April. 

Just a thought

Tomorrow is the last day to invite your students to the Quill and Scroll Advisory Board’s Collaboration Program. 

The students are ready with many discussion items and ideas. However, the intent really is just for a forum in which students can talk to each other about the topic or topics of the day. 

The next iteration of this centers on teamwork and leadership. Please encourage your students to sign up for this opportunity. 

Please forward this form to your students and encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity. We’ll send the link to interested students 24 hours prior to the event.

— Lori Keekley