Oct. 23, 2023

Our past three editions

Oct. 16, 2023 Montana climate change • Antisemitism • Book bans

Oct. 9, 2023 Campus safety • Climate change • Coffee in Britain

Oct. 2, 2023 COVID-19 vaccines • Target closures • Mental health



Health coverage premiums rise again

Examine what teens can do to help offset cost

According to a recent CNN article, an annual survey of family health insurance benefits has found the annual cost of family health insurance is up 7% from the previous year. It also found employees are paying on average $6,575 for coverage, which is up almost 8% as well. 

Have some companies in your area reduced their coverage? 

What you can do —

This statistic, coupled with the increased cost of some food items, has further strained the family budget.

Some health care providers participate in free events such as sports physicals and dentist visits. Find out what opportunities are available in your community.

How does this impact teens? If your state participates in the SNAP program, what allowances have been made? Are parents cutting costs that impact teens? What are some low-cost recipes teens can make at home? If your school distributes free food to students, how can they access this service? How can those who would like to contribute also participate? 

Quill and Scroll chapters, don’t forget you could host a food drive to help stock these shelves.


Lunchables now for lunch for some

Look at the healthier options offered

For some students, Lunchables is now on the school lunch menu. The National School Lunch Program allowed the change after the company changed two of its offerings. Many nutrition experts have cautioned against such processed lunch options. The article cites french fries and pizza sauce counting as a vegetable and cites studies that have suggested a link between processed food and obesity and chronic disease.

What you can do —

Look at what is actually being served in the cafeteria. In what ways have those making the nutrition choices had to balance the preferences of students versus health? What percentage of students forgo the fruit or vegetable option? 

What are some of the healthier options offered by the district for those who want to cut out processed foods?

What’s viral

Aces repeat as WNBA champs

End of season coverage

The Las Vegas Aces became the first WNBA team to repeat as champions since the Los Angeles Sparks won back-to-back in 2001-2002. The team dominated in the paint and won by one point in the final seconds. The Aces won without starters Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes, who both were injured in Game 3.

What you can do —

Unless you have a hyper local angle, it’s difficult for students to cover professional sports. Instead focus on showing the stories that abound on high school teams — many of whom are either entering the post-season or starting a new one. 

Look at the unsung heroes. Be curious. What is it like to be a team manager? The third-stringer who rarely if ever makes it on the field? What are the stories of the freshman or C team? Also, the Aces were included on purpose — examine your coverage. Are you giving equal time and play to all sports and teams? Did you forget to cover one? What can be done to rectify this omission for the next season and year?

For those covering postseason events, make sure to talk to your athletic director early to secure press passes. It’s a great time to remind students they are there to cover the events and not cheer and to emphasize the importance of pre to post-game coverage regardless of whether the team wins or loses. And yes, the agony of defeat isn’t as fun to cover, but it must be done.


It’s always membership season

Don’t forget you can nominate members year-round

Our fall order season has begun. Don’t be left out in the cold. Nominate students for membership order pins, cords and other Quill and Scroll materials and memorabilia.

We haven’t changed the ordering process from last year. For those wanting to ditch the paper version, you just need to select the form based on how you would like to pay. We have one version for credit card and another version for check or purchase order. (We’ve added buttons for ease of finding these.) As usual, credit card payments are charged $4.49 per order for processing. 

> Start the process here.

Scroll publishing will hold for travel, breaks

I know you wait every Monday for the Scroll to arrive, but we will not be publishing the Weekly Scroll when we are traveling for conventions or during traditional school breaks. So, we will not be publishing the Scroll during the weeks of Oct. 30, Nov. 6 or Nov. 20. 

For those looking ahead, we will also not publish the Scroll Dec. 18 and Dec. 25 because of winter breaks. We will resume publishing Jan. 8.

Meet, collaborate and discuss with peers

Quill and Scroll’s Student Journalism Collaboration Program, which is a discussion forum for students, will continue hosting discussion forums this school year. 

The 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 Nov. 7. Our first meeting will take place Nov. 13 from 7-8 p.m. Central, and our topic of discussion will be approaching common challenges in workflow as well as a quick look at the structure of student media. Once students fill out the form, they will automatically receive a notification for all subsequent meetings. Participants will receive a zoom link 24 hours prior to the meeting. We look forward to seeing you!

Sorry advisers, this is a student-only offering.

Plan for upcoming awards

Yes, we just finished getting in our Yearbook Excellence Contest entries and it’s time to start the process for our Writing, Photo and Multimedia Awards. This contest will be available starting mid to late November and all entries and payments will be due Feb. 2.

So, start thinking about what you want to enter. We will publish the categories on our website in the next month.

NSPA, SPLC offers first Pacemaker Master Class on AI

NSPA is excited to announce our first NSPA Pacemaker Master Class to boost your staff training plans.

In conjunction with the Student Press Law Center, we’re offering a free workshop “Artificial intelligence: Legal and ethical risks.” If you’re aware of students beyond journalism who could benefit, please let them know about this workshop. 

The workshop will be at 7 p.m. ET Oct. 24. Registration is per school per workshop. When you register, you can include questions you would like answered as well as take advantage of the live interaction. You will be able to use the session recording for 30 days.

Let’s get ready for the year ahead.

Sign up now.

Here’s the official workshop description:

What ethical and legal risks should you know about as you use — or think about using — artificial intelligence in your newsroom? Whether you’re generating text or images or even cloning voices, join us to unpack the questions you should be asking to protect yourself. We’ll explore what newsrooms are confronting with the new world of AI, and how traditional media law concepts like defamation, copyright, privacy and more may play out in the face of such dynamic new technology.

Just a thought

Please encourage your students to participate in our Student Advisory Board’s Collaboration Program, which is highlighted above. This group of dedicated students will host an interactive session on a regular basis from November until mid Spring. 

The students running this event meet prior to the event and create questions that facilitate peer conversation — it’s not a presentation. Their hope is for participants to get new ideas from each other. The participants are able to exchange ideas to take back to their respective student media programs. They also ask what topics the participants would like to discuss in upcoming sessions. 

All interested students need to do is show up and (hopefully) participate. It’s a low-stress event.

I would have loved to offer this to my students when I advised student media. The participants are able to exchange ideas to take back to their respective student media programs. My students would have benefitted from this experience.

So please forward the form. We look forward to collaborating with your students Nov. 13 from 7-8 Central.

— Lori Keekley