Kid Journalists write and sell book on SC baseball great Larry Doby
. - A group of sixteen to twenty kids at Sanders Clyde Creative Arts School were already published journalists and authors before they made it to fifth grade.
The budding reporters are part of an after school program at the Charleston school called "Backpack Journalists."
Linda Dennis, founder of Backpack Journalist brought the program to the school earlier this year.
"It's not just an academic program. It's a social program. It's a here's the world program" said Dennis. "It's exposing these young people to 'out of their neighborhood' experiences."
The group got their first assignment after Charleston Riverdogs owner, Mike Veeck suggested they do a project on Major League Baseball player Larry Doby.
Doby, of Camden, South Carolina, became the second African American to play in the major leagues.
Veeck is something of an expert on the subject of Doby. When he was a boy his father Bill Veeck was the owner of the Cleveland Indians and signed Doby in 1947.
Dennis had the kids come up with questions for Mike Veeck to be used in their project. Amir Wells, a 5th grader, says ,"I learned that Larry Doby was just as good as Jackie Robinson, he just stayed out of the limelight."
Though Doby had a successful professional career, Jackie Robinson was the first black to integrate professional baseball and got most of the attention.
The Sanders Clyde Backpackers decided to honor Doby and his accomplishments by publishing a book on what they had learned of him.
Dennis says there are more than 50 books in print about Jackie Robinson, but only 4 on the life of Doby, and theirs is now one of the four.
At a Riverdogs game, this summer the students launched their book and sold autographed copies.
Dennis says since its inception, other students have become interested in journalism at the school. She welcomes them all, but says there is one requirement.
"You must be curious. You must want to know something else outside of your neighborhood. You must be curious to be a good journalist. That's my opinion. Doesn't require academic skills, photography skills, we'll teach you those. You just have to be willing to learn and be curious."
This year the group is working on another ambitious project! Hendrick Motors is bringing a car into their school.
Throughout the year technicians will work on the car and tell the students about the parts. In turn the students will write a book about the process. Once the car is fixed up, it will be raffled off and the money will be donated towards the schools athletic fund.
If you'd like for your child to be a part of the Backpack Journalist program, one Saturday a month they invite any student to their Cover the Assignment Program. For more information contact Linda Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (843) 284-8026.
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