How to get a teen to read? Relevance and publication.

I was confounded when I learned that Minneapolis high school students pass the state writing test at a much higher rate than they pass the required reading test.

How can this be? Reading prepares us to write. We teach children to recognize and sound out letters before we teach them to imitate letters with pencil on paper.

New technologies or core skills? Summer camps require a balance.

As I organize schedules for our summer camps, I feel the pull between providing plenty of time for teens to practice the core process of reporting and making sure that they try other important storytelling tools.

Done correctly, journalism is a rigorous process. 1. Focus the story. 2. Find the sources. 3. Do the research. 4. Conduct the interviews. 5. Organize the notes. 6. Write the story.

Journalism gives you magical powers!

When recruiting teens to work with ThreeSixty, I often tell them that being a journalist means you get a backstage pass to the world.

Even working for a paper in a smaller town – about 100,000 peop


Minneapolis News Team interrogates TV critic Neal Justin

On Monday, the ThreeSixty’s Minneapolis News Team learned that David Letterman is great fun to interview, according to the Star Tribune’s TV critic Neal Justin.

News Team is a new class ThreeSixty


Motivations for young journalists

Last spring I attended a training on volunteer management – which many of you may ask, what does volunteer management have to do with writing?

Algebra problems bring back the challenge of mastering new skills

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down to help a 13-year-old friend who struggles with math.

Training visual students in high quality journalism

Upon taking the position at ThreeSixty this past July, I had no previous experience in journalism. In fact, the students from this summer probably had more training in journalism than me.


Recruiting teens who don’t like to write

A student at Gordon Parks High School today looked me straight in the eye – honest and open – and told me that he hates to write, that it makes his brain hurt.

I was there recruiting for News Team,

ThreeSixty fall library workshop opens doors into world of religious and immigrant teens

Every fall, ThreeSixty runs a six-week workshop at an area library to teach interested teens about journalism. This fall, an incredible group of mostly immigrant Muslim Somali and Ethiopian Minneapolis teens, as well as one Pentecostal American teen, worked hard on stories that deepen understanding of their experiences in the Twin Cities, as well as their communities here.

The reporters investigate topics like balancing religious beliefs with fitting in at school, the struggle immigrant women go through to free themselves from domestic abuse, worry about a brother who chew’s khat, a stimulant, a sister’s potentially lethal disease, Sub-Saharan African women finding new educational opportunities when many of them never enter high school in their home countries, and what it’s like to adjust to life in America as a high school freshman who doesn’t know a single word of English.

Figuring out the magic formula -- then rejecting it

This summer as I was about to start my first term of college, I stumbled across an e-mail I sent freshman year that showed I was willing to do anything to get into Yale University. As I read the e-mail, I remembered the brutal path called the application process and laughed at my initial mindset.

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