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The Current

The Current

The Current

Journalism fundraiser aims to ice bucket teachers

Bear River Journalism students horse around in Sacramento. The staff of The Current is trying to raise money to attend the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco. Courtesy photo

Bruin journalists are hoping to freeze the competition in 2018.

In April of next year, the National High School Journalism Convention will take place in San Francisco. To go to this convention, Bear River’s Journalism class, who run the student news website The Current, is having an ice bucket fundraiser called “Journalism Madness.” Students will be raising money to help pay for their four-day convention. At the event, students will utilize interview skills, critical thinking, and face deadlines. They will also compete against the best high school journalism programs from around the nation.

Journalism Teacher Christina Levinson is a second-year teacher and spent over a decade at The Sacramento Bee.

“Journalism is incredibly important because transparency is vital to democracy and if we don’t have journalists keeping people accountable, corrupt and terrible things can happen,” said Mrs. Levinson.

The Current’s Executive Editor Josh Howser never had an interest in joining the Journalism class until he was put into the class in the 2016- 2017 school year.

“This was something that I was forced into, this definitely wasn’t my first choice, but as the school year went, I really got into it,” said Howser, a senior. “It started to become a big fixture in my life, and now I want to do this as my future job.”

Ciana DeMink, The Current’s News Editor, is in her first year of Journalism at Bear River. She said she has become more informed this school year.

“I think it’s an important organization that the school has,” DeMink said. “As a class, I think we are a lot more knowledgeable about what is happening at Bear River.”  

Bear River’s Principal Dr. Amy Besler expressed her love for the journalism community and class.

“Journalism is such a critically important aspect of a democracy and students acquiring the skills to investigate, think critically, and communicate translate not just to journalism, but to so many aspects of life and possible future careers,” said Dr. Besler.

The fundraiser “Journalism Madness” will take place the week of Novemer 13. During the week, donations will be collected from students and staff. As a “thank you,” the editors of The Current will be ice bucketed on Friday, November 17 during lunch. If $100 is raised, teachers will be activated for ice bucketing. Every $50 dollars thereafter adds another teacher to the bucket list. Teachers eligible for ice bucketing include: Dr. Besler, Counselor Bethany Williams, English Teacher Toby Barmeyer, Computer Science Teacher Dan Crossen, Football Coach Scott Savoie and many more. 

According to Mrs. Levinson and editors, an additional bounty is in place for Vice Principal Cathy Peterson. If a student or a group of students donates $100, they will be able to ice bucket Ms. Peterson.

Mrs. Levinson and Dr. Besler really want the staff of The Current to represent Bear River High School in San Francisco.

“The National High School Journalism Convention is like the Super Bowl of high school journalism,” Mrs. Levinson said. “When people get excited about the Olympics and the World Series, this is the World Series for journalism.”

“I am thrilled that our students have the opportunity to attend the National Journalism Convention, particularly as it is taking place so close to home this year, which greatly reduces travel costs,” said Dr. Besler. “Not only will they represent Bear River in excellent fashion, they will also have the ability to learn a great deal and connect with other budding journalists from around the country.”

Editors Howser and DeMink said they would really love the staff of The Current to attend the National Convention.  

“I think it’s very important that we go to the National Journalism Convention,” said Howser. “We have a strong class that can compete in this convention and really put ourselves out there and learn a lot at this convention while having fun.”

“I think it’s a very exciting opportunity that is really once in a lifetime, that is one thing Mrs. Levinson has been saying a lot,” said DeMink. “It can really help some of the students in the class that want to go into a career of being a journalist or a career that is adjacent to journalism, so this convention could be super beneficial.”

DeMink mentioned other elective classes, such as Art, Clay and FFA that regularly go on major school field trips.

“If other classes like Art can go see museums, shouldn’t we be able to see and develop our skills to know why we’re in this class and to see what journalism is like outside of the classroom?”

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Journalism fundraiser aims to ice bucket teachers