A group of students from Davis High School and Da Vinci Charter Academy are embarking on an ambitious plan to develop and publish a National Geographic-type magazine featuring articles written by local community members.
The focus will be on raising awareness and understanding of global issues, with community members sharing personal stories and experiences. The students, who hope to have the first issue published later this fall, have formed a chapter of the Global Journal Project, a relatively new online and print platform functioning as part of the large volunteer network Omprakash.
Global Journal Project chapters are three-school collaborations that operate as student-run businesses. The inaugural chapter, Global Vantage, features schools from Kenya, Connecticut and Carlsbad, Calif. That chapter has produced four magazines since last year, with articles that included a San Diego judge’s recollections of the Nuremberg war crimes trials, which he covered as a journalist for The Stars and Stripes; an International Rescue Committee member’s thoughts on the Lost Boys of Sudan; and a Yale student’s experiences in the townships of South Africa.
The magazines also include fiction, poetry, photographs and more.
The Davis chapter is composed of just the two local high schools, with a total of 10 students participating. Editor-in-Chief Linda Ge, a senior at Davis High, started the chapter last spring and Davis High teacher Lili Floyd and Da Vinci teacher Tyler Millsap are serving as advisers.
This past Tuesday, the students video chatted with Global Journal’s Steve Le, getting details on everything from layout and deadlines to selecting themes for each issue and seeking local advertisers and sponsors.
Each issue contains as many as 30 features, including poetry, photos and articles, and Le told students on Tuesday, “the biggest task is to make sure you have enough content.”
To that end, the students are putting the word out to the Davis community, asking residents to submit their own stories. They’ll need an issue’s worth by the end of September if they are to publish a fall edition.
“These articles are all about world issues and cultures from first-hand sources,” Da Vinci junior Shelby Ziccardi said in an email. “As part of the staff, it’s our job to solicit and recruit people in our community that have stories to share and give them the opportunity to share them with us. We look for storytellers, not writers, so our contributors could be anyone.”
Contributors can write their own stories or tell them to students who will transcribe and write them.
Finances also will be on the team’s agenda. A single issue of the magazine will cost several thousand dollars to publish, Le told them, so students will be soliciting the community, seeking advertising and sponsors.
For Ge, starting the chapter was a way to stay in the writing world.
She left the HUB, the Davis High School newspaper, when the school year ended in June, and didn’t have a writing elective for this year.
“Life would be empty without writing,” she said, and when she heard about Global Journal, she decided to give it a go.
To find out more or to contribute a story idea, contact the chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at email@example.com or (530) 747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy