Journalism Panel for Middle School Students

News Literacy Panel
From left to right: The author, Akili Franklin of WDSU, Laine Kaplan-Levenson of WWNO, and Peter Kovacs of The Advocate.

I did something cool back in January. Working with my head of school and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, I organized a new literacy panel featuring three local journalists for my seventh graders, all of whom take a semester long library class with me that meets 45 minutes a week. The panel featured journalists from three different news formats: Akili Franklin, a Metairie Park Country Day alum and current News Director at WDSU, represented television. Peter Kovacs, Editor of The Advocate, represented newspapers, and Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Producer and podcast host at NPR affiliate WWNO, represented radio. If you haven’t listened to Laine’s podcasts Tripod: New Orleans at 300 and Stickey Wicket, do yourself a favor. They are great podcasts to share with students.

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Library Rules

library rules
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash.

It’s taken a few years, but I think I’ve finally got my library rules down. Sharing them with my middle and upper school students at the beginning of the year is fun and sets a good tone for the year. The kids really do say hi!

  1. Say hi.
  2. Stay curious.
  3. Think that you might be wrong.*
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Remember, this is your library.


* This one comes from my upper school principal, who always makes time to talk with our students about the importance of civil discourse. I’m a big fan.