From the Editor: West Central Express Gives Youth a Voice


Shawn Vestal

What is a newspaper?

A series of questions, asked and answered. A chronicle of what’s important and interesting. An act of citizenship and community, produced by people trying to inform, edify and entertain their neighbors.

I have worked for lots of newspapers, from the weekly newspaper in my Idaho hometown to The Spokesman-Review to the West Central Express. And one thing is true about all of them: They are reflections of the people who put them together, looking to share useful with others who share their community.

Over the past couple of years, the West Central Express has reflected the concerns and interests of the Holmes Elementary School students who have written the stories, taken the photographs and drawn the comics – all stories they have offered to their West Central neighbors and Holmes classmates.

In the current edition, you’ll find stories about Dutch Jake’s Park, neighborhood road construction and the Holmes buddy bench, among others. Previous issue of the Express included stories about chewing gum, moving on to middle school, and a famous YouTuber. 

All the stories were developed and produced by the student members of the Express staff, and they did so by doing the same things that journalists at newspapers all over the world do: Asking themselves what’s interesting and important in their world, thinking about the people and places in their community about which they might have questions, and seeking answers to those questions and sharing them.

This edition is what they’re sharing, and we hope you find it useful and entertaining. I, for one, am proud of the staff of the Express, who put in a lot of time and effort outside the classroom to make it happen. In the process I hope they learned something about reporting and writing, about how to find answers to their questions, and how to contribute to their community by applying those skills.

If you like what you read and would like to get involved next time, get ready – it will be time to start working on Issue 4 in just a few short months! □