Readers will notice the B-section of this edition of the Sidney Herald looks quite different. The reason is that it is totally produced by Sidney High School sophomores.

Sidney High School teacher Christopher Gorman said the project met a school requirement for the students. “The sophomore class of Sidney High School was assigned, per District requirement, a semester project at the beginning of this academic year. This section of the Sidney Herald is the culmination of many hours of reading, note taking, discussions, assignments and assessments, with Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” as the focus of instruction and foundation of the project.”

Gorman said the project not only helped students improve their writing ability but also allowed them to simulate the task of putting together a newspaper.

“The sophomore class has been working on these articles in order to experience the writing process as well as the regimens and requirements of newspaper publication,” said Gorman.

This creative writing assignment, called fan fiction, started with idea boards and sketches, became formal outlines, then rough drafts. The rough drafts have been revised, edited by themselves and their peers and edited by class editors, students acting as desk editors and an editor in chief. Each student then submitted a final draft.

Gorman said the students were allowed to create their own fictional accounts, giving them more freedom in the writing process.

“The stories are purely fictional, allowing the writers to let their imaginations go free and learn to express themselves without limits or restrictions,” said Gorman.

The classes were split into four desks- a News Desk, a Sports Desk, a Media and Entertainment Desk and a Food and Fashion Desk — similar to the professional environment of a newspaper.

Along with editorial duties, students were also tasked with raising funds to help defray the cost of printing the special section. Businesses that supported the project include Blue Rock Products Co., Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative Inc., Sidney Sugars Inc., Apex Collision Center Inc., Herres Insurance Agency Inc., Bagnell RV Park, The Rush Expresso, LLC, Wick-Kidd RPR, Zachary and Katey Bayless, Kelly Burger Salon, Pro Build, Fink Dental Center, and Ribbon & Rail.

“The sophomore class is extremely grateful to the Sidney Herald and Newspapers in Education for their help in making this project a reality,” said Gorman.

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