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Involving alumni in your publication


The very nature of journalism creates lifelong connections and skills that translate into stronger scholastic programs. This lesson focuses on how your staff can tap into the resources of your journalism community to build your identity, your program, resources and interest in your publication. This lesson provides several examples of programs, publications and opportunities that can be built into the traditions and calendar of your publication year.


  • Students will examine and discuss how journalism alumni have played a role in building scholastic journalism programs at various schools.
  • Students will develop an action plan to build their staff’s identity, program and interest in their publications.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1.c Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.


  • 30 minutes – Reviewing and discussing the lesson
  • 45 minutes – Working through the questions on slide 32 and assigning each student to take time to develop their own examples
  • 30 minutes – Continued discussion based on student responses
  • Length of time to enact this project will vary based on feasibility and implementation/form of the project as determined by each staff.


Slideshow: Don’t let your alum be mum

Rubric: Don’t let your alum be mum

All materials for the students to learn the concept and develop their own plan are given in the slideshow (Don’t Let Your Alum Be Mum), with specific guiding questions on slide 32.

Lesson step-by-step

Teacher and students can work through the lesson and examples and then develop their own parallel action plan.


Students can be broken into groups to tackle any of the parts of the project that they develop.