Making a Magazine, Students Grow Their Abilities and Confidence

Funded by a CFEE grant, sixth graders at Orange Avenue School put together their own “zine,” or personal magazine, stocked with stories and articles they had produced themselves—and gained new belief in their own literary abilities in the process.

Students who doubted their own skills “have become more motivated and confident” by developing their stories and seeing them published, said the students’ teacher, Thais Jackson, a special education/language arts teacher who applied for the grant.

The grant paid for publication of a 60-page magazine, filled withvaried pieces like narratives about science topics — such as electricity and dinosaurs — or favorite hobbies and games.

Seven students took part in the project, which began with the 2017-2018 school year. They . worked hard, diligently critiquing and revising their work and striving to overcome their individual learning challenges, Jackson said. Some of the students read their pieces aloud at a book release event, held at the school on Jan. 12 and attended by school staff and the students’ family members and peers.

The book will also be given to Cranford schools’ libraries to encourage other struggling learners.

“They were empowered, they were excited, when they saw their many works right here in their personal zine that's also going to be placed in the library so other people can glean from it and know that they have the ability in them to do great and wonderful things,” Jackson said.

“They came back with greater vigor and feeling that they can do anything and that they can meet their literary goals.”

To CFEE supporters, she said, “We thank you.”

“We thank you not only for today, but for the fruits that these wonderful seeds that have been planted in the learners will produce in years and years to come.”

  • A student cutting white paper
  • A student drawing a comic strip
  • A student working on their computer
  • The 'Zines' magazine cover

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