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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

One Moment, Please... Inspiring Youth

Fri, May 17th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

Kindergarten classes learned about how editorial and advertising comes together like a puzzle every week. Photo by Kim Sapp

By Jason Sethre


Fillmore County Journal &

Olmsted County Journal

Cell: 507-251-5297


This past week has been full of so much positive energy it makes me proud to do what I do. Yeah, sure, I get to work with an awesome team that creates information shared in print and online that is relevant to one of the most engaged audiences in Southeast Minnesota. That’s what we do every week, and we should be proud of that, too.

But, when we have our local youth taking an interest in all that we do, we feel honored. This is our moment to roll out the red carpet.

Kindergarten Tour

On Friday, May 10, 2013, three groups of Fillmore Central Kindergarten classes, a total of 58 students, filled the entrance of the Fillmore County Journal office. Along with visiting our office, the teachers and chaperones escorted the children to the National Trout Center and KFIL in Preston. And, after that they visited JEM Theater in Harmony, along with the Community Center and Library in Harmony. I wish I was in Kindergarten again. Their field trip sounded like a lot of fun.

Now, we haven’t had a group of youth come to the Journal for a few years. As a matter of fact, the last group I recall was a Boy Scout Troop.

For our team, it is truly the highlight of our week to have a field trip group visit the office.

As I lead the tour, I introduced the Kindergarten groups to each of our employees and explained what they did at the newspaper.

What really amazed me, and Mrs. Schumacher pointed this out during the tour with some excellent questions, was that pretty much everything the kids learn in school each day and each year as they grow is everything we use in the newspaper.

For example, you have to use math to calculate ad rates and sizes, and even the size of the newspaper each week. And, all of those art classes come in handy when you are thinking outside of the box to give an advertiser a design that will attract the attention of readers. Of course, we also use English, so the kids should keep working on their spelling lists.

While we did talk about the four primary colors used to create millions of color combinations in the newspaper, cyan, magenta, yellow and black, I especially enjoyed showing the children a framed copy of an authentic issue of the New England Palladium dated Friday, August 28, 1801. Written in an Old English style, it is a little difficult to read. But, to see a newspaper that dates back nearly 212 years and still in such legible condition is something you don’t see every day. I was fortunate enough to pick up this newspaper while attending the Freedom Forum in Washington, DC. My point with holding on to this newspaper and showing it to others is to illustrate the longevity of newspapers. Throughout the introduction of all sorts of different media such as TV, radio, and even the Internet, newspapers have stood the test of time.

And, what was absolutely the best part of seeing the Kindergarten classes revolved around making them a part of the newspaper. We took pictures of each of the three groups, as you’ll see alongside my commentary in today’s Fillmore County Journal.

When I asked the kids to raise their hands if they had ever been in the newspaper, a good majority of the hands went up. And, that’s what I like to see. Local news is our niche, and getting local names and faces in the newspaper is important to us and our readers.

So, we hope the parents and grandparents of these smiling faces will cut out the picture in today’s newspaper and hang it on the fridge.

And, I have to say that the children were extremely attentive, good listeners. A special thanks goes to the teachers Mrs. Ostrem, Mrs. Schumacher and Mrs. Duff, for organizing this field trip, along with the chaperones.

Window Art

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, a number of youngsters lead by Courtney Bergey, a recent Luther College graduate and former Fillmore Central graduate, put together a window display full of colorful “public art” from the Fillmore Central Community Education’s Art Club -- grades third through sixth.

Courtney coordinated the Fillmore Central Community Education’s Art Club this school year to offer an artistic outlet for kids right after school gets out. I know our two children participated in the program and loved it.

First, I’d like to thank Courtney for coordinating such a fantastic opportunity for our youth at Fillmore Central.

And, second, I’d like to thank the children who worked so hard to present some colorful paper mache insects with the use of recycled newsprint provided by the Fillmore County Journal. These 3-D sculptures will certainly give visitors or a passersby something to look at in downtown Preston.

We Need More

As I reflect on both the field trip and the 3-D sculptures hanging in the front picture window of the Journal office, I hope to see more of these collaborations in the future. Our staff at the Journal would love to give more tours. And, we have a nice picture window in downtown Preston that could always use an artistic face lift.

And, what’s even more important to all of us at the Journal, and I’m sure KFIL, the National Trout Center, and the JEM Theater would agree, is that we appreciate an opportunity to connect with the next generations of youth that are going to help to make these small towns a wonderful place to work, play and do business.

These youngsters need to see what their towns have to offer and the people who work in the towns where they are raised.

And, hopefully, one day some of these children will have the courage and inspiration to open up a business or take over an existing business in downtown Preston or Harmony or any of the towns we call home in Fillmore County.

Yes, connecting our youth, our schools and our local businesses can bring about a positive energy that should make all of us proud to live in a small town in rural Southeast Minnesota.

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