A different point of View: High-school writers cover the 'senior beat'

One of the challenges of today's hectic society is finding ways for different generations to keep in touch. Students have more homework and extra activities than ever. Grandparents are busy, too, with their own world of interests.

One solution to this challenge - on the local level - is a new North Seattle newspaper, The Olympic View, recently launched by local high school students with guidance from ERA Care Communities staff.

The Olympic View "covers the beat" of the Ida Culver House Broadview, a retirement community owned and operated by ERA Care Communities.

With the help of the local students from Ingraham and Nathan Hale high schools, as well as Shorewood High School in Shoreline, who really enjoy journalism, the retirement community now publishes a quarterly newspaper that is distributed to community residents, friends and families.

The new publishing project has created a unique intergen-erational experience for both the retirement community residents and those interested in retirement living.

It also has created a fresh perspective on aging for the young people involved in producing the newspaper, allowing the interns to benefit from hearing inspirational stories of local seniors. At the same time, students have a chance to sharpen practical skills in the areas of journalistic writing and photography.

"This is an extremely talented group," said Eli Almo, ERA Care Communities president. "The interns each bring a wealth of enthusiasm to this project. In turn, they gain the opportunity to hone their skills in a real-world setting while making intergenerational connections with the residents. It's a win-win."

The student writers develop the story concepts, coordinate interviews with seniors and shoot photographs of residents and local community leaders and write all the articles and photograph captions to produce a professional-quality newspaper.

"It is fun to talk with the residents and discover more about the similarities and differences of the Broadview neighborhood. I am learning a lot about journalism while gaining a greater interest in our local [North Seattle] history," said Julian Loomis, Ingraham High School senior and staff writer for The Olympic View.

Leslie O'Brien works for ERA Care retirement communities. E-mail her at needitor@nwlink.com.

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