Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Simpson Street Free Press

At the urging of former alder Bob Miller, I attended an open house at The Simpson Street Free Press yesterday evening as did alder Jim Busse. I think Mayor Robb Kahl and other alders also attended.

(For those of you who don't know, Lake Point Drive used to be called Simpson Street. The name was changed when Madison made a major and largely successful effort make the area safer and a better place to live. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I did not know the newspaper has been located in Monona for about the last 10 years. They are in the strip mall at South Towne next door to Happy Wok.)

Anyway, the folks at the Simpson Street Free Press are doing some great things to help young people and putting a quality newspaper (their circulation is over 22,000). The paper focuses mostly science-related topics. Pick up a copy and give it a read or better yet Subscribe to Simpson Street Free Press.

I can attest to the work ethic involved. Besides seeing these young people continuing to work on their stories while we toured the facility, I also saw stories that had been through seven, eight, and nine edits! I also saw adults who were giving their time to this effort and insisting on excellence. (Yoinks! I'm glad my editor isn't that demanding - wait, I don't have an editor.)

Here is their partial self-description:

Young people who enter the Simpson Street Free Press program acquire essential vocational and academic skills through writing and publishing a newspaper. The Simpson Street Free Press has a strong track record of strengthening academic skills and preparing students for college. Perhaps even more important is the growing influence our young writers have on their peers. Our organization has two missions:

Mission #1: Provide a challenging academic experience for our teen writing staff.

Mission #2: Spread a positive message of youth achievement, academic success, and community service throughout Madison and Dane County.
Kudos to all involved in this newspaper.

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