by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

High school summer journalism workshops are a great way for students — and advisers — to develop their media skills. Summer journalism workshops also can be an opportunity for leadership development for editors and team building if several students from the staff attend the workshop together.

Members of the journalism program at Orange Glen High School created a PBJ (peanutbutter and jelly) assembly line at the Newspaper2 Workshop. Every evening, they made their lunches for the next day before they went to bed. Photo by Jessica Young

Twelve journalism students from  Orange Glen High School (Escondido, Calif.) and their adviser, JEA mentee Jessica Young, attended Newspapers2 Workshop at Cal State University, Long Beach.

The workshop was directed by Konnie Krislock, one of the JEA mentors in California and Young’s mentor. Like many summer journalism workshops, Newspapers2 provided a series of different workshops to address different interests, including editors, digital photography, Web production and advisers.

Lemon cupcakes were a treat prepared by Jessica Young for her students at the summer journalism workshop.

Young and her students reported that they learned a lot about journalism and became more of a team. Young prepared special meals — including lemon cupcakes —  as part of the week’s activities.

It’s not too soon to begin planning for you as a journalism teacher or for your students to attend a journalism workshop next summer. You can find a list of workshops at and at the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund website  — programs funded by DJNF and other programs.

The Journalism Education Association offers a series of workshops each summer  just for advisers that address adviser concerns (online skills, student press rights, etc.) and award graduate credit.

Here are three reasons to begin planning now:

1) You can use the summer workshop as a motivator throughout the year. For example, staff members who are selected to be editors next year can attend the workshop.

2) You have time to build fundraising into your publication plans and budget. You can talk with other journalism teachers and your school principal about raising funds to help pay for students to attend a summer workshop.

3) Students have time to earn money to pay for the workshop or to try and recruit other funding. Some workshops provide scholarships for students to attend. In some cases, your students may be able to raise scholarship funds from a local media organization or civic group.

What advice would you give to advisers who are interested in planning to attend and/or have their students attend a journalism workshop next summer?