Young Reporters, May 21: Newsroom assignments for local students


This week, we gave young reporters the following prompt:

Can kids make a difference in their communities and neighborhoods during the governor’s stay-at-home order? This is a tough question. Young reporters were asked to think of ways that kids can help in their communities and neighborhoods and explain their idea(s) in 200 words or less for elementary school students and 350 words or less for middle school and high school students. 

Here are the winning submissions. Congratulations to our winners, who will receive certificates and YMCA passes! 

Millions of things to do for our community

By Sophia Levetsovitis
Age 10

There are a lot of great things we can do for our community. We could take people’s grocery orders and pick them up, with parents of course. We could mow people’s lawns, or pull weeds if you’re younger, because a lot of companies are shut down and some elderly people may not be able to do it themselves. Set chairs six feet apart to just talk with your neighbors. Just yesterday, Karen, the elderly lady across the street, she has chairs set up six feet apart and my cousin and I went and visited with her for 15 minutes. I could tell she really enjoyed it. There are millions of things we can do for our community. I think we need to advertise it! What can you do in your community during Covid-19 lock-down to make a difference?

local kids do good during stay-at-home order

By Kiera May
Age 11

During the governor's stay-at-home order, a few local kids have been taking this new free time to do good for their neighborhood. 

My brother Ryder May and other local kids have been doing good for their community by doing garbage pick up. Ryder has been wanting to help his community as much as possible during the stay-at-home order, and he has found this to be a much needed contribution to society. 

About four times a week, these kids can be seen out with their buckets and gloves, picking up litter from the sides of roads and trails.

Ryder thinks it is very important to take care of the environment, because he wants a better world for future generations, and this is the first step. He picks up about four buckets a week of plastic, cans, and other trash from the sides of roads.

However, this garbage pick up has more than one purpose. Not only is he keeping his community clean, but he is also able to set a good example  for any other children who may want to be a help to the neighborhood, such as myself and my friends. Our entire family did a garbage pick up of almost the entire neighborhood of Bay Crest for Earth Day. 

Ryder wants to help the environment and pick up garbage because the woods surrounding our neighborhood are full of rabbits, birds, and sometimes even

The neighborhood also has an alarming amount of outdoor cats, including one I have befriended, Benny. He wants a safe environment for these animals, so they will not be at risk of accidentally choking on garbage. The Whatcom Humane Society plays a heavy role in his life. He helped me run a food drive for the Humane Society last summer, and the experience helped him grow a heavy love for cats. 

He and the other local kids have made a heavy impact on their community, and it shows. 

Four great ideas to make a difference in your 
community or neighborhood

By Kaatri Glanzer
Age 14

This is a great time to make an impact locally. Here are four ideas that kids can use to make a difference in their neighborhoods. 

Bake treats to deliver to people around your neighborhood. Walk a cookie or a cupcake to the person who lives next to you. Even better, you could make a big batch of cupcakes and give them out to whoever wants one. Just remember to stay six feet away!

Or if you play an instrument, throw open a window and play something for all to hear. It would be good to get some practice in and will definitely make the neighborhood less quiet and fill the lonely hearts with joy. 

If you are an artist you could make art for people to hang up in their windows. There are a lot of online art tutorials out there that are easy to follow along with and take very few supplies. Whether it’s acrylic or watercolor or pastel, I’m sure a colorful picture will fill all the hearts around you
with joy. 

Calling a relative or a friend could make all the difference as well. Just a simple hello to your grandparent would probably brighten up their day if they’re living alone. 

Offer the people around you your talent to make their day. Whether it’s a sugary treat, wonderful artwork, or just a compliment I’m sure the person you’re giving it to would greatly appreciate it!

Each week, The Northern Light offers a reporting assignments for any interested students. Each assignment will come out in the paper on Thursday and young reporters can submit their work by 5 p.m. the following Thursday. 

Submissions should be emailed by a parent or legal guardian to and should include the parent’s contact number as well as the young reporter’s name and age.

Following each assignment, three winning submissions will be chosen, one from each of three age groups if possible: 6 to 9 years, 10 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years. Winners are selected by Kristin Siemion, a certified teacher who is a print and digital media specialist with The Northern Light.

Prior to publication, parent permission slips will be required. Winning submissions will be published in The Northern Light, and their authors will receive a certificate and three-day YMCA youth pass.

Here's the next assignment:

Assignment #6: In each neighborhood or even within our family there are interesting things that happen. Maybe someone’s dog had puppies, or maybe their was a birthday parade with cars on your street or maybe its just a funny story that happened in your family- choose a news story you would like to share. When writing the story- remember to answer the 5 Ws- Where, When , Who, What and Why (Where did the story happen, When did it happen, Who did it happen to, and Why did it happen). Be sure to ask permission to share the story from those folks referenced in the story.


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