MONTVILLE, NJ - Local news is a legacy that many communities have lost. But at the Robert R. Lazar Middle School in Montville, the legacy of local news is back. In December, the Lazar Legacy launched as the Montville middle school’s newspaper of record.
“It’s been almost ten years since Lazar had its own student newspaper,” explained sixth grade social studies teacher, and Newspaper Club advisor, Meghan Shaw. “The students in the Lazar Newspaper Club are extremely excited and proud of their first issue.”
Funding for the printing of the Legacy’s inaugural issue was provided by the Lazar Parent Teacher Council (PTC).
Last September, thirteen students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, banded together to form not only a club, but a staff of writers and editors to lead the launch of the Lazar Legacy.
The sixteen-page, full-color, publication arrived in time for the holiday season. Articles included features on Lazar’s new teachers, a report on the 2014 Career Day, horoscopes, book, movie and TV reviews, sports, a feature on the Mockingjay premiere party, and a holiday gift guide.
Lazar Legacy staff sold over 150 copies of the first issue, for fifty-cents each, during lunch periods on December 12. The money collected was donated to the Montville Kiwanis Food Pantry.
In addition to the printed edition, Lazar Legacy also launched an on-line version of the paper.
“Due to the cost, we are considering making the Lazar Legacy an on-line only publication,” said Denise Tarsitano prior to the arrival of the printed copies of the first issue.
Tarsitano, a sixth grade ELA teacher and Newspaper Club advisor, explained that the cost of printing makes regularly publishing a hard copy of the paper prohibitive; a fact that newspapers across the nation struggle with daily. And, like newspapers across the nation, the Lazar Legacy can now also be found on-line.
The debate regarding on-line versus printed editions will undoubtedly continue as the new newspaper finds both its legs and its voice. However, the excitement generated by the printed copies of the first issue was undeniable. Not only were the Lazar Legacy student writers and editors excited to see their work in print, but the student body and the community at large, was enthusiastic.
“It was so beautifully printed,” noted Montville Township Board of Education President, Dr. Karen Cortellino. “When I first saw it I thought I was looking at a professional brochure or magazine. It is very impressive.”
Like their contemporaries at other newspapers, once the first issue was edited and sent to the printer, the Lazar Legacy writers and editors found themselves working on the next issue, which will arrive in time for spring 2015.
In the meantime, the inaugural issue of Lazar Legacy can be viewed on-line at www.Montville.net.