Fritsch Elementary students are finalists in national competition

As they prepare to move on to middle school, six former Fritsch Elementary students can look back on their award-winning newspaper - a newspaper from 1929.

The students spent the latter part of their fifth-grade year researching and writing a mock newspaper to enter in News of the Century, an online contest sponsored by USA Today. They researched the year 1929 for their entry.

The students recently learned that their entry was named one of 18 finalists in their category of fourth- through sixth-graders. The contest drew a total of 700 entries.

"I was so happy to be a part of their writing because they really led themselves," said Irene Waltz, technology teacher.

Waltz supervised the team while researching and posting the paper online. However, the students had to complete their work in Anne Lenhares' fifth-grade classroom ahead of time to work on the project.

"It was fun because you got to be with your friends," said Jillian Malkiewich, 11. "It wasn't that hard making up the work, but we didn't get out of any work."

Daniel Scarbrough wrote the financial report for the paper.

"I learned that 1929 was not the year to invest in stocks because of the Great Depression," he said.

They learned practical skills as well.

"We learned to type better," said Anna Macquarie, who wrote a column on what life would be like in 2029. "We went online to search for information."

The work did have its payoff.

"It was a lot of hard work but the best part was that, at the end, we got a pizza party," said Ian Truesdell, the sports writer for the paper.

Jennifer King, 11, wrote a column on farming. Tommy Scher, who also wrote for the paper, has since moved to Southern California.


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