This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by the staff and students of the Philadelphia Student Union
On June 11, the staff and students of the Philadelphia Student Union will be attending the Notebook’s “Turning the Page for Change” event. We will be there both to support the work of the Notebook and to support all the incredible youth media that the Notebook highlights.
At the Philadelphia Student Union, we believe in the power of youth media to critically engage young people with their organizing work and also help spread the messages of our campaigns. By making media, we learn about self-exploration and identity. Media-making is a tool for critical thinking and community engagement. Because mainstream media generally exclude the voices of young people, we create our own radio pieces, publish a bi-annual newsletter and keep a frequently updated blog to ensure that our stories are told and our voices are heard. All members of the Philadelphia Student Union are encouraged to participate in our media programs.
On May 17, thousands of students walked out of school and demanded that City Council fund all schools equitably. As students, parents, teachers, and community members continue to fight for high-quality public education in Philadelphia, we need to hear the voices of all people affected by the sweeping reforms and budget cuts that are facing school districts across the nation, not just the voices of the decision-makers.
With the impending budget cuts to the Philadelphia School District, a growing school-to-prison pipeline, and the national epidemic of school closings, we need online resources, like the Notebook, that combine the voices of impacted communities and journalists alike. The Philadelphia Public School Notebook provides an important platform for mainstream, independent and youth media to come together for a comprehensive perspective on the state of education in Philadelphia and more.
The Notebook’s mission is in part to “contribute to the development of a strong movement for educational change in the city.” At the Philadelphia Student Union, we believe that movement begins with engaging the young people most affected by educational changes. With the Notebook providing the platform that young people need, our movement can grow.
We hope you will join us in supporting the Notebook’s mission to provide information and analysis on education from all perspectives.