4 NJ kids land news-reporter gigs with Scholastic
These kids are bound to take my job one day.
And after speaking with them, I think they'd deserve it.
Four kids in the Garden State have been selected to join the 2017-2018 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps. More than 400 entries were submitted worldwide.
With the position, the kids aged 10 to 14 are tasked with covering current events, entertainment stories, sporting events and breaking news — as long as it doesn't get in the way of school and other extracurricular activities.
"I'm really excited to be in the program because I can open myself to life and the world around me," said Silia Dimasi, a 12-year-old 7th-grader in Nutley.
She had entered plenty of writing contests before and never expected to win a spot on the Scholastic roster. But her submission caught the editors' attention, and she's already lining up interviews to move closer toward publishing a few pieces online.
Dimasi is currently focused on declining arts funding in schools and the Girls in Politics initiative that holds meetings nationwide and elsewhere.
She hopes to be an archaeologist one day, but her mother was a journalist in Washington D.C., so she's open to the possibility that her way with words may be her best attribute.
Hoboken 12-year-old Ava Park-Matt is returning to the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps for the second year. She reapplied after her first run and was chosen again to represent New Jersey's youth.
During the 2016-2017 season, Park-Matt trudged through the mud to combat multiple sclerosis, joined hundreds of thousands of scientists and advocates at a March for Science Rally in New York City, and more.
Upcoming pieces include her recent visits to a flying trapeze school and a wolf conservation center.
"This is overall a really great experience," said Park-Matt.
Park-Matt, who's traveled to more countries than you count on two hands, yearns to be an international food critic as an adult.
"I'm open to try anything; I'm not a picky eater," she said. "If somebody tells me to eat something I'll shove it in my face."
The children are allowed to choose the stories they cover, with editor approval, and Scholastic is flexible on when articles and accompanying media are handed in.
Overall, 34 kids from 21 states were awarded a spot on the kids press team. Ten others come from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Also selected for the 2017-2018 news team:
Josh Stiefel, of Teaneck: Josh plays, soccer, baseball, basketball and flag football. He also writes book reviews for his local newspaper.
Robert Gardner, of Haddon Heights: Robert plays baseball, soccer, and participates band and choir. He his favorite kind of music is indie rock.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.