Meet the Oakland Tribune’s three health reporting interns

Mack meeting
At McClymonds High School, from left to right: Romanalyn Inocencio, Breannie Robinson and Pamela Tapia. Photo by Alison Yin.

I mentioned a few months ago that I was working with photojournalist Alison Yin on a project about childhood asthma and its disproportionate impact on families in Oakland and elsewhere along the I-880/80 corridor. It’s a project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism.

Now we have some help! I’m happy to announce the names of our three reporting interns, who will be producing stories and videos for the project with a grant from Annenberg: Pamela Tapia, a recent McClymonds graduate; and Pearl Joy Balagot and Henry Jean-Philippe, both from Fremont High.

Their adviser for the project will be Lisa Shafer (below, left), and I’m sure they’ll get some support from Nadine Joseph, a writing coach who advises the McClymonds journalism club. Pearl and Henry are standing in the back, with their cameras, in the picture.

Mack 2
Photo by Alison Yin

We met with them yesterday, along with some other McClymonds and Fremont high school students, who shared their stories about asthma and helped us brainstorm ways to reach students and families with the finished projects.

My favorite piece of advice came from Breannie Robinson, a no-nonsense Mack student-athlete (basketball star), who had asthma as a child.

After listening to us go back and forth about Twitter, Facebook, video screenings, newsletters and other ideas, she jumped in with this tip: “Make it interesting.”

Well said!

If anyone has an idea for the interns — someone you know with a story to tell about asthma, or an issue you feel needs attention —  please share it, either on the blog or to me, at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Congratulations, Pearl, Henry and Pamela. I can’t wait to read (and watch) your work.


Orphal: What my students are plotting while I’m across the world

This piece by Skyline High School teacher Dave Orphal was originally published onTransformED, the group blog for the Center for Teaching Quality, and is being posted here with his permission. You can read more from Dave and other teacher leaders at TransformED. 

Greetings from Finland. I’m a Skyline High School teacher who’s here to learn more about what is touted by many as one of the best school systems in the world.

Meanwhile, back in Oakland CA, my Introduction to Education class is following my trip, researching the Finnish education system, and preparing policy briefs for school reform.

A little bit about the course:

Skyline High School is organized as numerous small learning communities. I work in the Education Academy. (There are also academies dedicated to digital media, green technology, performing and visual arts, sports and exercise science, and others.)

In the Education Academy, sophomores start in my Introduction to Education class. Over the next two years, they will take Education Psychology and Peer Education, both taught by our academy director. The academy is populated by students who are interested in becoming teachers, nurses, counselors, or social workers.

About my students’ Finland project:

I am launching a three-year, cross-curricular project with my students. This year, my students will research the Finnish system and make reform recommendations to our school’s governing body. In the eleventh grade, they will take up the endeavor again, doing primary research at our school to see if students, staff, and administration agree with the reform proposals they have assembled. During senior year, they will pick up the project once more, moving into an action phase in which they will attempt to influence policymakers and raise funds to turn their proposals into real reforms. Continue Reading