Students travel to Orlando for communications convention

The Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) believes in freedom of speech through journalism. This year, seventh and eighth grade communications students who are entering their work into the organization’s annual contests have the opportunity to attend this year’s convention at the  Wyndham Orlando Resort.


“The Florida Scholastic Press Association is a group of journalism programs. They do a fall and a spring contest every year but the spring one is the big one because it’s the end of the year, a big project. The teachers submit projects from students to represent the different categories so students can get feedback from broadcast and print professionals.” Shannon Owens, communications teacher said.


Students are given the chance to submit their best work under the category that it corresponds to. Student’s submit their best work in hopes of an award. This can be in categories such as poetry, public service announcements (PSA), news packages, yearbook and newspaper articles and more. 


“I feel like it’s a great opportunity to introduce to students because it helps students to know that they are doing what they are doing well, and that they should continue to do so,” Dussie said. “It encourages students to become better and to reach for the best.” 


Seventh and eighth graders alike are excited for the upcoming trip because it gives them chances they might not have had before. The workshops available to participating students will allow them to go even more in-depth on the skills they learn in their art area classes. Students and teachers believe they can both improve from this environment.


“I feel like sometimes, even myself as a TV teacher, I’m in this little bubble, because I don’t have colleagues here to talk to,” Owens said. “But then when I go to these conferences, I get to meet all these other TV teachers, and we get to share practices and collaborate.” 


The FSPA convention also gives students the advantage of  improving their work when judges critique it and to becoming better journalists overall. Students who enter submissions will receive constructive criticism to give them advice on how they can make their work better.


“I think it’s really exciting because it provides an opportunity for a lot of communications majors,” Comet Reynolds, seventh grade communications major said. “Especially students in seventh and eighth grade, we get to show off and present and better ourselves at journalism.”