STUDENTS in West Cork are among 7,500 students around Ireland currently participating in Press Pass, a Newspapers in Education initiative organised by National and Local newspapers including The Southern Star, aimed at Transition Year students.
Launched in 2012, it is estimated that almost 70,000 TY pupils have now taken part in the programme, which has enjoyed the full support of the Department of Education since its inception.
Participating schools receive free local and national newspapers over a two-week period, which they use in conjunction with a specially created Workbook, also provided free of charge to schools.
The schools taking part in West Cork are Kinsale Community School, Coláiste Ghobnatan in Ballyvourney and Maria Immaculata Community College in Dunmanway, who are each receiving copies of The Southern Star.
Through Press Pass, students become familiar with a variety of language types (information, argument, narration, persuasion) that they will encounter during the Leaving Certificate English programme. Students also learn to analyse content and are asked to think and form opinions about important social issues. Upon completion of the Press Pass programme, schools are invited to take part in a national journalism competition in five categories – News, Sport, Features, Opinion / Comment and Photojournalism. The entries are judged by a panel of working journalists, chaired by former Press Ombudsman, Prof John Horgan.
The winning students will be presented with their prizes at an awards ceremony in the Convention Centre in Dublin in March 2017. Further information on Press Pass can be obtained at www.presspass.ie