Local students designed ads, earned money for the classroom and other Bits & Pieces…

Photo by Harlan Beagley - Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School’s advertising design team shown here with their artwork at a followup meeting [held Tuesday of this week] offering a big “thank you" to the participating advertisers after receiving a check from the ad sales. The class told Mrs. Raubenstrauch they would like to spend their money on a big pizza social [yum].
Harlan Beagley

We hope our readers are enjoying the imaginative and creative designs by Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School’s budding advertising designers.
The student-designed advertisements have appeared on the pages of The Ridgway Record’s Friday editions published over the last few weeks, and the last set of the students’ artwork is in today’s newspaper. The Design-An-Ad classroom project was conducted with the FSG Elementary School in cooperation with our advertisers and involved almost 50 well-behaved 11-year-olds from two or three classes.
A few weeks ago, I was invited up to Mrs. Raubenstrauch’s class [she is quite inspiring]. The kids were so excited to spend a few hours talking about how someone in the newspaper field uses the skills they are just now learning — math, English and the art of design. I drew all kinds of pictures, did some math, explained how creative writing can be fun and used to bring a community together on a wide variety of topics. I told them all about how my co-workers place ads in the paper, how the ads are thought up, sold, designed and crafted, then printed on our pages next to the news as messages in a mass media form [fun stuff indeed].
We offered to let the students design real ads for real local businesses. We explain how our salesperson Aimee Coder would sell their ads and print them in the newspaper. We told the kids that we would donate money to the classroom from local businesses that paid for the ads so they could benefit from the little workshop.
They got quite busy talking about local stores and commercial plants and what products they knew about. They made drawings, sketched logos and wrote clever descriptions about their favorite stores and service providers. They even Googled and/or called some of the local shops for relevant information.
The first class lasted about two hours. Then I returned a week later for an hour or so to see all the amazing ads they were working on and to offer more ideas to help them along. After the students created the ads, Aimee Coder took them out to the local advertisers’ shops. During this past Tuesday’s visit, Aimee told the class “The business community here in Ridgway really embraced the project, they were so excited about all the ads.” From the feedback Mrs. Raubenstrauch gave Aimee and I, this was a valuable language, business and graphic arts lesson for the combined classes.
I would like to make a comment here and share an observation; be proud of your local children. I have taught this little “newspaper classroom workshop” in a few other cities so I have been around quite a number fourth and fifth grade students in these two- and three-hour classes. The kids here at FSG and the kids at the Johnsonburg elementary school [I taught this same class there last year] are so respectful and very well behaved for those hours — that really and truly speaks volumes about the quality of the teachers and you local parents [smile].
How can you get this program in your school? I’m glad you asked [laughing]. If you are an educator and have some interest, just call me, we can make a plan [my cell, 509-770-6598].