Extra! Extra! VPT Presents "Above the Fold"

2013 Winners Announced

Congratulations to Browns River Middle School's 6th graders.
Read All About It!

Who? You! Middle school students in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade (or any combination thereof) throughout Vermont

What? Coming this fall, Vermont Public Television is kicking off Above the Fold 2012, a journalism contest that will showcase your critical thinking and writing skills. It will also give you the chance to be recognized by VPT and Vermont newspapers. Each group that enters will submit, through templates provided, the front page of a newspaper that you create containing top stories from within your community. Content can be comprised of articles, photos, editorials, cartoons and more! When combined, Above the Fold entries will encapsulate newsworthy events from one week in Vermont.

Why? This is a great opportunity for students in Vermont to utilize and capitalize on their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills while also getting a fun-filled, real-world educational experience in the field of journalism!

Where? Your community. News content may be local, within your neighboring towns or may be school-based.

When? All entries will report on the week of Nov. 5, 2012-Nov. 13, 2012. Your submission deadline will be Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, and winners will be announced and printed during the week of Jan. 7, 2013 via newspapers and vpt.org.

How? Find out what's going on! Investigate. Be a "tourist" in your own community. Find out what's important to you and those around you. Here are a few newspaper templates to get you started with your layout.

Template 1 | Template 2 | Template 3

Entry Form & Rules

Download the Entry Form PDF | Download the Contest Rules PDF

Submit your entries to outreach@vpt.org.

You can read last year's Above the Fold entries and winners here!

Contact VPT 

For more information about the contest or for questions, please contact the Outreach Department at VPT at outreach@vpt.org or call us at 1-800-639-3351.

Classroom Resources

Exclusive Journalism Tips

From Vermont This Week's Guests

Terri Hallenbeck, Reporter, Burlington Free Press
Tom Kearney, Editor, Stowe Reporter
Olga Peters, Reporter, The Commons
Bruce Edwards, Business Editor, Rutland Herald
Anne Galloway, Publisher, vtdigger.org
Shay Totten, Columnist, Seven Days

Lesson Plans

Writing and Reporting / Collaborative Research
Classroom activity where students will dissect a news article from PBS's NOW Online archive. Downloadable "News Story Analysis Worksheet" PDF available.

Developing Story Ideas
Designed to help students construct specific and feasible story ideas.

Newspapers in the Digital Age
This lesson examines the current crisis in journalism. Specific attention is given to the historical developments in dissemination of the news.

Story Ideas to Help Kids Get Started

New Student/8th Grade Newspaper Story List
10 Story Ideas

More Resources

Journalism Glossary
A complete list of most common journalism terms defined

Basic Journalism Guidelines
Brief definitions and information about lead, tone, sentence length, and the inverted pyramid

Newspapers in the Digital Age
News reporter Antonio Neves explores changes in the newspaper business. He investigates how stories are covered and delivered.

"If I Were a Carpenter—The Tools of a Writer"
Sentence, paragraph, and story structure tips

Newswriting Process
Beginning Reporting: Determining focus of story and the importance of the focus

Newspaper Association of America
More online journalism resources

Peter DesLauriers of St. Albans City School
"This activity has inspired Team USA to find more real life activities such as this for our students. Their determination, their obvious pride and the educational value of this endeavor was exactly what education should be. I thank VPT for the experience, the concept and above all, the challenge to continue education for my students in this method."


Dave Blow, Journalism Professor at Castleton State College
"I always stress to my college students how vital journalism is to keep people informed about issues that impact their lives. I love that this "Above the Fold" contest will expose young people to the joys and power of journalism and I hope it breeds some future journalists."

Collaborating Newspapers and Sponsors

Special Thanks to our collaborators and community partners!


Supported in Part by


Special thanks to the St. Albans City School for their "test run" of Above the Fold last Spring.


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