A Backpack Journalist

What is Cover the Assignment?

SEE BELOW FOR 2017-2018 – for upcoming assignments in the Charleston, SC area.

Cover the Assignment – is the A Backpack Journalist module that provides a “real life experience” for the youth after participating  in a workshop.  These experiences range from interviewing a Veteran or policy maker, to attending an event such as the Vietnam Veterans Education Fund dedication of THE EDUCATION CENTER or political rally.  Soon, “Backpack Journalists” will be attending the Inauguration, and visiting the “hill” and attending a briefing on National Security.

We began this module with military youth, and upon reaching out to the civilian populations, it continued!

The youth reporter gathers and writes and then reports via print or our online.

The Foundation of Cover the Assignment:

The curriculum of A Backpack Journalist provides youth hands-on experience, combining the basics of Writing, Photo Journalism, Film Making, Songwriting, Broadcast Journalism, Poetry (cowboy and urban) gathering and reporting with the latest and greatest technology tools.

The core of the program helps youth develop their writing skills and expand their education, while enabling youth to find their “voice” and a means to express themselves.  Encouraging creative expression and building resilience and self esteem, through a variety of media applications has been shown to be successful in the workshops and trainings to date, and is one of the primary goals of A Backpack Journalist.

In public education today, CORE and STEM are the focus of educators across our nation.  The interesting news about “writing” is that without the ability to express one’s self, neither of these important curricula initiatives will provide any benefit to the student!  Check out the most recent assessment of our nation’s 8th-12th grade youths and their writing skills.  Only 25% of this group ranked within a positive  range on the NAEP, Computerized Writing Assessment test.  This report was released in September, 2012 and available to view at:


On becoming a Citizen Journalist:

An outcome of Cover the Assignment is evidenced in the the training that each participant receives in Social Media and the distribution of news via the Internet.  Each learns the importance of “truth” in reporting, and are introduced to career opportunities.  It is important to note that while each youth may not choose journalism as a career, each will be a skilled expressive writer or producer of content in a variety of technology based formats.

Youth also are encouraged to take part in advocacy programs that provide great benefit to themselves and others by simply “expressing their voice”.  Leadership programs such as the building of youth councils within a school or command/brigade/unit are also an evidenced outcome.

Cover the Assignment 2017-2018

Venues/Topics to cover 2017-2018

College of Charleston, School of the Arts Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
161 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29424

College of Charleston Dixie Plantation School of Education

SC Port Authority Charleston, SC

Senator Marlon Kimpson
Charleston, SC (And other Charleston delegation members)

Hendricks Automotive Charleston and N. Charleston

Charleston County Parks & Recreation City of Charleston Parks & Recreation

Patriots Point Mt. Pleasant, SC

The Farmers Market Mt. Pleasant, SC

The Town of Mt. Pleasant Mt. Pleasant, SC

NBC, Channel 2 Mt. Pleasant, SC

CBS, Channel 5 Charleston, SC

Kelly Golden
WSC.93.5 – Radio, Mt. Pleasant, SC

The City of Charleston, SC Charleston, SC

The Preservation Society Charleston, SC

The Charleston Museum Charleston, SC

Historic Charleston Foundation Charleston, SC

Fort Moultrie – US National Parks Service Sullivan’s Island, SC

Charlestown Landing & Park SC Parks, Charleston, SC

SC Military Museum, Columbia, SC

Other retail:

Harbor Resort/Kids Camp Hollipops, Mt. Pleasant, SC Harolds Cabin
Various Ice Cream & Candy Shops The Market, Charleston, SC

The Citadel, Krause Center, cadets for afterschool programming will be present, and assist.

All listed here will be visiting our class, and presenting their venue/event. The “Backpackers” then draft their visit outline and questions. We interview, photograph and film. We edit in IMOVIE and present on Social media.

Linda Dennis/A Backpack Journalist – www.abackpackjournalist.com
843 582 2794 – facebook.com/backpackjournalist [email protected]


Hands on Scholastic Journalism for youth!
What is Cover the Assignment?