Paige Aamoth and Tony Breaux are this week's budding journalists.

Toni Grove's News Broadcasting class at Crookston High School covers news reporting in both print and video media. Juniors and seniors in the class produce weekly news broadcasts for the CHS student body, publish the Pirate Pride newsletter and submit articles to the Crookston Daily Times, which are published periodically.

By: Paige Aamoth
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Crookston, has a goal of getting people age fifty five and older involved and have a voice in the community. RSVP covers seven northwest counties including Polk, Red Lake, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, Norman, and Kittson counties.

In the Crookston community a new area of emphasis for RSVP is getting more seniors involved in schools. It's important to bring intergenerational experiences together for both the children and the seniors. Often grandparents live far away and children aren't able to spend time with the senior generation.

There are several opportunities for being a volunteer. One of those opportunities includes being an RSVP greeter. Volunteers come to CHS once or twice a week in the morning to greet the students as they arrive at school. A smile and a friendly "good morning" can mean the difference between a good and a bad day for students. A senior at the high school, McKaela Larson says, "I really enjoy seeing the greeters in the morning with their friendly smiles and cheerful good mornings."

Another program RSVP has to offer is the Reading Buddy Program at Washington Elementary School. Volunteers go into the classrooms one or more times a week and read individually with kindergarten and first graders. Volunteers listen to the children read and sometimes read to them. Teachers have found the one-on-one time is very beneficial for early readers.

Super Sixty at Highland is an after-school tutoring program for second through sixth graders held three or more times a week. Volunteers assist students with math, English, science, and social studies while forming a mentoring relationship. Jr. Achievement will be held in January through February for six weeks. Volunteers will be assigned a classroom and will teach the Jr. Achievement curriculum. The focus is on the business and government in our city, state and country. Jr. Achievement offers hands-on learning opportunities for students.

Readers Theater is another program RSVP puts on. Volunteers go to schools and read to grades from kindergarten through fourth grade. The books have been turned into scripts and each reader gets to play a different character, even dressing up using a few props and costumes.

Volunteering has many benefits. Those who volunteer tend to live longer, healthier lives and giving back to your community gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. If you are interested in being a volunteer for RSVP you can contact Jan Aamoth, or Tammy Skyes at 281-8288.

Joining the National Guard
By: Tony Breaux
Joining the National Guard was one of the biggest decisions of my life, but I think it is the best decision I have ever made. Many people ask, "Why did you chose the National Guard?" The reason I chose the National Guard is because they are called in to help after natural disasters, like after the flood in Grand Forks in 1997 or after major hurricanes, like Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I remember the damage the hurricane caused because I lived in Houma, LA at the time, which is about an hour southwest of New Orleans at the time. I was evacuated to Houston, TX and stayed with my dad, but when I got back home after the hurricane was over, I remember seeing the military Humvess and all the soldiers helping to keep things under control and helping clean up the disaster.

The National Guard not only helps after natural disasters, they also fight in wars. Many troops went to Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them from the Army and the National Guard. The National Guard has been around since 1636 fighting wars and helping people. Out of all the Armed Forces in the USA, the National Guard is the oldest branch.

My grandpa was in the Army and this influenced me to join the military. I realize it is a great responsibility to serve our country in any military branch. The Guard is known to help in disasters that occur in the US. I want to help make sure the people that are hurt get the help they need and help clean after disasters. I plan to move back to Louisiana in a few years, and I would love to help in that area. I think it will feel great to help people that are in desperate need. Serving my country in the Guard will help me earn the respect of others.

I joined the Guard to be in the medical field. I chose the Military Occupational Specialists (MOS) 68 ECHO, or Dental Assistant. I plan on moving toward medic if I can handle seeing the blood and if it is easy to remember tools. My mom was a nurse and I used to love to hear her stories when she came home. I also loved going to the hospital and visiting her coworkers and patients. If I can handle the medical field and all of its blood, tools, and trauma, then I will eventually transfer to be a medic. If I can't handle the medical field, then I will transfer to the automotive and mechanical field, because I have loved being around cars all my life.

Some benefits of the Guard are that I will have health insurance benefits, it looks good on resumes, and many people thank you and look up to you. The Guard also helps pay for college and you have a variety of jobs available so you can find the right MOS for you. Many of the jobs qualify you for life as a civilian. For example, if you join as a medic, you are qualified as an EMT as a civilian.

I am glad to have joined the National Guard. I am ready for the responsibility that comes with serving our country. I leave for basic training, which will be at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, July 9, 2013 and I will start AIT training, which will be at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, September 25, 2013. I will be back home from all my training around November 25, 2012. I am excited and nervous, but I know I will do well.