Coal Cracker: News By Kids For The Coal Region

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MAHANOY CITY -- Hot off the presses, a new newspaper in Schuylkill County produced completely by kids in third through eighth grades.  It's called Coal Cracker.

It's now available in stores in parts of the county and it's a lot more than your average school paper.

They call themselves Coal Cracker Kids and they gathered at the Mahanoy City library to celebrate the publication of their newspaper.  Each of them signed copies of the first edition of Coal Cracker.

This is news from kids only, 8 through 14 years old.

"It was really neat to see the process and then having it published to the public for them to read is really interesting and neat for everyone to see," said Mahanoy Area seventh grader Meredith Rhoades.

A story on Schuylkill County agriculture and a coaching milestone led off the front page.

Looking through the paper, you can see this isn't just news by kids for kids.  There are news stories and sports features you could find in any community paper. It's a learning experience for boys and girls.

"The story is about agriculture in Pennsylvania and how it affects the economy.  It wasn't my first choice of what to write, but I'm really proud of the way that it came out so I'm happy with it," said Mahanoy Area seventh grader Serena Bennett.

The Mahanoy Area elementary and middle school students learned that journalism isn't always easy.

"It's hard but it's definitely worth it," said Bennett.

"Nerve wracking!  It's an experience and it's going to be fun to look back on when I'm older," said Rhoades.

Coal Cracker has adult advisors  and a nonprofit group is helping pay the costs but they are looking to sell ads and they are recruiting for more kids in the county to get involved.

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