In an attempt to encourage daily use of the Hebrew language, six students at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy have become the first to produce a school newspaper in both English and Hebrew.

During its first year of publication, the Greenfield students with assistance from teacher Navit Adar and communications director Joe Schulman have begun publishing the magazine-style paper, which in English is called the Awesome Newspaper, on a bi-monthly basis. While some stories are translated in both languages, others only appear in one language, providing a challenge to its readers to become more proficient in learning Hebrew.

Principal Leah Summers said the publication represents authentic learning at its best.

“They’re taking the (language) skills they learn in isolation and make it applicable in a real world situation,” Summers said.

The entire newspaper is student-led, including the writing, editing, photography, a comic strip and translations of the two languages. Eighth-graders Yvonne Sonsino and Yehonadav Kadosh, both 13, are leaders on the newspaper staff.

“It’s important to get the students into (practicing) Hebrew and getting the news around the school,” Kadosh said.

Sonsino agreed.

“It’s good that we’re getting more Hebrew out into the school. (The paper) is more secular that way and it should include Hebrew,” Sonsino said.

Schulman said one of the biggest challenges for the students has been to format a paper with both languages since one is read left to right and the other is read in the opposite direction.

“It’s been a learning experience for all of us,” Schulman said. “It’s been well received. The kids are becoming bilingual and it makes learning more fun.”

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