Menlo Middle School Students Start Newspaper


Club members of The Menlo Monthly meet to work on newspaper articles together. During hybrid learning at the beginning of 2021, meetings were held both over Zoom and in-person. Photo courtesy of Maren Mulloy.

Kaylie Wu, Assistant A&L Editor

In recent months, seventh graders Maren Mulloy and Mg Curtin brought to life a middle school newspaper at Menlo. The newspaper’s title, The Menlo Monthly, was democratically voted for by students. Students are planning to release editions of the paper once a month, hence the name.

According to Mulloy, the idea of starting The Menlo Monthly was inspired by her experience in elementary school, where she would write articles with her friends during recess. Mulloy and Curtin had also heard about The Coat of Arms, which further inspired them to begin a newspaper of their own. “My brother is taking journalism in high school right now, and he seems to be enjoying it a lot,” Mulloy said.

In order to kickstart the newspaper club, Mulloy and Curtin first turned to two of their teachers, History teacher Cody Carefoot and Academic Support Coordinator Frankie Machado, for help. Mulloy, Curtin, Carefoot, Machado and a few other faculty members worked together to officially establish the club, which currently holds over twenty members, consisting mainly of sixth and seventh graders.

Mulloy and Curtin hold club meetings every Tuesday during lunch. At each meeting, the two present a slideshow to inform club members on general information and updates. The majority of the meeting time, however, is dedicated to working on the newspaper itself. Club members are expected to contribute to the newspaper in any preferred way, whether it’s by creating a crossword puzzle, taking photos or writing an article. “We want to make sure that folks are able to express themselves in creative ways where their interests lie,” Carefoot said. “As long as those interests take place, you can write about nearly anything.”

Each month, everyone’s separate work is compiled online to form a single virtual newspaper. “We try [to] finish articles and projects towards the end of the month, then we compile them together on a Google site,” Curtin said.

Despite receiving help from Carefoot and Machado, The Menlo Monthly is completely student-run. According to Machado, within one week of Mulloy and Curtin reaching out to him, the two had finished planning out every detail necessary to start their club. “They have a pretty sophisticated system for divvying out who’s doing the articles, who’s taking the photos, who’s doing the crossword puzzles, and more,” Machado said. “[The club] is very student-driven, and I want to applaud [Mulloy and Curtin] on that.”

Similarly, Carefoot emphasized the amount of work and time that his students dedicated to creating the paper. “I can’t say enough about [Mulloy] and [Curtin]’s leadership skills,” Carefoot said.

According to Mulloy, because there are only a few weeks left of school, the newspaper club is currently focusing on preparing for next year rather than publishing any content. “We want to improve our system for next year as much as we can,” Mulloy said.

Although The Menlo Monthly has yet to be printed on paper, articles are still available for access on their website.