The Missourian’s article “Rock Bridge senior connects special needs students with their school peers”, written by Savannah Rudicel, is an outstanding example of the storytelling elements.
The article is about a senior named Olivia Spaedy that leads a school organization called Bruins United, a club that aims to bring down the social barriers between students in mainstream classes and special education classes at Rock Bridge High School. Students come together to play games like UNO and Connect 4, as well as distribute information on how to approach students with special needs, why the “R” word is hurtful and how to combat the fear of saying the wrong thing.
Rudiecel’s article revolves around a central compelling character, Olivia Spaedy, Bruins United’s president. The significance of a character is that they allow the audience to emotionally connect to the story. Characters give the story a tangible, human element. Likewise, the audience can relate to Spaedy.
The story has conflict and tension by explaining the challenges Spaedy is facing with attendance. “Olivia has noticed a lack of attendance especially among younger students, an issue as she looks for an underclassman to assume her role after she graduates,” Rudiecel writes. The article leaves the audience on a cliffhanger with whether Spaedy will find a replacement and if her club will continue. The cliffhanger not only provides tension, but opens the door for a follow-up article to be published later.
Rudiecel incorporates ethos and expert opinion by interviewing a father of a boy who belongs to Bruins United, John Nemec. A father of a special needs student offers a unique testimony that advances the story.
In addition to Nemec’s expertise, interviewing him provided more perspectives to the article. Nemec explained the struggle parents of special needs students have with connecting to other families with special needs students. Rudiecel interviews Spaedy’s sister Abby for an extra point of view. Incorporating different standpoints around the story loans the article additional credibility and prevents it from becoming a single-story article.
Rudiecel’s article was effective at grasping the audience’s attention, accurately telling the story and leaving the audience wanting more by her exceptional use of the storytelling elements.
Article source: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/k12_education/rock-bridge-senior-connects-special-needs-students-with-their-school/article_aaeabf56-c3b2-11e6-bb51-0732fd9849a7.html
Photo taken by Erin Achenbach