At Stevenson, learning and creativity don’t stop when the formal school day ends. A great example of this commitment to enrichment beyond the classroom is found in Stevenson’s afterschool programs—especially SGN Yarr!, a weekly workshop for students in the Middle Division that was launched by Middle Division After-School Program Director J.R. Sosky and that he co-leads with Middle Division English Teacher Jenn Wood.
SGN Yarr! is a student-run news show inspired by actor/director John Krasinski’s Some Good News (SGN) Network—a series of eight news shows Krasinski shared on YouTube during the pandemic in order to bring focus to positive current events.
For SGN Yarr! (the “Yarr!” is a traditional Pirate greeting), students create inspiring broadcasts by curating uplifting stories they find in the news. They meet weekly to research, edit, and produce their program, and they use a dedicated platform—the SGN padlet—to collaborate and discuss content.
Students report that one of the most exciting parts of their experience was when they interviewed the subject of one of their stories, Cartier Carey. Cartier is an 11-year old from Hampton, Virginia who started a lemonade stand in order to raise money for parents struggling to buy essential supplies, like diapers, during the pandemic. Cartier’s lemonade stand raised $4,500 in the first month, and motivated by his enormous initial success, he and his mother founded a non-profit—Kids 4 Change—to further his mission. Cartier and his inspiring story were featured in many large national news outlets, including ABC News, CNN, Life with Kelly and Ryan, and The Washington Post.
Ms. Wood explains, “We discovered Cartier’s organization while looking for examples of kids making a positive impact on their communities. Cartier’s story is everywhere, and we reached out to see if he would be available for an interview. We felt honored that he agreed to spend time with us!” Mr. Sosky adds, “Cartier is wonderful young man and the interview was so very cool.”
The SGN Yarr! Project gave students the opportunity to learn how to shape a news broadcast and produce their own show. It was also a useful reminder for students that, even during a bleak news cycle, there are lots of good and inspiring things happening in the world.
Here is their interview with Cartier.