I was delighted to find my address had been included on the mailing list for the first issue of “What’s Up in Homewood?” When I pulled the new local newspaper out of my mailbox, I’ll admit, I had low expectations. I mean, there’s a lot of fake news out there, folks. But it was plain to see that the two budding correspondents, currently on summer hiatus from elementary school, had been hard at work.
This was good journalism.
The publication was a full ten pages of clever illustrations and entertaining neighborhood news, illustrated in vibrant Crayola markers and neatly bound by a pair of staples. Clearly many days’ worth of research and planning went into this brilliant first effort.
So, what did our grade school press reporters have to share with us? As it turns out – a lot!
The lead story cautioned its readers to be on the lookout for two stray possums who were wreaking havoc in trashcans up and down the block. It included a composite sketch of the criminal critters and reported sightings. This news was of particular use to me, as my dog has recently been accused of knocking over trashcans and scattering take-out containers in our alley.
Looking to buy into the area? Page two - the real estate section - announced an upcoming Open House and included helpful details about the property for would-be buyers. Cooking enthusiasts weren’t overlooked in this edition either. I haven’t had a chance to try out Suttons Shortbread, yet, but the recipe and illustration caused me to dog-ear the page for later. Finally, I was pleased to see the Goodwin Family won an award for Coolest Treehouse of the week. The criterion used by these junior journalists wasn’t clear, but it was likely a fairly straightforward contest. It’s about time someone acknowledged this neighborhood funhouse!
Hands down, the special interest piece was the most compelling. Through clever illustration, it told the story of a cage of bunnies who have recently come to call Homewood - home. After reading about their new, unique neighbors, my kids made plans to welcome Milo and Nibbles to the block with a sack of carrots at some point later this week.
The editors over at "What’s Up in Homewood" are accepting new submissions for stories about fascinating local pets. Maybe we'll hear more about a family turtle or a chinchilla.
Yup. Summertime in Homewood has finally arrived. For kids, it often means a relaxed set of rules, more time in PJ’s, and tighting up business plans for a lemonade stand on Saturdays. For most parents, summer break isn’t really a break at all. Often bringing with it the additional burdens of arranging childcare coverage, juggling complicated schedules, and finding interesting – and often expensive - new ways to keep the kids entertained. All while trying to get in your regular workday.
At times, this can feel both hectic and overwhelming.
And then, a little newspaper arrives in your mailbox, completely by surprise. A sweet and gentle reminder that it’s often the simple things that truly capture a child’s imagination. Days don’t have to be filled up with structured activities and errands. Kids have a way of taking everyday ideas and turning them into an adventure – sometimes using only a set of markers, a bundle of paper, and a little imagination.
Congratulations to Homewood’s newest journalists! Well done!
“What’s Up in Homewood?” We'll all have to wait patiently for next week's edition to find out!