The 1 For All program recently announced the 40 winners of their First Amendment Challenge, including Rosa Rodriguez, a journalism and Spanish teacher at Sunset High School.
Each awardee received $1,000 in recognition of their outstanding lesson plans and student projects. The challenge asked high school teachers across the country to share the ways they teach about First Amendment freedoms, and encouraged innovation and creativity in the classroom. The American Society of News Editors’ (ASNE) Youth Journalism Initiative coordinated the challenge.
“I love teaching journalism and facilitating media production,” said Rodriguez, who gained hands-on journalism experience as a reporter in San Antonio.
For the challenge, each of her students chose to produce media, commercials, print, or television ads. Rodriguez then combined the diverse pieces into a unique presentation with stations where viewers could interact with the projects.
“Rosa Rodriguez deserves to be recognized because of the innovative and engaging First Amendment Fair she planned and hosted with her students for the entire school,” ASNE Communications Coordinator Jiyoung Won said. “Everyone in her class had the opportunity to practice his/her right to freedoms by presenting a topic of concern on campus, discussing the issue with spectators at the fair and signing petitions for specific calls to action. These students experienced hands-on learning that stood out from some of the other First Amendment activities that didn’t have as much interactivity and creativity.”
Rodriguez’ dedication to the field of journalism translates to a passion for teaching the journalists of tomorrow.
“When I see how excited the students get about highly interactive and engaging projects, it just makes my day because I know I’ve generated interest in this field and given them the opportunity to showcase or discover their own talents,” she said.
1 for All is a national nonpartisan program designed to build understanding and support for the First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.