Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:12 pm

Clubs: Silver International

Time: 5B class
Place: Room 148
Sponsor: Joseph Bellino
President: None
The published word. This concept has brought brutal dictators to their knees, embodied hope in desperate populations and changed history. Silver International, one of Blair's three newspaper publications, offers journalism experience to foreign students who were never given the chance to voice their ideas in a public forum in their native lands.

Published three times a year in December, February and May this internationally focused newspaper illustrates the variety of cultures and ethnicities present at Blair. Students from diverse backgrounds and countries across the globe immerse themselves in the world of news and editorial writing as they work during class time to produce a published product.

Most of these students have no journalism background and many "find it hard to understand the power of this [paper] because this is not an option in all of their countries," says sponsor Joseph Bellino. This lack of previous knowledge is often due to the fact that many students take ESOL and HSA prep classes which take up schedule space, leaving no room for Blair's standard journalism course.

But still, these students work hard to produce a quality paper. Bellino emphasizes how much seeing their own work in print can inspire a student to work and push themselves harder. A former Blair student, J.J. Beltran, now the owner of Fajita Coast, a Tex-Mex restaurant at Four Corners, is a product of Bellino's dedication. "People like Mr. Bellino really have an impact on your life," says Beltran. "I came from a country where I had no recognition, and no matter how hard I worked I would get nowhere. Soon after I came to the United States I was able to get a short piece published [in Silver International] and saw the possibilities."

Bellino's work has not only impacted Blair's immediate surroundings; Silver International has influenced teachers on the opposite side of the world. "We had visiting teachers from Pakistan, who were surprised to learn students were writing in the newspaper," says Bellino. "In their schools the teachers wrote all the work. Those teachers took some issues of Silver International home and have now started a program where they publish student excerpts in the school newspaper."

Despite these opportunities Silver International offers, the paper is having trouble recruiting writers. The class only had five students the first semester, a major problem when it comes to writing, editing and laying out an entire paper. While the numbers may be uninspiring, the mentality and strive for success certainly is not. "Silver International helped inspire me to the success I've had today," says Beltran.

If interested in joining Silver International, please contact Joseph Bellino during class hours.

Club beat by Lucas Alvarado-Farrar