This week we're excited to feature this amazing student produced group space from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. This group space is actually a monthly online magazine called "Bonjour Duchesne," created especially for middle school girls and run entirely by Katie (grade 7) and her awesome editing team. Here are a few screenshots of this great group space, which maximizes the homepage layout to display content.
This is the December issue's opening article, celebrating the holiday season
They have a variety of different sections for food, do it yourself projects, and much more. There's even a section about yoga poses to relieve stress during finals!
We love the recipes for super-adorable ornaments, and the instructions on how to create a festive Rudolf hair style!
"Bonjour Duchesne" also includes features beyond just text articles, such as quizzes and surveys. One of our favorites is this month's quiz, "What christmas cookie would you be?" (Apparently we would be a Candy Cane Macaroon -- which sounds delightful!)
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We were able to catch Katie during this busy season, and she graciously answered a few questions for us.
Where do you get the content for each of the sections?
Katie: I usually start with an article or a theme, but it is really the students who make each issue special. I create Dropboxes for each month. Students are welcome to submit articles to be published.
Why did you want to start this group space?
Katie: I started "Bonjour Duchesne" because I believe that the girls in the Middle School are talented in many different ways. I wanted to create a space where we could express ourselves and show off our talents.
I also think we struggle with the same issues, and this could be a good place to show that. I have worked with the school counselors to identify issues that affect my age group. I try to include an article every month about an issue we face as Middle School students. This month it is about stress management before midterms. Next month, it will be about time management --- making time for school, sports, family, friends, etc.
Which section is the hardest to come up with content for?
Katie: I think each section is difficult to put together. I am not really sure how each month comes together. It just does. It is a true group effort, and I don't mean just a few people. The content is open to the entire Middle School. I create Dropboxes for article submissions that are open to everyone. I can open the Dropbox for the month, and there will be a completely unsolicited article from someone. I never know what will be there and I love it because it represents what is on the minds of girls my age.
As with any good magazine, they include credits for each section.
What is your favorite section of the space? Why?
Katie: Our magazine has articles, polls, quizzes, a recipe, a DIY craft section, and discussions, and I love them all. Everything that is submitted is nice, but when you put them all together, they create something amazing.
As I put it together, every month becomes my favorite. This month, I love the article about a girl and her dog. After reading it, I felt like I wanted to meet her dog too, so I asked her to submit a video of her dog doing the tricks she described. She did and I was able to put it with her article. I love that. Our magazine not only has written words, but also videos, embedded quizzes, polls, and discussions. Our magazine is published the first of every month, but it changes throughout the month because students take our polls and write on our discussions. There is always new content to look at. You need to check back often to see what is new.
What are your goals for the future of the magazine?
Katie: hope that Bonjour Duchesne can continue long after I am gone. I believe there is a need. I believe that we are all special and unique and deserve a place to show it. I believe that we can come together to use our talents and thoughts to form a community that is not divided by age or grade.