Maryland Tweens & Teens Getting their Say in MY-Say, the Online 'Zine for Middle Schoolers

Maryland tweens and teens are getting their say in new online nonprofit magazine. BGE first to step up and sponsor literacy project. The March publication features nearly 30 middle school authors, artists, and photographers at
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ARNOLD, Md. - March 15, 2013 - PRLog -- The nonprofit State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC), along with a grant from Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), is helping the Great State’s youngsters express themselves through words, art, and images in MY-Say, the first online magazine written by middle schoolers for their same-aged peers. This statewide nonprofit venture gives young aspiring writers, artists, and photographers the opportunity to query the editor, children’s author Jennifer Keats Curtis, and to be selected for assigned articles on a wide range of topics, including health, sports, history, interesting people, and book reviews. Students also have the opportunity to vie for prizes by submitting artwork and short essays on select themes.

Powered by SoMIRAC, in partnership with the Maryland Library Association (MLA), educators, and Curtis, MY-Say is designed to promote literacy, creativity, and expression by and among Maryland's middle school students. The magazine is a key endeavor for SoMIRAC, whose 3,000 members have been promoting literacy in the state since 1962 through major initiatives such as the Family Literacy initiative; “Everyone Reads;” and the Young Authors’ (YA) contest.  

“As part of our commitment to building strong communities in central Maryland, BGE supports educational initiatives like the MY-Say publication that support and encourage students of all ages to work hard and develop skills that will help them contribute to the future growth and success of our society,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.  “Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working with Maryland communities to address initiatives that help enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in areas of energy efficiency and assistance, education, the environment, economic and community development, emergency response and safety.  

“Stuck in the middle, 11- to 14 year-olds are often a forgotten crowd of writers and readers,” explains Leslie Sunderland, SoMIRAC’s immediate Past President, “For the first time, they’ll have a just-for-them online space that harbors topics of relevance and real interest.  Their parents and teachers will have a trusted website to refer kids to for authentic, age-appropriate text and images that will serve them equally as educators.  This is a win-win for kids and adults.”  

In MY-Say’s first issue, student reporters, artists, and photographers from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery euzox counties contributed poignant pieces on a nationally ranked skimboarder who has yet to finish the 7th grade; an interview with a well-known Maryland middle school author; savvy shopping tips; anime; and even the real dish on an in-school planetarium.

The new issue features profiles of prominent Marylanders, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and meteorologist Justin Berk; stories by award-winning student musicians; opinions about music, bedtime for tweens, and racial harassment; powerful poems, and much more.  

The May issue will feature the most content as it will include the works of SoMIRAC’s 2013 Young Author contest winners.

Middle school participants for upcoming issues are actively being sought. Contribution guidelines and details on the submission process, including how to contact the editor, appear on the website, Details are also regularly posted on Green Author Jennifer Keats Curtis’ Facebook page and tweeted @MySaymag.
Source:MY-Say Magazine
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