By Nick Spinali

Lead Redcoat Review Writer

Posted June 3, 2020

Are you looking for a way to get involved in a club that will help you to build character or establish new connections and friendships? Maybe you are heading into your junior or senior year and are looking for activities that will help you build on your resume. Or maybe you are an underclassman who is looking for a way to help contribute to the BHS community and establish yourself as an extracurricular and social leader. My name is Nick Spinali, and I am here to show you why joining the Redcoat Review may be the perfect opportunity for you.

At the Redcoat Review, there are a number of ways that you can contribute to the process of developing a story. One of those ways is by becoming a writer. As a Redcoat Review writer myself, I believe that it is safe to say that writing is one of the best ways to engage in collaborative work in this club. Although it starts with a story idea, writers have the opportunity to work with other writers and editors in order to achieve the best article possible. If you don’t think that your writing skills are quite strong enough, no problem! At the Redcoat Review, writers of all levels are encouraged to join, and a number of peers would be happy to help and give tips on how to enhance your writing. And no matter what your writing interests may be, there is always a place for your skills in the Redcoat Review; past stories have ranged from sports and school clubs to exclusive articles that have focused on new teachers and politics.

If you aren’t interested in writing but still want to contribute to the writing process, you should consider becoming an editor for the Redcoat Review. As an editor, it is your job to read the staff’s articles and to leave constructive criticism on how the article can be better written. Oftentimes, editors will work collaboratively with writers in order to develop the best story possible. Together, writers and editors work as a team to find grammatical and spelling mistakes while also suggesting ways to relay the most newsworthy information and make it more engaging. For example, in an article centered on sports, it is important that an editor confirms statistics and player averages while also ensuring that an audience can relate to the article. Overall, the collaboration and ability to work with others cannot be understated for an editor position.

You may be an art fanatic or are looking for ways to display your creative ability. In that case, becoming a photographer for the Redcoat Review is a great way to display your artistic abilities. As a photographer, it is your job to capture important story moments in order to help readers of the Redcoat Review visualize said story. This is especially important for sporting events, club activities, and music and theater, but can apply to essentially any story. Much like an editor, photographers work collaboratively with writers in order to determine the appropriate photograph necessary for a given article. Many times, story ideas can derive from the work of a photographer and can even strengthen the audience’s engagement with an article. You don’t even need to be a photographer to show your artistic ability as drawings and paintings are also encouraged and can gain wider recognition when displayed in a place like a Redcoat Review issue!

Next year will be my third and final year as a member of the Redcoat Review staff. After finishing my freshman year, I had been looking for ways that would help me to build my resume and to get more involved in the activities that take place at Berlin High School. When I had initially heard the suggestion of getting involved with the school newspaper, I was hesitant to join. I did not realize the opportunity that I was given. I did not think that I was a suitable writer, and I believed that my photography and editing skills were lackluster, at best. However, after much thought, I decided that I should take a chance.

Since then, I have been able to grow tremendously as a writer with the help of my peers and assistance from the staff advisors, Mrs. Glass and Mrs. Rice. My ability to critique others and collaborate in a cooperative environment has become enhanced tremendously, and I now believe that I am not only a better journalist, but a better colleague as a result. In other words, joining the Redcoat Review has provided me with the opportunity to grow as a student and a peer and has only helped me on my journey towards college. I have gained skills that I would not have been able to acquire without joining the newspaper staff and have made many valuable connections along the way. If you are like me and you are looking for ways to establish a presence in the Berlin High School community, joining the Redcoat Review is an option that you should definitely consider.

If you are interested in joining, contact Mrs. Glass or Mrs. Rice at their Berlin Public Schools email addresses: cglass@berlinschools.org or rrice@berlinschools.org