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Photo: Participants at CLAM’s Planning session for the E-magazine: Pescadero High School student Sophie Mateja (nearest), PHS teacher Kassi Talbot, Cabrillo USD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, CLAM Board member Abraham Escalante, Pescadero Public Radio Service President Catherine Peery, HMB High School Principal John Nazar, HMB Review Editor Clay Lambert.

Students at Half Moon Bay and Pescadero high schools will team up next semester to produce an online magazine—in English and Spanish.

In a project conceived and spearheaded by CLAM, students will collaborate “in the cloud,” without the need for frequent travel between the two schools. They’ll write, edit and illustrate their stories, and use WordPress, the leading online publication software, to design layouts. They will be aided by faculty advisors and publishing gurus provided by CLAM and a cadre of volunteers, but the magazine is theirs, and their successors’ in the four-year circle of secondary education.

What will they be writing? Most likely they’ll be storytelling. Just as we told them stories when they were little, they’ll be telling all of us stories: sharing news, cultural traditions, poetry, photos, and experiences. You name it. The telling won’t just be in virtual newsprint. Pescadero Public Radio Service (operator of KPDO Radio) has obtained a grant, which, according to PPRS President Catherine Peery, will:

“Hire experienced broadcast engineers, sound engineers, and educators to train local students and other community members to be able to operate the station live during emergencies, but also to help them learn skills necessary for a Coastside-wide E-Magazine being developed by CLAM.

“CLAM has brought KPDO and KHMB (the Half Moon Bay Radio station) together, along with [La Honda-Pescadero and Cabrillo Unified School Districts], to train young people for credit in our local high schools in recording and live broadcasting of their local stories.

“The E-Magazine can also serve as a way to get the community familiar with KPDO and KHMB so that, in a Coastside emergency we can cooperate with First Responders and the many local emergency response organizations to provide accurate information during wildfire, flooding, and other emergencies, whether there is a power outage or not.”

While enjoying the fun of sharing their stories and concerns, the students will be learning the marketable skills of cloud collaboration, writing and editing skills, broadcasting, and publishing online using WordPress. Student-created content may also appear in the Half Moon Bay Review.

The e-magazine may be a first. School districts often collaborate with universities and other organizations. They less often collaborate with each other, apart from sports and other competitions. Maybe that’s the most important lesson: bringing us together.