Coal Cracker Sessions Train Young Journalists

Coal Cracker Sessions Train Young Journalists

Young people are the future of our communities. Their ideas and input can help to shape our small towns and neighborhoods in meaningful ways, but their voices are often underrepresented in the media.

To address this need, Coal Cracker Magazine, a project of Heron’s Eye Communications, will host a series of four free workshops to train young journalists in exploring their sense of place through interviews, writing and photography. The series is open to young people ages 12 – 18, and will be held Saturdays, from 11 am – 1 pm, on November 3, 10, 17 and December 1, at the Mahanoy City Public Library.

No prior journalism experience is required. The interactive sessions will provide a foundation of knowledge in media literacy, an approach to education that helps people to access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in print, video and web. Students will gain interviewing, photography and writing skills as they develop short articles, profiles and images that may be published in print or online by Coal Cracker Magazine.

“We are grateful to the Mahanoy City Public Library Board of Directors for recognizing the importance of supporting young people in our communities and for welcoming Coal Cracker into its wonderful facility,” says Krista Gromalski, a Co-Founder of Heron’s Eye Communications.

The Coal Cracker sessions are part of Gromalski’s graduate studies in Sustainable Business and Communities at Goddard College. Gromalski is a native of Mahanoy City, a graduate of Marian High School and Wilkes University.

Heron’s Eye Communications is a marketing, publishing and project management firm with offices in Schuylkill and Pike counties. Gromalski and Sandy Long, a Wilkes-Barre native, founded the company in 2006 with a mission to create strong community partnerships that foster a healthy environment, desirable quality of life and sustainable local economy. Heron’s Eye received a 2008 PA Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its work on the public television documentary Nature’s Keepers: A Community of Conservationists.

Young people interested in the Coal Cracker sessions should email their name and a brief paragraph (3 sentence minimum) to stating:

  • what they like most about the place where they live
  • what challenges young people in their community face
  • why they are interested in becoming involved in Coal Cracker Magazine

Paragraphs may also be dropped off to the Mahanoy City Public Library or mailed to the library at 17-19 West Mahanoy Street, Mahanoy City, PA 17948. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 31.

There is no cost to participate in the Coal Cracker sessions. Complimentary snacks and juice will fuel the participants’ efforts, and an iTunes gift card will be raffled to students who fully participate in all four sessions.

For more information contact Gromalski at or 570-647-6407.

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