SSFP will hold open house this Thursday
See Academic Achievement in Action: SSFP Participates in National “Lights on Afterschool” Celebration 

This Thursday, all across the country, after-school programs are inviting the public to witness first-hand the power of out-of-school time academics. The event is called “Lights On Afterschool” and is organized by the national Afterschool Alliance. The SSFP South Towne youth center will stay open until 8:00 p.m. with a focus on science learning. Members of the local NAACP will also be on hand, discussing the national ACT-SO competition with SSFP students. Free Press student reporters will provide newsroom tours and explain their work, in particular the research and fact-checking process that contributes to our award-winning science content. Please consider stopping by. Kids and family members of all ages are welcome. [View the Flyer Here]
  SSFP’s Sarah Useche Congratulates La Comunidad in Wisconsin State Journal Guest Column
There is no other organization with which we'd rather share our 25th anniversary year. Congratulations La Comunidad News LLC! Thank you for the wonderful work you do in our community. Simpson Street Free Press teen editor Sarah Useche covered La Comunidad News LLC's 25th anniversary for the Wisconsin State Journal and on Check out the piece here: [Read More]

Numerous Wisconsin Publications Pick Up Content by SSFP Writers  

SSFP student reporters continue to see their work published around Wisconsin. As we prepare for our 25th anniversary year, the Free Press is launching a series of special features about Wisconsin, Dane County, our solar system, and the universe. Several of these articles have picked up by other publications. See some examples here:

Madison Commons: Constructivism at the Chazen

Madison Commons: SSFP Reporters Visit "Floating World"

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium: Space Science

Madison Commons: Not My Hair

Cap Times: SSFP Summer Writing Workshops

Madison Community Foundation Spotlights Two SSFP Staffers

The most recent Madison Community Foundation (MCF) newsletter recognizes two veteran Free Press staff members for outstanding work in support of local children. Our treasured volunteer editor, Jane Coleman, is featured for her many years of contributions to the Dane County community. Coleman, long-time executive director of MCF, is specifically recognized for “connecting people with bold ideas that build the assets of our community.” Notably, Jane also donated $1,000 to start the now-very-successful “A Fund for Women.”

Free Press managing editor, Deidre Green, is also recognized by MCF for coordinating and managing programming for over 250 students at the SSFP South Towne youth center. This summer, Green, a former SSFP student reporter and current grad student in education, also supervised a team of UW-Madison volunteers in programs designed to mitigate summer slide for students in grades 3-8. See the full Madison Community Foundation issue brief, here: [Read More]

Three Free Press Volunteers Publish Books

Everyone who knows SSFP knows that volunteers are key to our success. SSFP volunteer editors love words, enjoy teaching, and dedicate time to help kids. We always sing their praises. With great pride, SSFP calls your attention to three books recently published by SSFP volunteer editors. [Read More]
Thank You to All SSFP Friends for Wisconsin DPI Award

Most of you know that SSFP was honored with a 2016 State Superintendent Tony Evers 'Friends of Education' award earlier this month at the Capitol. We are thankful to all the friends and supporters who make our work possible. You play a crucial role in bolstering local student success. Now more than ever, we are committed to challenging academic achievement gaps in Dane County. Academic success can be, and is, for all of our children. Click here to read more about award recipients.

Financial Literacy, College Planning Series Continues at SSFP
Central to our mission at SSFP is to help students, in particular first-generation college-bound students, plan for future success. The next installment of our series takes place at our South Towne newsroom on November 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Students will hear from UW-Madison Office of Financial Aid’s Joselyn Diaz-Valdes and other experts in financial and college planning.   [Read More]
Sennett Free Press Students Continue to Expand Spanish and English Literacy Skills
Most loyal SSFP readers know that we launched our second bilingual newspaper in December of 2015. This new publication is called Sennett Free Press, and it has taken off in exciting new directions. Book review columns, a new music column, arts and culture features, and excellent science content are all part of the mix. Madison Community Foundation helped us launch this innovative project and Wisconsin DPI, the Madison School District, and Sennett Middle School staff have helped us sustain it. The program includes 4th and 5th graders from Sennett feeder schools and high school-age editors from La Follette High School. Sennett Free Press has grown from an 18-student pilot to include more than 60 students in grades 3-12. You can see their work, in both English and Spanish, here:

Iroquois Raised Beadwork Tradition

El animal mas rapido del mundo

por Selyna González, 12 años

El guepardo es parecido al leopardo por el color y las manchas de su piel. Lo que distingue a este bello animal es que el guepardo es el animal más rápido del mundo. [Read More]

The Luminous Blue Mosque

by Izamara Ramirez, age 11

The Blue Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey, but it wasn’t always a mosque. It attracts large numbers of visitors each year. The temple houses various exhibits and museums.  [Read More]

El sueño musical de Celeste Curiel

by Vanessa Carrilllo, age 8

Celeste Curiel empezó a cantar a los cuatro anos de edad. Desde pequeña le encantaba la música de mariachi y tenía ilusión de ser cantante. Ahora, Celeste estudia en la universidad Texas State University, donde está estudiando para obtener su maestría de canto y de ópera. [Read More]

The Venom of a Stonefish is Lethal

by Kelly Nguyen, age 10 

The stonefish is the most venomous fish on planet earth. A delicacy in Asia, stonefish are sometimes displayed in aquariums because of their strange features. [Read More]

College Textbooks Don't Have to Put You in the Red

by Enjoyiana Nururdin, age 17 

Today's average college student spends up to $1,000 a year on textbooks. Most students also cover other expenses such as room, board, phone bill, laundry, and car payments; tuition alone can cost an additional $10,000 to $70,000 a year. So while it can be tempting not to pay for a bunch of glossy pages you may never use again, purchasing a textbook is a smart investment. It's just how you make the purchase that makes all the difference. [Read More]

Two UW Basketball Players Decide to Finish School Before Joining NBA Draft

by Armond Garcia-Harper, age 12

Two well-known and talented college basketball players have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to school. Nigel Hayes of Wisconsin and Malik Pope of San Diego State will return to their college teams. Both players will add firepower to two of the best basketball programs in the NCAA.  [Read More]
After 39 Years, South Side Bowling Alley Closes Doors

by Deney Li, age 14

After 39 years in business, the south side's beloved Badger Bowl is closing. Town Chairman Jim Campbell said the owners of the bowling alley and music venue decided to sell the property to a luxury car dealership, the Illinois-based Field Enterprises. [Read More]

J.K. Rowling Wrote Her Own Story of Success

by Michelle Chi, age 15

J.K. Rowling is regarded by the world as a highly successful writer due to her creation of the Harry Potter series. But before Rowling achieved fame, she went through a dark period. During this time, she faced many challenges that threatened not only her writing career but also her well-being. [Read More]