Alex Brake with Journalism Club students at WHYY's headquarters.
Student Journalists Conduct Street Interviews
By Alex Brake, Teacher
St. James students take almost 200 field trips each year. They visit museums and churches, have adventures at aquariums and theme parks, and spend a full day in our nation’s capital. Although I haven’t been on every trip, I can say with confidence that the Journalism Club’s trip to WHYY is one of the best experiences.

Our small group of mostly 8th graders and a couple of 7th graders were treated to a thoughtful tour of the studios, met some of WHYY’s TV and radio personalities, explored the editing rooms, and interviewed producers and show writers about their work. Everyone was welcoming and engaging, and seemed to genuinely love answering our questions.

Next came a lesson and activity in interview skills and camera work, all leading up to our little team taking to the streets of Old City like TV reporters to ask our own questions of real people. It was truly inspiring to see the students identify issues they cared about (climate change, voting age, automation, Area 51, the list goes on!) and push themselves out of their comfort zones to find out what strangers thought.

Thank you, WHYY!
Mercedez and Markayla (7th grade) interviewing on the street, with Da'Jah and WHYY Media Instructor Steven Dixon.
St. James School students interviewing a man on the street about automation. (He had a lot to share because his wife works in the field!)
Our teacher, Ms. Carroll, got her car washed at the fair.
In Their Own Words... “8th Grade Fair”
Below is an excerpt from an article in the next issue of The Clearfield Breeze, St. James School’s first-ever student-run newspaper. The 8th Grade Fair took place on November 23, 2019. Its purpose was to raise funds for the 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

By Kaniya, Class of 2020
Last year the 8th graders had to walk to a far place and they didn't really enjoy the walk because it was too hot for them. Also Ms. Lerew [8th grade homeroom teacher] said if we make enough money, we will be able to take a train, which is much faster than the bus.

So now that you know why we are having it, let me tell you some things that are happening at the fair. Mainly it’s the basketball tournament, but the 8th grade thought it would be smart to add some activities, so we are calling it the 8th grade fair. The activities that are happening at the fair are car washes, food, activities for kids, music/entertainment.

Update: The fair was a success! The goal was to make $200 [to cover the cost of] Ubers, but we made more than $200. The fair wasn't exactly how we planned it because there were no games, but that was the only thing that was missing. That meant the [8th graders] that were going to work on the games had nothing to do but help work with the food committee. There were also fewer people than we expected. But other than that, the fair was a very good success!
There was a basketball tournament.
We sold food and St. James items.
Our families and neighborhood came out to help support us.
A Word With…
Our young friends, Joe and Adriana
Joe and Adriana are members of The Church of St. James the Less Sunday Night Community and serve on the St. James Young Professionals Committee. They recently were married at the Church by The Rev. Andrew Kellner, our school and neighborhood chaplain.

How did you find the church community?
We saw the St. James banner that says "Love your _____ neighbor" with a diverse group of adjectives. We wanted to worship somewhere that embraced positivity and inclusivity, so we emailed Father Kellner, whose name was on the banner.

What do you enjoy about the Sunday night community?
We enjoy the close-knit nature of the congregation — knowing everyone's names and a little bit about their lives.

What keeps you involved?
The openness of the St. James community and the importance of the work they're doing.

Are you involved in other ways in the St. James community?
We are both part of the Young Professionals, which helps raise money through the annual 5K, and we volunteer at the Saturday morning Academic Clinic. We also had our wedding at the Church in October. It was a beautiful event. We received innumerable compliments about the church, the grounds, and especially Father Kellner. We were honored to have St. James students participate in our wedding as altar servers. Everyone really loved ringing that bell, too!

  • Are you interested in joining our Sunday Night Community? Come worship with us at 5:00pm Mass, followed by community dinner.
  • Are you interested in joining our fun, devoted group of Young Professionals helping St. James students? Contact Maggie Sanborn at msanborn@stjamesphila.org for more information and to get involved!
Thanks to our many, many friends, donors, and volunteers, we saw amazing results from our year-end fundraising and volunteer activities. To highlight just a few ways you supported our community over the past month...
We can’t do this important work of serving 87 students, 69 graduates, hundreds of families, and our neighborhood without you. Thank you for all the ways you supported us, and shared with our school community!
St. James School is a faith-based Philadelphia middle school in the Episcopal tradition, committed to educating traditionally underresourced students in a nurturing environment. The school is a community that provides a challenging academic program and encourages the development of the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical and creative gifts in its students.
St. James School | 215-226-1276 | www.StJamesPhila.org