Anniversary Projects Launch
with Help from Former Students
SSFP 25 th anniversary projects are funded in part by Ben and Kaili Emmrich. Ben was a staff writer and teen editor for SSFP while attending McFarland High School. Ben worked as an editor at SSFP throughout high school and into his college years at UW-Madison, where he majored in History and Business. Ben and Kaili's recent $10,000 gift, along with a $10,000 Google match, spark several new projects at SSFP.
Introducing SSFP 25th Projects...
Rock Your Reading Scores

High school and college-age editors assist specific groups of middle school students using close reading strategies. The project will laser focus on five south Madison schools and boost reading proficiency. Parents and teachers watch student progress using MAP scores and Badger Forward Exams. This 25th anniversary project is a partnership with the national Afterschool Alliance, the New York Life Foundation, several media outlets, local schools and libraries, and UW-Madison’s Physics Department.
New Statewide Newspaper: Wisconsin Free Press

Teams of local kids spent 2017 exploring Wisconsin and the world. And they’ve been writing. Read the work of local student journalists in a new online publication called Wisconsin Free Press. Young writers from across Wisconsin contribute to this new, statewide student newspaper. Available at
New Investigative Series: “The Science Of Wisconsin’s Environment”

Teams of local kids spent 2017 spring and summer semesters studying Wisconsin’s ecosystems and natural resources. SSFP students worked with Dane County’s Department of Land and Water Resources and Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. Students interned at local media outlets. This fall and throughout 2018 they publish their work in SSFP newspapers, on various platforms, and with various media partners.
“Where in Wisconsin Is SSFP?”

Follow teams of local kids as they travel Wisconsin's main streets and back roads. Learn about Wisconsin art, history, and rich cultural mosaic. All readers will notice strong writing and lots of good storytelling. Discerning adult readers will notice extended-day, project-based learning with a purpose.
Youngest Newspaper Editor in Wisconsin History
Now in 5th grade, Mariama Bah has worked for Simpson Street Free Press for about two years. She works very hard and takes on difficult assignments, writing articles for Simpson Street Free Press and Glendale Free Press. A focus on reading scores for students in grades 3-8 is part of the SSFP 25 th plan.

To this end, SSFP recently hired 14 new staff writers from Glendale Elementary School and will expand Glendale Free Press, which has published in hard copy and online since 2001. Project coordinator Taylor Kilgore recently promoted Mariama to assistant editor to help organize peer-to-peer editing sessions for Glendale student writers.
State Journal Reporter Talks Wisconsin Job Markets at SSFP
A recently published series in the Wisconsin State Journal examined changing job markets in our state. Award-winning journalist, Matt DeFour, talked about the series with about two dozen high school-age reporters at the SSFP South Towne newsroom. Discussion centered on a basic premise in the State Journal series: Wisconsin faces a growing shortage of trained workers suited for the 21 st century jobs employers offer. [Read More]
Special Thanks to a Special
SSFP Volunteer
Linda Voit Talks College Planning, Financial Literacy,
Writing Proficiency with SSFP Students
Several new editions of our financial literacy and college planning discussion series took place this fall. SSFP volunteer Linda Voit and several SSFP college-age editors hosted a roundtable with middle school students and 9th graders. Topics included how to pay for college and how to secure scholarships. Voit, who is VP of Internal Communications at Summit Credit Union, talked about the importance of writing and the many ways writing skills can help pay for college.
SSFP Students Produce
Book Trailer Videos
Another round of book trailer video production is scheduled at SSFP on Friday, October 27. Working with staff from Madison Public Libraries, middle school students review books using technology and animation. Student videos are then published on SSFP platforms and in the library's Teen Bubbler website. You can view previous book trailer videos here.
Former SSFP Editor Pitches
Startup on Shark Tank
Tune in to watch ABC-TV's “Shark Tank” this Sunday at 8 p.m. You will find our former Simpson Street Free Press teen editor, Andrew Bently. Andrew started a company called Father Figure, a clothing line specifically designed for dads. Andrew started as a staff writer at Simpson Street Free Press when he was in high school and was promoted to editor by his senior year. After graduating high school, he went to pursue his journalism career at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. [Read More]

A Bee's Buzz Isn't Just White Noise

by JeNiya Adams,
age 14

The sound of a buzzing bee is seemingly a simple sound we hear on the average summer day, a sound we often pay no mind. But for bees, buzzing is very important.
SSFP Students Attend Science Conference, Visit Historic La Crosse

by Dilame Lindmeier, age 16

For years, science education has been an important part of Simpson Street Free Press curriculum – so has museum trips. Recently, I joined other teen editors for a wonderful weekend in La Crosse, Wisconsin. We attended the annual Wisconsin Space Science Consortium Conference and the famous Pump House Regional Arts Center. [Read More]
Ever Wonder why Barns Are Red? The Answer Lies in Stars

by Sharon Ruiz, age 14

In rural Wisconsin, there are barns everywhere--or nearly everywhere, it seems. Most of them are red. This is no coincidence.
El piel atrificial puede ser el logro más grande en la historia de la ciencia medica

por Luis Ponce, 13 años, La Prensa Libre de Simpson Street

En el futuro los cientifícos y los medicos podrán agregar piel artificial en su cuerpo. [Lear más]
‘I Don’t Have to Be White to Be a Queen’: How Reading Children’s Books Between the Lines Shaped My Self-Image

by Kadjata Bah, age 12

When I was younger, I loved reading Magic Treehouse, The Baby-Sitters Club, and The Boxcar Children books. I loved how these stories were full of talking animals and inanimate objects coming to life. But I noticed that all of these series’ protagonists, another word for main characters, were white. When I realized this, I also noticed that in the rare times I did read about a young person of color, it made me feel important and almost special in a way. It took me quite a while to pinpoint why.
This Fish Doesn’t Clown Around: How Clownfish Navigate the Ocean

by Aaliyah Gray, age 12, Wright Free Press

Many aquatic species struggle to live in underwater conditions. Clownfish, however, are excellent at using their strengths to survive the harsh conditions of the sea. [Read More]
Ancient Arctic Culture Meets Modern Life

by Katrin Brendemuehl, age 14, Sennett Free Press

You probably know the legend of the majestic, antlered deer that live in the North Pole. You may even know that reindeer exist outside of Christmas stories. But did you know that there are actually people who live among reindeer? [Read More]
Seagrass Protects Humans and Animals

by Moises Aaron Hernandez, age 12

Nearly everybody has walked on grass. But did you know that grass grows underwater too? Seagrass is an underwater plant that grows near ocean coasts. In fact, colossal amounts of seagrass surround all of the continents except Antarctica. This greenery improves the health of oceans and is a safe place for young fish, flowers, pollen, and even seeds to thrive. [Read More]
The Great
Chicago Fire

by Annah Tearman, age 14, Janesville
Free Press

The Great Chicago Fire was a very devastating event in history. It killed many people and destroyed millions of dollars worth of property. [Read More]