Simpson Street Free Press success worthy of celebration, expansion

Simpson Street Free Press success worthy of celebration, expansion

Dane County’s acclaimed and highly successful after school academic program Simpson Street Free Press has been enjoying a growth spurt lately, which – after a fair number of years of one-year-at-a-time budgeting and struggle to reach sustainability is awfully rewarding and enjoyable to see.

From its original newsroom location at South Towne Mall to now, five separate youth newspapers including a bilingual publication and a network of book clubs, the Free Press is attracting new attention and new opportunities to grow.

What it all means is more and more people are recognizing what some of us have known for a long time – the Simpson Street Free Press model of using newspaper publication to deliver core subject academic instruction in after-school settings bridges achievement gaps and helps students succeed.

This Sunday, the Free Press is celebrating its 23rd anniversary with an open house at its South Towne location. It’s an opportunity to meet the student writers, and the former student writers who are now volunteers and even paid staff. It’s an opportunity to see what achievement looks like. We couldn’t be prouder of every one of them.

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