- Associated Press - Sunday, October 1, 2017

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Kids can make a difference in the world. Owen P.W. Osborne wants you to know that because … he’s all of 10.

The Shreveport fifth-grader is one of 44 young journalists for the 2017-18 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps and one of 20 to join the corps this year.

Owen, Scholastic’s only kid reporter in Louisiana, said he’d wanted to be a part of the program since second grade.

“I said one day I’m going to write an article and it’s going to be in these newspapers,” he said.

And, yes, they’re officially called “kid reporters” - reporting “news for kids, by kids,” as Scholastic puts it.

To be selected, Owen wrote a 400-word news article about a person or organization making a difference in the community and a 250-word essay about his desire to be a kid reporter and what he would learn on the job (for reference, this article has 491 words). He also submitted two story ideas.

Owen’s trial news article profiled a Shreveport Special Olympics swimming coach, Elaine Ramoz. Owen got involved with the team, the Northwest LA Mudcats, because of his grandfather, the swimmers’ booster and cheerleader, who died two years ago. Now Owen helps, teaching the athletes the proper strokes and how to breathe, he said.

His new boss was impressed.

Owen’s application was incredibly impressive,” Suzanne McCabe, editor of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, said. “Owen is a promising writer who wants ‘to find a way to encourage younger kids to love and continue reading,’ which is what we strive to do every day at Scholastic.”

Scholastic News reporters are 10- to 14 years old. They hail from 21 states and the District of Columbia as well as Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Owen and his parents learned that he’d been accepted into the program about a month ago via email. Owen said he could barely contain himself.

“It was really exciting for me,” he said. “I felt like Peter Parker.” (For those who don’t know, Parker is the Marvel Comics news photographer who saves the day as Spider-Man.)

Owen will be out on assignments across the South. He’s currently working on six articles, one of which is about the swimmers.

Owen and his mother, Jeanae, said the young reporter is expected to travel to Texas or Florida in coming days. He’ll work on a story about first responders and children’s efforts to raise money to support victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The gig lasts through the school year, but Owen will have three more years of eligibility.

“I think I’m going to do it until I’m 14,” he said.

After that, Owen might become a journalist. But he’s also got eyes on space.

“I love a lot of things,” he said. “I could be an astronaut. I could be anything, really. But it’s hard for me to decide that at the age of 10.”

___

Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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