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The student news site of Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens

The Cleveland Chronicles

The Cleveland Chronicles

The student news site of Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens

The student news site of Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens

The Cleveland Chronicles

The Cleveland Chronicles

The Cleveland Chronicles


From Paper to Digital, the Cleveland Chronicles Has Come a Long Way


On June 2022, Ms. Lief and Cleveland Chronicles members gathered after school to staple and fold hundreds of copies of our first edition. Now, all it takes is a few buttons to upload a story onto the website.

It’s been five months since the transition was made from a physical paper to digital format. Since then, there have been achievements, setbacks and many changes made to the world of journalism within the Grover community.

The first ever digitally published article, released in Nov. 2022, is titled “4 Ways to Cope with Anxiety” which was contributed by IDCC counselors, had a total of 405 words and reached 686 accounts when advertised on our Instagram @groverclevelandchronicles. Not only did it help students with the issues of anxiety, but this was a big moment for the Cleveland Chronicles website as counselors worked alongside the SAPIS and staff writers. Further collaboration helped produce more works surrounding mental health and overall wellness, such as “Coping with Fear”, and “Why is vaping so popular?” all written by Mike Mevkalo.

Older members of the newspaper joined as early as their freshman and sophomore year, right around the time when COVID-19 first hit. Senior Amy Wang, who contributed the most articles to the food and recipe category said, “I chose to curate a large selection of recipes to show our audience…[and] I joined in my sophomore year because we were remote and I really wanted to do something that still contributed to the school.” Amy shares recipes from a variety of cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, and Italian, which represents the diversity at Grover. Principal Marc Pascente said, “I like that you do the recipes at seasonal times and based on various cultures and holidays. I noticed that during Lunar New Year, you had recipes that were Asian inspired. I thought that was really a nice nod to our multicultural nature as a school.”

When diving into the past of the Cleveland Chronicles, Dean and Advisor Candice Lief said, “This actually started during COVID-19, when everyone was remote…I missed the component of social interaction…and I know many kids felt the same way.” Upon returning from remote learning, the newspaper chose a paper format. Ms. Lief said, “Last year it was all paper and it was a lot of work and it didn’t get into everyone’s hands.” When the first paper issue was released last June, it came assembled as a small booklet in black and white, and none of the pictures of students were recognizable. Having a website means there is freedom to upload any amount of pictures in color, and even credit the students who send in their own to be posted. Learning remotely, however, opened a door to resources like Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet, so that meetings and communication can be done flexibly and efficiently. There are struggles with making the website known to all students, for instance, Junior Ariana Ferrera said, “I don’t think a lot of people talk about the Newspaper Club. I think a lot of people don’t know that it exists.” To amend this issue Ms. Lief said, “I would like to see it as part of everyone’s go-to in the week…I would like to see everyone just kind of have it instantly on their phone…If there was an app, that would be great… I also want to see an increased presence on social media. If it’s a little bit more accessible, then hopefully, that’ll be the doorway for kids to connect to the actual news site.”

A staff writer who plans on returning to the club next year, Sophomore Mike Mevkalo said, “I’m going to try and get more people to join. I want to be able to make it so perhaps we can release more stories more often.” The team intends for the Instagram page to continue its advertising methods and open more Google form submissions for students to submit their work without needing the physical commitment to the club.

After hearing the opinions of many teachers, and the principal, there are a lot of suggestions for the news site. Dean Evangelos Pappas said, “I would love young people to be more aware of their financial education.” Psychology teacher Roman Siguenza said, “I like to see what kind of activities students are involved in and out of school. Do they work or are they part of a club? Or a sports team?” Circling back to the importance of diversity, Grover meets new students at its doors every single day, so Mr. Pascente said, “I would love to see profiles on students, for example, a newly arrived English language learner and their journey to get to this country…[and] profiles on students in our alternate assessment programs.”

The Cleveland Chronicles is also catching readers’ attention in other schools; according to Mr. Pascente, “a principal at another school asked us about our newspaper because she is starting a school journal and wanted to know about the platform, how well the students were using it and how it improves student writing and student’s ability to interact with the school community.” He also added, “It’s a way for students to take ownership…a way for students to advocate for things that are important [and] to really take pride in their school.” This year, there were a total of 14 members, which is more than have ever joined in the past.

Everyone on the team works hard to produce work that they know students will want to read; according to Mr. Siguenza, “the newspaper provides an outlet to students to help them develop as young adults, to help them become critical thinkers, learn about the environment…and to have a curious mind is important…students may be more open to gain advice from their peers, rather than from a person they may see as an authority figure.” All in all, the Cleveland Chronicles has come a long way and while the website is up and running year-round, it will always welcome more people with any skills, and an interest in their school to join.

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About the Contributor
Lila Murillo, Editor-In-Chief
Lila Murillo is editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Chronicles and a senior at Grover Cleveland High School. She is passionate about staying active in the world of student journalism, as a fellow for Press Pass NYC. When she isn’t listening to new wave, or watching psychological thrillers, she can be found writing barely legible entries in her journal. She loves to read dystopian fiction, with some of her favorite authors being George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. With a creative mind and passion for free expression, she is constantly searching for new stories to spark student engagement. She loves her friends, thrifting, and being a vegetarian!
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