The Living Newspaper Project is an innovative program to reinvigorate civic education in Austin-area secondary schools through the dramatization of current human rights issues. It involves a robust collaboration between the Humanities Institute, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice of UT’s School of Law, the Performance as Public Practice Program of UT's Department of Theatre and Dance, and Theatre Action Project.
The program's main component, Living Newspapers Across the Disciplines, provides high school teachers with the tools to guide their students through a Living Newspaper unit in an English, Social Studies, or Theater Arts classroom. Because a Living Newspaper—literally, a newspaper brought to life—combines research on current events, critical and creative writing, and public performance, students gain important skills and a greater ability to understand and affect the world around them through an interdisciplinary, hands-on, collaborative project.
Participating teachers receive the Living Newspaper Resource Guide, a comprehensive package containing TEKS-aligned model lesson plans, evaluative tools, and resources, and the ongoing support of a program team comprised of subject specialists, UT Austin graduate and professional students, and UT Austin faculty. In addition to the academic skills emphasized by the program, students also benefit from relationships with graduate and professional school guest teachers and, through them, exposure to an array of post-secondary school opportunities and careers in the humanities, higher education, law, public affairs, and the arts.
The Living Newspaper Project was featured in a Round Rock Leader story on March 27, 2008. Read the story.