New STEM Options at Madison College South Campus

by Leila Fletcher, age 15

Dr. Jack Daniels recently announced in a press conference that Madison Area Technical College will open a new campus on the south side of Madison in 2019. The college also announced a new partnership with the Madison School district. The plan is to open an expanded campus able to serve as many as 5500 students.

Current Madison College campuses are located, accessible on the north side and downtown. Transportation options are limited. The new campus will be located at the crossing of Badger Road and South Park Street, facing the Metro South Transfer Point. Daniels says the new location is more accessible for South Madison residents, communities of color, and students who travel from elsewhere in the MATC district. [Read More]

Free Press Reporters Journey Through Layers of Japanese Culture at the Chazen’s “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” Exhibit

by Hugo Gonzalez Koop, age 17 and Sharon Ruiz, age 14

Rulers of Japan for almost 700 years, the Samurai warriors established an impressive legacy, one that continues to astound many to this day. Recently, SSFP staff and students had the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Samurai warriors at the Chazen Museum of Art’s stunning “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” exhibit.

Supported in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the State of Wisconsin, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kikkoman Foods Foundation, Inc., the exhibit is one we anticipated for weeks. Organized by Contemporanea Progetti SRL with the Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy, it boasts a collection of more than 90 items from important collections of Japanese arms and armor from areas surrounding Japan. [Read More]

Life in Two Countries: the Leila Fletcher Story

by Leila Fletcher

Each year of my life, I have left my home in America to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary.

My mother was born in Hungary, but she came to America to learn English when she was in her twenties. She left her whole extended family behind. Years later, I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, where my mom met my dad. My parents decided to settle down in Madison after I was born. [Read More]

Anonymous Donor and United Way Partner to Give Free Books to Children

by Christy Zheng, age 15 and Leila Fletcher, age 15

Dolly Parton was born and raised in Appalachia, one of the poorest regions of the United States. After a long career as a singer, songwriter, and movie actress she works hard to help others, especially children. Now, with help from an anonymous donor and the local United Way, this generosity will be felt in Dane County.

Since its foundation, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library has gained popularity across the country and around the world. The Imagination Library, gives young children exposure to books, and is a practical and fun way to support youth literacy. Dolly Parton founded the program for children in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up. Her goal was to spread the love of reading to children. Parton decided to expand the program after its success in Tennessee. [Read More]

Proud to Support Academic Achievement in Wisconsin
The Ringling Brothers Circus was one of the best circuses ever, and it all began right in Baraboo, Wisconsin! [read more...]
Dolly Parton was born and raised in Appalachia, one of the poorest regions of the United States. After a long career as a singer, songwriter, and movie actress she works hard to help others, especially children. Now, with help from an anonymous donor and the local United Way, this generosity will be felt in Dane County. [read more...]
During the fall semester of 2017, the students of Badger Rock Middle School made books for students in Guinea. The teacher who began this project, Maya Kadakia, is the English-Language Arts teacher at Badger Rock. [read more...]
Simpson Street, the road on which Simpson Street Free Press was established, was once a corn field and the Royal Airport. The area around Antler’s Tavern—a beloved institution—has been through many challenges, but it’s always had a strong sense of community. [read more...]
The way people have learned to read and interpret written language is something that scientists have studied for a long time. How is it that simple marks on a mere piece of paper can convey mind-changing ideas? [read more...]
La danza folklórica méxicana representa la cultura de varios siglos. Cuando llegaron los españoles en el siglo 16 trajieron muchos bailes al estilo europeo como el vals, la polka y el chotis cuales infuyeron las danza indígena. [read more...]
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. [read more...]
Read Felicia Zheng's picks for middle school reading! [read more...]
Simpson Street editor Taylor Kilgore was driving home from our South Towne office the other day when she noticed something beautiful. Before her eyes, a group of artists, including teenagers, were working on a colorful mural on the side of the Well No. 3 Building on 6500 Raywood Road in Monona. [read more...]
We met at our South Towne newsroom early one Wednesday morning—most of us with droopy eyes and tired faces. It was early, but we were excited for the day’s adventure: we were headed westward toward Mount Horeb to visit the village’s new Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society. [read more...]
Following a contentious 5-2 vote by the Madison School Board, James C. Wright Middle School will be the first school in the Madison Metropolitan School District to require students to wear uniforms. [read more...]
Dr. Jack Daniels recently announced in a press conference that Madison Area Technical College will open a new campus on the south side of Madison in 2019. The college also announced a new partnership with the Madison School district. The plan is to open an expanded campus able to serve as many as 5500 students. [read more...]
Summer time is great for a lot of reasons. It’s warmer, there’s no school, there’s no rules, and there’s so much free time. With almost three months of summer vacation, it is important to add in some reading to your free time. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press student reporters recently had the opportunity to meet and interview potters from the rural Mexican village of Mata Ortiz at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). Each artist has a unique story—some began the trade at age 17, while others started at only four years old. All of the artists, young and old, share a deep passion for the ceramic arts and their village. [read more...]
Recently, friend of the Free Press and valued volunteer, Jane Coleman, surprised a group of Free Press reporters with a field trip to the Japanese wood block exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art. The group of us—including Diamond, Dija, James, Christy, Felicia, Ruthanne, and our editors Taylor and Aarushi—met at the South Towne newsroom where Jane gave us a briefing. Jane explained that Dr. Gene Phillips, professor of Japanese Art, had generously agreed to take us into the “floating world.” He would be acting as a docent, or a volunteer guide, for us. Excited, we grabbed our freshly sharpened pencils, notepads, and camera. We piled into two cars and crossed the isthmus. [read more...]
If you've ever been to a powwow, you might have heard the tinkling sound of the Jingle Dress Dane. Historically used for healing, the Jingle Dress is now part of a dance that honors and celebrates Ojibwe culture and tradition. [read more...]
Katrin Brendemuehl, age 13 and Callan Bird Bear, age 12 The gorgeous artwork crafted by Native American tribes known as beadwork can be as intricate as the wings of a dragonfly. The allure of colorful glass beads against a dark, rich fabric is enough to catch nearly anyone’s eye. This fall, the James Watrous Gallery, a gallery at the Overture Center with a focus on contemporary Wisconsin artists, features these culturally significant, powerful works. [read more...]
Recently, some of SSFP's teen editors including Enjoyiana, Diamond, Dija, Sylvan, Jackie, and Leila gathered at the Chazen Museum of Art to view an exhibit on 20th Century sculpture. Our wonderful volunteer editor Jane Coleman planned the outing. Mary Brennan, a friend of the Free Press, greeted us as we entered; an experienced docent, Mary acted as our guide. As we walked up the stairs to the exhibit, Mary provided us with a little background. [read more...]
All my life, I have left my home in America every year to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary. [read more...]
After originating the role in Philadelphia and then New York, world-famous opera singer Angela Brown graces the Capitol Theater stage as Addie Parker in the Madison debut of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. The production is a jazz-infused opera with music written by Swiss composer Daniel Schnyder, with libretto or text, written by Bridgette A. Wimberly. An actress myself, I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Brown and hear first-hand about the ins and outs of her rise to operatic fame. [read more...]
Rulers of Japan for almost 700 years, the Samurai warriors established an impressive legacy, one that continues to astound many to this day. Recently, SSFP staff and students had the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Samurai warriors at the Chazen Museum of Art’s stunning “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” exhibit. [read more...]