Diocesan News

First ‘TJ Awards’ to Highlight Tablet Jr.’s Young Journalists 

Students from Good Shepherd Catholic Academy were thrilled when Tablet Jr. was published featuring their work. (Photo: Catholic Telemedia Services)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Budding journalists whose articles have appeared in Tablet Jr., the special pullout section of The Tablet, are often thrilled to see their bylines in print. But now they will get the chance to win trophies for their talents!

The Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN), which works with schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn and edits Tablet Jr., is holding its first annual TJ Awards for students whose articles appeared in the pages of Tablet Jr. this school year and kids who submitted interesting questions to Ask Sister Elizabeth (a Tablet Jr. feature). 

Awards will also be given to students whose articles appeared on the CTN website and whose artwork was posted on the site.

All of the winners will be honored at Catholic Schools Night at the Brooklyn Cyclones game at Maimonides Park on June 28 at 7 p.m. Each winner will receive a trophy.

“The students will be recognized publicly. We’re excited about it,” said Gina Krainchich, director of educational media services for CTN. 

CTN is a service of DeSales Media Group, the ministry that produces The Tablet and Currents News on NET-TV. Tablet Jr. is a pullout section published in The Tablet eight times during the school year and features articles and artwork by students in schools in the diocese on subjects pertaining to the diocesan-wide social justice curriculum.

The social justice teachings, and by extension Tablet Jr., are aimed at encouraging the youngsters to be better Catholics, said Laura Hickey, instructional technology specialist for CTN. 

Many of the themes the young journalists touched on in their works were from the social justice teachings instructional guide, which features a different topic each month. The topics include poverty, capital punishment, women’s history, and the right to human dignity. 

There are four different categories in the Tablet Jr. awards, offering more students a chance to win. 

A panel of judges will be selecting the best articles that ran in Tablet Jr. this school year — awarding a gold, silver, and bronze award. There will also be one winner for the best question to Sister Elizabeth and one winner for the best online article.

In addition, there will be awards handed out for best artwork to three winners, one from each age grouping — from kindergarten to grade 3, grades 4 to 6, and grades 7 to 8.

The public will decide the winners of the art portion of the awards. Nominees will be posted on the CTN website (ctnbq.org), where fans can vote for their favorites. The voting will open on May 26, and the winners will be contacted on June 9.

The Tablet will publish the names of the winners in the June 17 edition of the newspaper. 

The final edition of the 2022-2023 school year, which is in this week’s edition of the Tablet, marks the 30th overall edition of Tablet Jr.

The feedback from schools has been positive, and the folks at CTN share in the excitement. “We have been so impressed with the quality of the material,” Krainchich said. “And the kids get a gleam in their eye when they get the paper and see their byline.”

Shirley Alulema, the technology media specialist at CTN, said the grownups have been blown away by the students’ thoughtful writings, adding: “You can tell from reading the articles that the students put a lot of thought into it.”