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BUFFALO, Minn. -- "How do you want to fix that?" Kim Zumbusch asked two students.

Mistakes won't do for the Shooting Stars newspaper at Buffalo's St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. Third grade teachers Zumbusch and Barbara Vieau are spearheading the effort that helps kids tackle state standards by becoming student reporters.

"We are working on every area of language arts and technology and we're doing it in a fun way," said Vieau.

That doesn't mean third graders aren't working hard. They cover topics ranging from the school play to sports, profiles on new students, even an advice column.

Interviews are scheduled and carried out with professionalism not generally expected at an elementary school.

"There is oral speaking, and having to ask questions to someone," said Vieau. "Interviewing skills, their writing skills and having to answer those important 'who, what, when, why' questions."

Once reporters gather their information, the writing -- and rewriting begin. Students work in teams to ensure spelling and grammar are correct.

The technology piece happens as the newspaper takes shape in the media center.

Technology teacher Michelle Feldman says students are learning new software skills as they work on the layout of the paper, and create graphics, puzzles and cartoons that add to the entertainment value.

"Sometimes it's a little tricky, but it's fun," said Kenzie Donovan. She's created a tractor-themed cartoon.

The final publication is shared with the entire school, parish staff and families. It's more than homework. It's real information, and real learning.

The newspaper is in its second year at St. Francis Xavier, and teachers have no plans to stop.

"You don't like to brag, but we actually did pat ourselves on the back and go, 'I think we did a good job with this,'" said Vieau. "Are we going to do it next year? Absolutely."

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