For Teachers and Schools

Newspapers & Local Radio

Community Newspapers

We make it easy for you to create your own “Matte” story/release to submit to your local newspaper by providing the template below. All you need to do is fill in the blanks, or use your MyClassNeeds.ca project submission (make sure to end with your MyClassNeeds.ca project url…) or write something new!

Aim for about 300 words.

Matte stories are sometimes used by editors to supplement staff-written stories. They often appear in feature sections like home and garden, automotive, food/cooking, health and wellness, and other consumer-oriented areas. They tend to appear in small community papers that print weekly or monthly.

You may submit a suggested story but the paper is under no obligation to run it. Editors also do not have to seek your approval if they make changes to the copy. The only things they cannot change are the facts.

Google [your community] media and see what you find. Check your local newspaper(s)’ websites. Contact names are typically listed in the publication or on the newspaper’s website. Contact the editor of the publication. Some publications prefer to have matte stories uploaded directly to their site so it is important to make sure you follow the publication's submission guidelines.

It is always worthwhile to follow up with a phone call.

You can download a sample “Matte” story to get you started. or copy and paste the sample story below.

Matte Story Template

Copy the text below and replace everything between the [blue brackets] with your unique information.

[Your Project Name]
[Your Name, Email, Phone]
[Your School]
[Date of Submission to Paper]

[Your Headline goes here; Use a verb; No more than 10 words. Example: Students at Thebest School waiting for pastels]

[Insert a compelling photo here. Photos should be 3 x 4” (240 to 300 dpi)]
Add a short image caption that speaks to your story: Example: “Thebest students need more pastels to finish this work of art.”

[This is the lead paragraph that draws in readers and editors. It shoud include the most important information
Example: Students at Thebest Elementary School have a passion for art. But their supplies of pastels have dwindled leaving them no means of recreating their favourite Degas masterpieces. They’ve used their creative spirit to launch a campaign to replenish the supply.]'}

[The second paragraph is a good place to add a quote. It adds colour, opinion and authority
Example: “In addition to developing skills in drawing with pastels, the medium adds a sensory component to art,” said Thebest Grade 4 teacher Ollie Wright. “It adds a rich enhancement of the curriculum.”]

[Your name] turned to MyClassNeeds.ca, a charitable crowd-sourcing organization that supports publicly-funded schools across Canada. He’s leveraging his social network by posting the class request online with simple links for supporters to donate through the main organization. It’s creating a buzz.

[More details here about your project, why it is important, how much support you are looking for, etc.]

Small donations from many individuals can make a big difference. While furnishing an entire classroom might be out of your reach, chipping in to a group contribution doesn’t have to be onerous. And the satisfaction of knowing you have helped a class of young people, still eager to learn, just getting started in life, is very rewarding.

Among others, MyClassNeeds.ca projects have included sports equipment, a guided reading table and baking tools. Go to myclassneeds.ca to see more projects in waiting.

-30-
(30 is a printing convention that means there is no more to come)

Local Radio

Local radio and television stations are often willing to give an on-air mention to local school events and/or charitable requests. They may be referred to as Public Service Announcements (PSAs) or can simply be part of the hosts’ conversations. Check your radio/TV station websites for request or contact information.

It is always a worthwhile to follow up with a phone call.

Follow the sample message template below, or write your own. Keep it short and simple. Be aware that the broadcasters may change the copy to fit time and style or to make it more readable on-air.

PSAs generally run for 15, 30, 45 or 60 seconds. Send options for short and long.

Follow the cover letter template and the PSA template and send both to your radio and TV stations. Download our samples or copy and paste the text from the samples below
Download Cover letter Template and PSA Template

PSA Cover Letter Template

Copy the text below and replace everything between the [blue brackets] with your unique information.

Hello,

I am a teacher at [Your School] in [Your Neighbourhood/City]. My students would benefit from [Your Request]. We’ve started a crowdfunding campaign through MyClassNeeds.ca to raise support for our project. We would appreciate any support [Name of Station] could provide through a mention by your hosts or through a PSA.

I’ve included a draft script and would be happy to send more detail, if you need it. In appreciation,[Your name and contact information]

PSA Template

Copy the text below and replace everything between the [blue brackets] with your unique information.

[Your School Address]
Public Service Announcement Media Contact:
[Your Name]
​​​​​​​​[Phone Number]
​​​​​​​​[Email]

[Day you send this. Example April 1, 2014]
Reading dates: [May 1 to May 12, 2014] (the days you want it on the air)

[:30 81 words (time in seconds and word count)]

Text: (double spaced)
[Sample text: Remember that teacher who let you toss eggs from the third floor windows? You can help support today’s teachers who believe in innovative learning. Ms Goodcook is looking for 15 frying pans so her students can try whipping up breakfast using only the sun’s heat.

Go to myclassneeds.ca, choose the “Browse the Projects” option and search for “Main St. School” to help support the project. No donation is too small. The Grade 6 students at Main St. School will thank you.

Myclassneeds.ca is a registered Canadian charity, inspiring a new generation of learning.]