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Community newspaper plays big role at Maris Grove

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Have a story to tell? Contact NeighborNews. Since September 2008, the monthly campus newsletter has covered people, events, and activities at Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County, Pa. Janet Elwood and Arlene Prince write for and co-edit the paper Janet launched. Arlene, its computer guru, designs and prepares NeighborNews for the printer. An official ten-person staff contributes to its production, but all community members may submit articles about their trips, activities, or life experiences. Arlene, who has a journalism background, came on board shortly after she and her husband, Ed, moved to Maris Grove from Virginia. It was a good way to learn about our new community and an ideal way to work with some very nice people, she says. Janet got involved because she likes to write. I ve written for newspapers. I ve written lots of children s stories I haven t done anything with. I ve written my memoirs. And I m writing a book, she says. A citizen activist, she also writes letters to the editor, Congress, and the President. And she keeps her finger on the pulse of local government. NeighborNews covers meetings of Concord Township s board of supervisors and the Garnet Valley school board. It s very important to get this to our readers, Janet says. People at Maris Grove don t go to those meetings, but we re paying a lot of our money into the system.

A writer s life

Janet covers the school board. Those assignments, she says, vie with profiles of her Maris Grove neighbors as her favorites. Arlene thrives on connecting with and learning about the people she interviews, and she enjoys the feeling of accomplishment that comes from crafting an article that satisfies her. TheNeighborNewsstaff brainstorms story ideas for upcoming issues and reviews completed issues before sending them to the printer. We tear the articles apart and have to defend them, Janet says. The meetings are hilarious. It s also fun putting the paper together, having it look good, and being proud of it. In addition toNeighborNewscommitments, Arlene plays bridge, is on the scholarship committee, and enjoys Maris Grove s cultural presentations. Janet teaches a memoir-writing course, uses the fitness center, and attends current events discussions. She also cooks, occasionally treating NeighborNews staff to breakfast cakes and muffins. When my sister was visiting, says Arlene, Janet invited us for tea and put on a lovely spread. Janet shrugs off the compliment, crediting the galley-style kitchen in her Harrington-style apartment home. The kitchen s workspace and cupboards are both ample and efficient. It s very well planned, she says. I love it.