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Greenspring's resident-written newspaper keeps readers informed

Created date

March 14th, 2018
The Villager’s faithful editorial staff in transition (from left) Marion Meany, Kathleen Henry, Kay McCurdy, and Carolyn Nagler.

The Villager’s faithful editorial staff in transition.

“He who is without a newspaper is cut off from his species.” —P.T. Barnum

Since September 2000, community members at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., work diligently each month publishing a completely resident-organized and -written newspaper, The Villager, which highlights life at the vibrant campus.

Known as “the voice of the Greenspring residents,” the pages of The Villager are filled with stories of campus life, staff member introductions, resident council updates, and popular personal interest columns.

In 2016 and 2017, as a result of the high-quality writing and production contained within the 16, sometimes 20 pages of The Villager, the paper received APEX awards for publication excellence.

The Villager brings us together as a community,” remarked Judi Watson in a December article written for the paper. “In my opinion, it is the most effective communications medium at Greenspring.”

End of an era

With the production of the December 2017 edition, longtime coeditors Kathleen Henry and Kay McCurdy retired from their roles at The Villager after five years and 60 issues of service.

“It was a labor of love,” says Kathleen. “We both really enjoyed working together. Our No. 1 goal during our five years was to keep The Villager’s focus on information of general interest to the residents.”

“And none of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our reviewers, writers, and photographers,” adds Kay.

This January, community member and longtime writer for The Villager Carolyn Pledger took over the reins as editor of the paper. Assistant Editor Marion Meany joins Carolyn in this important endeavor.

Exciting new future

“I look forward to getting the word out about our life at Greenspring and publishing articles about our many activities,” says Carolyn. “My philosophy on taking on a new task from a highly successful predecessor is to change as little as possible.”

Carolyn and Marion will continue to solicit articles from their talented neighbors, including longtime contributors Judi Watson, Penny Showell, Jo Lombard, and Ken Kauke.

“When I moved to Greenspring, I naturally gravitated to The Villager,” says Penny, who writes a monthly review on Greenspring’s art wall. “It seems natural for me to write about art and theater, gifts of people’s imagination, daring, and labor.”

Although no longer coediting the paper, Kathleen, who also dedicates her time to voter registration at Greenspring, will continue to contribute to The Villager as a writer focusing on voting-related issues.

Ensuring that all Greenspring residents keep up to date with the activities of the Resident Council, Carolyn has written a summary of the monthly General Council meetings for The Villager for the last five years. In addition to editing the paper, she will continue to write these summaries.

A variety of talented and conscientious writers cover the numerous ongoing activities at Greenspring.

“We are fortunate to have wonderful writers on staff with their own ideas on interesting topics to write about,” says Carolyn. “There are also several writers who cover important campus events. And it isn’t unusual for us to encourage friends and dinner companions to write about things they’ve brought up in conversation or to seek out writers for articles we’ve thought of ourselves.  We also have several very kind photographers who submit their photos.”

Spreading the word

Once the articles are written, Carolyn and Marion get down to the nitty gritty of preparing the paper for printing.

A team of resident reviewers, all of whom worked with Kay and Kathleen, happily agreed to continue in their services.

“The entire paper is scrutinized for accuracy and clarity by our reviewers and Priscilla Lyles, our staff liaison,” says Kay. “They do a fantastic job.”

In addition to preparing a hard-copy version of The Villager for every resident, an electronic copy of the paper is also available. Currently, residents can access The Villager on the community’s resident website.

“I believe that The Villager is the best way for residents to learn about various issues and to educate themselves about the many things taking place each day at Greenspring,” says Carolyn. “The paper has filled this need well for many years, and it is my hope that we will continue to contribute to our community in this important way.”