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STANFORD - A new partnership will use the work of Olympia High School student journalists to encourage students to settle in the area after graduation.

O Positive started earlier this school year as an effort of journalism teacher Amanda Hapgood's class.

The students were assigned "news beats" within the school, and they wrote about activities and accomplishments within the school for in-school and local publications.

If the students could promote a positive image for the school district, why not do it for the eight Olympia communities, asked 1975 Olympia graduate Brad Glenn.

Glenn volunteered to work with Hapgood to expand O Positive to cover the communities as well, starting with the new semester in January.

"We're just kicking this partnership off and plan on starting out by having students focus on local businesses run by Olympia graduates to show them that they don't have to go far for their career," said Glenn, who works for Wall Realty in Minier. "In turn that helps with economic development in the future by keeping and starting jobs within the district."

The students' work is published on www.olympia.org, two newsletters that go out to students and parents, and articles in the weekly Olympia Review.

"Students' favorite part of the program is probably the realistic aspect of the reporting and publishing. It's a thrill for students to see their articles distributed to most towns in the district, who then give them positive feedback, which encourages them to write even more," said Hapgood.

O Positive also offers local businesses and residents another way to support and encourage the students, Hapgood said.

"The community is letting the students know how important it is that they take advantage of the programs offered here, earn good grades, and then after graduation give back to the community," she said.

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