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Children's Express/Y-Press Legacy Project

When children wrote the headlines 

Children’s Express/Y-Press was an Indiana youth-media news organization that documented stories of young people and the adults who affected their lives. First known as Children’s Express before it was changed to Y-Press, the work of 1,750 young Hoosiers allowed adults to hear from this largely under¬represented voice.

For more than 23 years (1990-2013), these young journalists interviewed more than 7,500 individuals and producing professional mainstream media stories. Initially, the nonprofit was housed at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and later moved to The Indianapolis Star’s building.

What they covered 

NogalesThe young reporters learned to tackle serious topics in a professional manner. They told the stories of youth running the Mexican border to Nogales, Ariz., and children dealing with homegrown terrorism in Oklahoma City. They traveled the world from Cuba to Brazil to Africa to tell compelling stories, but their ongoing stories were about the Hoosier state's youth. Through The Indianapolis Star as its media outlet, as well as online and WFYI radio, Children's Express/Y-Press told the world about children's struggles and heroes. They documented the issues of their time: teen pregnancy, poverty and accessibility to guns. They interviewed world leaders: Desmund Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher.

Children’s Express/Y-Press spent more than two decades documenting the stories of young people, but missing from its effort was capturing its own story. Now, we have the opportunity to tell that story and highlight its impact on the participants and the amazing alternative learning method that helped young people produce great things.

The Legacy Project 

While Y-Press has ceased to exist, its legacy, lessons, curricula and archives can still be used to teach students in classrooms about reading comprehension and writing nonfiction, which is included in Indiana’s revised academic standards for grades 6 to 12. 

Former Y-Press director Lynn Sygiel and filmmaker Freddi Stevens-Jacobi, in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society and WFYI, have developed the Legacy Project to showcase the work of young Hoosiers, and provide invaluable teaching materials for Indiana classrooms. The project will share the lessons learned via a 30-minute documentary to be broadcast on WFYI. The Indiana Historical Society will serve as the home to archived stories and curricula, and offer educator workshops. 

Help us tell our story 

Maybe you believe in the importance of supporting young people. Maybe you remember readingSoledad these stories each week in The Indianapolis Star. Or maybe you believe that this body of work can help other students. 

Whatever your reason, your tax-deductible donation will help us reach our crowd-funding campaign goal of $10,000 by April 30 and will: 

Show funders across Indiana that the Children’s Express/Y-Press community values this project and its legacy.  

Honor the work of young Hoosiers who produced professional journalism on under-reported youth issues.   

Provide a critical component of the project budget.  

Making a contribution to this important project is convenient, easy and just a click away.  Deposit a Gift has a secure industry standard 128-bit SSL to ensure that sensitive data is transmitted securely. Click here to donate.

If you would like to contribute by check, it should be made payable to the Indiana Historical Society (our fiscal sponsor). Include Fund #599 in the memo line, and mail to Lynn Sygiel at 3946 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46205.

Donations made by check do not have processing fees and 100-percent of your contribution is applied to the campaign. Your contributions will also be reflected in the online total.

Hear what YPress kids have to say