Schools and Colleges 2014

Aspiring journalists and educators can get involved with Sunshine Week by participating in Sunshine Week events, creating their own Sunshine Week activities or by simply taking the time to learn about open government and its importance to democracy. Below are some resources for student journalists at any level who want to learn more.

Student journalists can use materials from the SW Toolkit for their school and campus publications but only during the week of March 16-22. If that coincides with your spring break, let us know and we can help arrange special use permissions. The toolkit includes editorials, opinion pieces and other resources created especially for Sunshine Week 2014. Be sure to also check out’s Idea Bank, Bright Ideas and The Vault, sections which highlight ways to celebrate Sunshine Week.

Lesson Plans, Activities and Events

schooljournalismREGLesson Plans, Activities and Resources
For students and teachers at secondary schools, visit’s Sunshine Week 2014 Lesson Plans, Activities and Resources page designed especially for you!

How to conduct an audit
SPJ’s audit toolkit provides you with more info on how to perform a government audit.

How to make a FOIA request
Try making a FOIA request or auditing your local government to see how transparent it is in honor of Sunshine Week.

Open Government Guide from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
The Open Government Guide is a complete collection of information on every state’s open records and open-meetings laws.

Quotable Freedom of Information experts
Sunshine Week isn’t just for journalists! Make your community aware of Sunshine Week and Sunshine Laws by writing a story. Contact these people for more information and quotes for the story. Here are some helpful tips.

FOI and Legal Guides

SPLC’s college FAQ
SPLC’s high school FAQ

SPJ’s campus FOI resources
Resources for student journalists on college campuses.

SPLC Media Advisers forum
Resources for secondary school and college student publication advisers, that covers topics, such as media law and censorship.

Student legal guides

What is FOIA?
Learn about the Freedom of Information Act from the US government. Be sure to watch the video.

Posted in The Vault