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MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2007
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Newspaper in Education launching July 3

With the July 3 start of an in-paper learning page for young people, Kid Scoop, The Decatur Daily is officially launching a new Newspaper In Education program.

The program will offer tools for educators and parents and opportunities for businesses and individuals to partner in providing them.

Kid Scoop is an award-winning, internationally syndicated supplement containing puzzles, games and fun for readers ages 5 through 16. Kid Scoop is designed to make reading the newspaper entertaining and engaging, and the educational standards featured make it teacher-friendly, said its creators.

Kid Scoop will appear in The Daily every Tuesday. July’s Kid Scoop topics will include S’Mores, creepy animal facts and staying cool. Kid Scoop will feature local students’ original writing starting Aug. 14. Details about submission rules will be on the page.

The Daily is offering other aids to help educators and parents as they teach young people reading, writing, current events and other subjects and help them understand the world around them.

General Manager Clint Shelton said that Newspaper In Education is a “win for kids and a win for The Daily.” Newspapers naturally want to cultivate readers, he said, but studies show that young people who read more perform better.

“NIE is an opportunity to get kids exposed to the newspaper so they enjoy it and develop habits that benefit them in the long run,” he said.

Newspaper readers become engaged in their communities and ultimately are better citizens, Shelton said.

The Daily wants to help those who take on the important job of educating today’s young people, said Melanie Smith, NIE coordinator.

So far, more than 70 local teachers have signed up as new NIE participants and will get sets of classroom newspapers. The Daily and sponsors are providing the papers without charge.

Teacher Wendy Lang of Frances Nungester Elementary School, who used the paper with her fifth-graders last year, described it as “a very effective tool.”

“There are so many things that they can get out of the newspaper,” she said. “There’s math, science, English, reading and writing.”

A recent study by the University of Minnesota and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation found that students who use newspapers did about 10 percent better on standardized tests.

Sponsorships

Essential to NIE are sponsors. Interested businesses, industries and individuals will help provide The Daily and teaching aids to students.

Charles Rogers, special projects coordinator, said that he has examined some top NIE programs and believes The Daily’s will be first class.

“I’m proud to be a part of it, and I look forward to talking to people about the program and explaining the benefits,” he said.

The Daily is now seeking sponsors to help put newspapers and learning materials in classrooms. The paper will recognize top donors in special “Thank You” ads, on the Kid Scoop page and on The Daily’s Web site.

Anyone interested in learning more about sponsoring newspapers in schools or the Kid Scoop page should call Rogers at 340-2354.

Subscribers who donate their vacation papers are also helping sponsor NIE.

Grants, workshop and more

The Daily’s circulation manager, Wayne Burton, is offering a “mini-grant” of $500 to the area school that has the highest percentage of classroom teachers signing up for newspapers. The second highest will get $300, and the third highest $200. The deadline for the competition is July 30.

In addition to free sets of classroom newspapers and Kid Scoop, The Daily’s Newspaper in Education program also will offer:

  • Teacher workshops. The first will be at Curry’s restaurant, located across First Avenue Southeast from The Daily, on Thursday, July 19, 9 to 11:30 a.m. The free workshop for K-12 educators will feature activities using newspapers to teach, a continental breakfast and more. Attendees also will go to the newspaper for a tour. Additional information will be printed in The Daily and e-mailed to principals and NIE teachers. Teachers may sign up by e-mailing msmith@decaturdaily.com.

  • In-paper serial stories. “Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery” will be the first one in The Daily. The original story by Smith will appear Aug. 27-31 and Sept. 3-7. The story will have nine chapters and an epilogue. Children may read it themselves, or teachers or other adults may read it aloud to them. A learning activity will follow each chapter.

  • In-paper story identification. An article each weekday will be marked with an NIE logo noting it as child-appropriate.

  • Web pages. The Daily will feature NIE on its Web site. Teachers, parents, students and sponsors will find helpful information about learning with newspapers.

  • A free e-mail newsletter to participating teachers. Teachers will also get Kid Scoop’s Teacher Scoop newsletter.

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