Newspaper is a living textbook

Monday, March 6, 2006

Much is said and written today about all the mistakes being made in nearly every corner of the child rearing and education process. Fingers of blame are pointed in many different directions: Parents. Teachers. Administrators. Lawmakers. The courts.

No doubt, there is plenty of blame to go around, but let's leave that discussion for another day. This message is about one solution.

There are, no doubt, many tools available for building solid learning foundations for today's school-age children. Among them is the community newspaper, especially when introduced in classrooms through a Newspaper in Education program.

The local newspaper is a living textbook. It's about their world. It's about their community. It is about them. It is being used in successful programs as a tool to teach math, science, English, civic service, government, consequences of bad behavior, rewards of good behavior, leisure time and much more.

A newspaper in hand teaches them the value and rewards that come from reading, as opposed to what they learn with a TV remote control or video game stick in hand.

Newspapers as textbooks are low in cost even under normal circumstances, but they are free to the education system when supported by caring citizens and businesses through tax-deductible contributions to many foundations available to help with such projects.

Participating newspapers also have experienced the gratification of seeing John and Jane Citizen respond to invitations to add some amount to their own subscription renewals, with the extra being designated for NIE programs.

Each gift validates our belief that newspaper readers know what they have gained from their reading habits and many are eager to help a new generation share in the rewards.

With the first week of March being National Newspaper in Education Week, we thought it a good time to thank the many sponsors, participating teachers, administrators and students for their support and participation in NIE programs throughout the nation. It's also a good time to invite others to join the cause.