GREAT IDEAS

Kids + Newspapers = Successful Kids

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When a publisher asked me, "Have any of your customers shared data showing a difference in reading scores and/or other measurables?" I spent some time drafting a reply. As I did so, I realized this would make an informative blog post/email for our customers and folks considering Kid Scoop and NIE.

Here is my reply:

Great question!

First of all, as a former teacher, I can tell you it is almost impossible to track how one particular reading program impacts a student's reading achievement when there are so many other factors impacting that student at the same time – things like overall access to reading materials, quality of instruction, parent involvement, etc.

What we can do (and what most of my grant funders look at) is how well we perform with regards to implementing reading strategies which have been studied and shown to increase reading achievement. The good news is that newspapers in the classroom is one of these studies. You can get the report, Measuring Success, here.

In short, their report showed a 10% increase in student reading achievement in classrooms where newspapers were used once a week or more. In low-income "at-risk" populations, increases were 30%+.

Page 3 of Measuring Success report

I have also examined what activities and behaviors influence reading achievement. The conclusion of a rigorous meta-analysis of 108 empirical research studies that examined the relationship of children's access to print materials and education-related outcomes, found that:

"Giving children access to print materials causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time and improves reading performance. The 2010 report, conducted by the education research firm Learning Point Associates, showed children in low-income households have far less access to reading materials than their advantaged peers. Bookmobiles, use of local libraries, robust school and classroom libraries and distribution of free reading materials were all shown to increase access."

I survey my teachers annually (and recommend my customers do as well). Our teachers concur that Kid Scoop contributes to achieving reading competence. In the May 2018 teacher survey, 97% of teachers agreed the reader 'encourages students to read more' and 91% agreed it 'motivates struggling and reluctant students to read.'

One other metric is the fact that when a newspaper publishes Kid Scoop, teachers request the newspaper for classroom use. Teachers know the importance of having children read more, the importance of having a meaningful reading resource they can take home and share with parents, and the importance of content that motivates kids to read. Teacher requests for your newspaper is a great way to demonstrate its efficacy as, these days, the time teachers have for additional classroom resources is minimal, and getting their attention and participation is significant.

Our teacher guide goes into more detail about our educational methodology.

Vicki Whiting is president, editor and founder of Kid Scoop News, a monthly newspaper for children and Kid Scoop, a weekly newspaper feature geared to children ages 7 to 12, that appears in over 300 newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 7.5 million.  She can be reached at
vicki@kidscoop.com

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