Happy New Year! The NAA Foundation is starting off 2010 with a number of projects.
The first concerns the current state of Newspaper In Education programs. We've launched an online survey to help us gather information for a report that will be written by Mary Arnold, a former Foundation staff member who now heads the journalism program at South Dakota State University. The report will look at how NIE programs are evolving and innovating amid the current industry challenges.
The survey includes questions on NIE budgets, staff size, circulation and more. If you haven't already taken it, we hope you will do so very soon. Also, please share the survey with anyone in the NIE community you think may have not received it.
March 1 is shaping up to be a big day - it not only marks the start of NIE Week, but it also is the deadline for two programs.
A teacher's guide, in-paper feature and Web banner ad are available for NIE Week 2010, which runs through March 5. Critical Thinking Through Core Curriculum: Using Print and Digital Newspapers, which is aligned with national learning standards, features a five-subject approach that takes advantage of the wide range of subjects covered by newspapers. Topics include financial literacy, nutrition, the environment, character education and information technology. Lessons can be taught individually or as a unit.
The March 1 deadlines involve News Challenge and the 2010 Young Reader Awards.
News Challenge, an innovative training session for upper-level college students interested in digital media, takes place the first week of June. The NAA Foundation pays all costs for participating students. Program objectives are to give students a sense of the digital and multimedia opportunities at newspapers and to interest them in working for the industry. If you have any ties with local colleges or know of students working part-time or as interns at your newspapers, please encourage them to apply.
The Young Reader Awards showcase new and noteworthy ideas in NIE and YEA programs. Seven award categories are available to U.S., Canadian and international newspapers and newspaper associations. "Young reader" refers to those up to age 18. Cost to enter is $30 per category.
Two serial stories are now available for Black History Month in 2010 and 2011. "Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told" and "The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage" by Walter Dean Myers are offered courtesy of HarperCollins Children's Books.
Speaking of serial stories, HarperCollins Children's Books also is providing 11 poems by Shel Silverstein for a serial to run in conjunction with National Poetry Month in April. Jennifer Hind of The Royal Gazette in Hamilton, Bermuda, is currently working on a teacher's guide. We hope to post the materials well in advance of Poetry Month, pending approval of the guide by the Silverstein estate.
And finally, have you checked out our new case study? It details how the "SchoolHouse News" program developed by the NIE department of The Patriot News in Harrisburg, Pa., helped improve the reading comprehension of local fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. The report also offers suggestions for other newspapers interested in launching similar programs.