Promoting news readership in the classroom

Bob Sillick | for editor and editor

Vicki Whiting taught her third grade class during the 1990 school year and realized that there was no social studies curriculum to teach children about their local community. When she asked her students how to find out about their community, they said, “Newspapers.”

“I met with the editor of the local paper and offered to provide social studies content for kids,” Whiting said. “My students were very, very excited when the newspaper arrived. When children read newspapers, their reading skills improve and they understand how to actively participate in their community. This was the motivation for creating Kid Scoop.

Cover of the February 2022 issue of Kid Scoop News

More than 30 years later, Kid Scoop content is published weekly in over 300 newspapers as full-page or half-page ROPs. They can also serve as another source of income as there is space for sale to local businesses that want to show their support for local schools. Whiting writes all the content herself, and Jeff Schinkel creates the appropriate pages for students in grades two through six.

“The value of Kid Scoop for newspapers is that they can deliver their newspapers to schools and inspire students’ interest in reading newspapers,” Whiting said. “Newspapers also help promote literacy and demonstrate community leadership. »

Kid Scoop is also available as a 28-page monthly package called Kid Scoop News. It is filled with fun and games to develop literacy and many other skills. Currently, 60,000 donor-supported copies are distributed in California, Louisiana and Nebraska.

The Nebraska Press Association is one of the pilot programs Whiting and the nonprofit arm of Kid Scoop launched at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the Nebraska Press Association

Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the association was familiar with the ROP version of Kid Scoop. The association decided that this would be a valuable benefit to members. DeRossett worked with Whiting and Dan Dalton, sales manager, to develop a program for the association. The Board and Executive Committee responded enthusiastically and endorsed the program.

“We first launched the Kid Scoop monthly publication in the northeast and north-central state,” DeRossett said. “We partnered with web printers White Wolf, who print most local newspapers in the area. He prints Kid Scoop and then delivers it with local newspapers, and the newspaper brings Kid Scoop to schools.

Keya Paha County Schools in Springview, Nebraska is one of the local schools receiving Kid Scoop for its dual classes of third and fourth graders and fifth and sixth graders.

Amy Johnson, editor of the Springview Herald

“We’re bringing the monthly Kid Scoop package to school, and with the very first edition, students and teachers alike were thrilled,” said Amy Johnson, publisher of the Springview Herald. “Students enjoy Kid Scoop during their downtime at school, and they also take it home as a non-digital activity with parents.”

According to DeRossett, the association plans to double the distribution of Kid Scoop by the start of the 2022-2023 school year to schools in southern, southeast, and south-central Nebraska, representing 9,000 students.

The Kid Scoop program also includes a website with additional content for download, including a teacher’s guide.

Bob Sillick has held numerous leadership positions and served myriad clients over his 47 years in marketing and advertising. He has been a freelance/contract content researcher, writer, editor and manager since 2010. He can be reached at [email protected]