Creating engaging citizens

MCC students see family, community members’ impact through weekly newspapers

MANISTEE — Whether it is for pleasure reading or an assignment, Manistee Catholic Central students regularly utilize the Manistee News Advocate’s Newspaper in Education Program.

MCC seventh grade teacher Jacob Charette said he has developed several types of lessons with the program.

“I think it’s a great program,” Charette said. “Any time I can get new reading material in front of them, and especially something that is about their home community, is awesome.”

Last week during a NIE lesson, Charette had his students pick four articles and then divide into groups for discussion. After several minutes of, the groups summarized articles to the entire class.

The students talked about a fire that destroyed a house, Manistee Bravo Troop, Michigan’s outdoor economy and a basketball game featuring the Michigan Wolverines upsetting the Wisconsin Badgers.

“The last time they won (in Wisconson), I wasn’t even born,” said Preston Picardat when summarizing the article. “This rarely ever happens, an unranked team beating a top three ranked team, let alone on the road.”

Charette said the kids enjoy the articles and connect to the local content almost every week.

“They have stories that connect to them,” he explained. “We have sports stories in there. There are all kinds of ways for them to connect through family members. It’s a lot of fun for them.”

In addition to summary skills, Charette uses the newspapers to teach his students to read for large and small details and conducts newspaper scavenger hunts where the students look for antonyms and synonyms.

“I appreciate (business owners) donating them to us,” Charette said. “Getting (students) to read, especially things that they can connect to is just always important. It’s different than reading a novel, they can see it happening in their community.”

Charette said he will likely have his students make a class newspaper in the future.

Newspapers in Education is a national program that’s a component of the Newspaper Association of America. This program brings the local community into the classroom in the form of a newspaper, through a partnership between local businesses, the Manistee News Advocate and area schools.

The program has brought newspapers to the classroom across the U.S. for more than 30 years. Businesses sponsor half the cost of the program and the News Advocate covers the other half.

Teachers sign up for which day they’d like to have papers available to them to use in the classroom. Classes use the stories about school boards, city and county government and area issues to illustrate the textbooks lessons with real-life examples.

At this time, more than 1,010 papers are going to students each week. Teachers interested in participating with the News Advocate to receive papers for their classroom are encouraged to contact Aaron DeKuiper,adekuiper@pioneergroup.com, for more details and to sign up. Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring NIE also are encouraged to contact DeKuiper for more details.

This program is open to both public and private schools.

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Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

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