Kennedy Elementary students utilize Newspapers in Education program

Kennedy Elementary School fifth grade teacher Jaclyn Trahan passes out copies of the News Advocate for her students to take part in the Newspapers in Education program.

Kennedy Elementary School fifth grade teacher Jaclyn Trahan passes out copies of the News Advocate for her students to take part in the Newspapers in Education program.

MANISTEE — When Kennedy Elementary School fifth grade teacher Jaclyn Trahan first heard about the Newspapers in Education program, she knew it was a perfect fit for her classroom.

Trahan is in her first year of teaching in the Manistee Area Public Schools and other teachers at Kennedy told her about the program. Newspapers in Education does allows teachers to receive free copies of the printed or online version of the  Manistee News Advocate one day a week.

Trahan puts the newspaper to work in her classroom. She pointed out that it gives the students a good opportunity to learn about what is going on in their community and the state, plus it sharpens their reading comprehension skills.

“I usually give them 10 minutes to find an article they want to read and look at,” she said. “Then we look at the front page to see what stands out the most to us and why. Then I just call on kids to ask them what they found interesting in the story.”

Trahan said they talk about the different sections and they always talk about the weather and what is coming up this week.

“The kids also really like the comics and then they read different parts of articles and we discuss them,” she said. “In the last 10 minutes they get to do the different word searches and Suduko and they love that.”

NIE is a program that Trahan feels is worthwhile as an educational tool.

“I love it, and the kids really like it,” she said.

The first section of the newspaper student Jeff Huber usually turns to is the sports section.

“If I miss a game it gives me the chance to see how my team did,” he said.

The comics is always a popular stopping point in the newspaper for many elementary students, but for student Jordan Bladzik he puts a different twist on it.

“Editorial comics are always funny to me,” he said.

Student Plaine Ralph said he enjoys following his favorite sports teams in the paper.

“I like to read about Detroit teams in sports because they are my favorite teams,” he said.

Other students, like Ben Schlaff and Aubrey Anderson, also listed the comics and sports as their favorite parts of the paper. Students said they enjoy seeing sports stories in the paper about friends and people that they know.

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.

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 textbook lessons with real-life examples.

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.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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