Children who read the Newspaper Score Higher on Tests!

Betty - posted on 09/23/2010 ( no moms have responded yet )

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Did you know that students who use newspapers score 10 percent better on standardized tests? Or that minority students who use the newspaper at least once a week score 29 percent better?

Getting newspapers into students' hands to promote literacy and lifelong reading and learning is the goal of The Warren Record's Newspaper In Education (NIE) Literacy Program, which kicks off today in partnership with local schools.

The first chapter of the 16-week serialized story, "Behind the High Board Fence," written by a retired teacher from Winston-Salem, appears in this issue on the Education/NIE page. Classrooms participating in the NIE program will receive free newspapers delivered to their schools for instructional use, and teachers will have online access to related curricula developed by Dr. Sandy Cook, state NIE coordinator with the N.C. Press Foundation.

NIE is a nationwide program whose purpose is to increase literacy of children by using the newspaper as a teaching tool. More than 700 newspapers in the United States and Canada participate in the NIE program throughout the school year.


NC NIE, a program of the N.C. Press Foundation, supports the use of print and online newspapers for teaching and learning in homes, public and private schools and adult education; provides standard-based curriculum guides and credit workshops for teachers; and offers educational content for publication in newspapers.

The state program works with North Carolina newspapers and other organizations to promote literacy, civic learning and character education, and to enhance learning about a broad range of subjects.

"In addition to promoting literacy, we hope that our program will inspire students to learn more about the world around them in order to become interested and informed citizens," said Warren Record editor Jennifer Harris.

At press time Tuesday, 23 classrooms in seven Warren County schools--Mariam Boyd, South Warren and Vaughan elementary schools, Warren County Middle School, Norlina Christian School, Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School and the Alternative Learning Program--had signed up to participate in the local NIE program.

'The response so far has been overwhelming, with more than 700 newspapers being delivered to local schools today," Harris said. "We couldn't be more pleased."

NIE is also available to the county's three public high schools, but was not initially promoted there because the serialized story is geared toward grades three through eight.

"Using the story on our NIE page isn't the only way to learn by using a newspaper," Harris said. "For example, the grocery store inserts can be used to teach students about health and nutrition, budgeting and math, and younger students can search for specific letters, words or pictures to enhance their learning."

An important aspect of The Warren Record's program is bringing community leaders to the table in the hope that they will take some ownership of the local education process, rather than viewing it solely as someone else's responsibility, Harris said.

Local businesses, civic and church groups, and private individuals are invited to get involved by sponsoring NIE classrooms.

"Sponsorships are only $6 to $7 a week per classroom," Harris said. "This helps cover a small portion of the cost to provide the program and says to our teachers that you care about their success and the success of their students."

Sponsors receive public recognition of their support on the newspaper's weekly NIE page and will be encouraged to become directly involved with "their" students, possibly through participation in school events, reading with students, or providing field trip tours of their business or visits to their organization.

As The Warren Record's NIE program develops over time, new elements will be introduced. Future plans include collaboration with the county library on multiple projects, publication of student works on the weekly NIE page and special recognition for NIE teachers and schools.

The Warren Record's office manager, Janie Miller, will serve as local NIE coordinator and be the liaison for participating classrooms and sponsors. She is a former teacher, the mother of two young children and wife of the Rev. Seth Miller of Sulphur Springs Baptist Church in the Afton community.

"As a former educator and mother of two young children, I fully believe in the positive impact the NIE program can have, not only on test scores but on the overall character of our children," she said. "This is a program that I wish had been available when I was teaching reading and literacy skills to my classroom. I'm proud to be a part of NIE, as it gives us the great privilege and potential to foster the growth of lifelong readers and well-rounded future leaders in our children."

For more information about The Warren Record's NIE Literacy Program, contact Miller at 257-3341 or by e-mail at office@warrenrecord.com.

Benefits to schools:



Sharpens thinking skills.


Increases student's interest and motivation by providing study materials relevant to their lives.


Prepares students for active citizenship.


Heightens teachers' interest in new teaching techniques.


Involves schools in the lives of the communities they serve.


Improves relations with students' families.


Responds to the needs of local businesses as future employers.


Helps prepare students for state and national standardized tests.


Serves as a living textbook, allowing students to witness history as it happens.

Benefits to the community:


Enhances the quality of citizen participation in schools and local government through better mutual understanding among journalists, educators, students and parents.


Transforms students into interested, active citizens.


Recognizes newspapers as the main source of continuing education for members of the community once they are no longer in the classroom.


Creates lifelong learners, more informed consumers and involved citizens.

Sources include a study by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.

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