Newspapers bring classrooms alive

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By John Whitlock

At newspapers and schools across the country this week, a special relationship is being celebrated.
This week has been declared Newspaper In Education Week and is designed to highlight the long-time service local newspapers have offered schools.
Under the NIE program, newspapers are delivered to local schools as an educational tool.
Teachers who take part in the program use these newspapers as a teaching tool to help students learn about the world around them and how governments work. The program also introduces students to the habit of  reading as a source for news.
By using newspapers, students are exposed to information they won’t find on cable TV news.
The newspapers help spark discussions led by the teachers on local issues that could affect the day-to-day lives of the students.
The NIE program is like a free civics lesson for young people.
During my newspaper career, I have visited many classrooms to talk about journalism, newspapers in general and how we collect the news.
The classes that use NIE are more engaged and well- informed about issues in the community. The students learn about their community and their state while having fun.
By having regular access to local news and information, the kids become excited about politics, the local economy and the lives of others in their community.
Newspapers spark a curiosity in kids that can follow them throughout their entire lives.
For businesses and community outreach groups such as churches, the program gets information in the hands of people who might not regularly have access.
The NIE program exists through the generosity of  community leaders, civic-minded businesses and many active churches and social organizations.
Once a year, the sponsors pay a small fee that helps ensure the program can continue.
Sherry Lyons, the News-Herald’s NIE coordinator, said the requests by teachers to be part of the program far outweigh what we are able to provide without more support from the community.
If you would like to help continue and expand the NIE program, and help educate the young people of Owen County, we urge you to get involved and take on a sponsorship.
If you would like more information on the program, please contact Sherry at 484-3431.