NIE Week: News-Herald reaches into local classrooms

-A A +A
By Molly Haines

Each week, 27 classrooms in Owen County receive copies of the News-Herald. Teachers from the primary school through the high school use the papers each week to correlate everything from articles to classifieds into their weekly lessons.

This week is National Newspapers in Education week. Each teacher who receives copies of the News-Herald is sponsored by individuals or businesses.

Sharlena Young, a fifth-grade teacher at Owen County Elementary School, uses the copies she receives for several different subjects, including government and economics.

“Lately we’ve used the papers in government to keep up with the new judge-executive,” Young said. “I also use them when I’m teaching economics. We find economic words and discuss them and look at the classifieds.”

Young said because of the new president, she tries to encourage the children in her class to keep up with all news.

“I try to stress the importance of reading the newspaper because of all that’s going on in the world today,” Young said.

Young said her students enjoy looking at the pictures and reading the sports section.

“They like to keep up with the Rebels,” Young said. “They love looking at pictures of the new babies and seeing people they know in the paper.”

Asa Snow, a student in Ms. Young’s class, said he enjoys reading the News-Herald.

“The stories are very interesting,” Snow said. “I really like reading them.”

Barbara Newcomb, who also teaches fifth grade at OCES, said newspapers help her prepare students for the CATS test.

“Anything that is a source of reading increases the students’ skills,” Newcomb said. “We focus on articles and editorials. When the students see the articles or editorials on the page, it gives them a better understanding of how they need to be written.”

Nicki Jacobs, a student in Ms. Newcomb’s class, said she enjoys keeping up with community news.

“You get to read for information,” Jacobs said. “I like being able to find out what’s happening in the community.”

Young said having the newspaper in the classrooms helps the students connect to the world around them.

“It’s real world reading,” Young said. “They can connect to it and keep up with all of the local news and events as it’s happening right around them.”

Newcomb’s students go through the paper each week and find the five W’s – who, what, when, where and why – to get a better understanding of each story or editorial.

“It’s really part of the core content,” Newcomb said. “Going through the newspaper and picking those particular things out helps them get a better understanding of each story.”

Logan Hobbs, a student in Newcomb’s class, said he enjoys learning new vocabulary from the articles.

“We get to learn about local events, learn lessons and vocabulary from the stories,” Hobbs said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Micaela Wilhoite, a student in Ms. Young’s class, said the front-page stories are always the best.

“The front page is my favorite,” Wilhoite said. “Everything about it is interesting.”

Young and Newcomb both agreed that having newspapers in the classroom is beneficial for their students.

“Even at their young age it’s important for them to know what’s going on,” Young said. “When they pick up the newspapers each week they get to choose what to read and they’re not just reading out of a textbook. That makes it fun for them, but they’re learning at the same time.”

The News-Herald has participated in the NIE program since 1995.