A year ago I didn't know what NIE stood for. You still may not. But even though I didn't know NIE is the acronym for Newspapers in Education, as a Dispatch subscriber and mother of three, I was already living it.
Whenever we read, share or discuss the newspaper with a young person, we meet the purposes of Newspapers in Education. Just like any good thing in life we want to pass along, a young person learns the newspaper's value when we share it.
Tell children they can pretend to be reporters, and they will have no trouble asking the tough questions.
"What is the worst part of your job?" a student at Eagle View Elementary School asked Sarah Nelson, online reporter for the Dispatch and Nancy Vogt, editor of the Lake Country Echo.
"Do you work in an office?" another student asked. That one may be obvious to those who come and go from an office every day, but not necessarily to these students who come and go from a school every day.
I love the children's story Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. Big Anthony steals Strega Nona's magic pasta pot and her spell to make pasta. Spaghetti fills the pot and spills out on the floor, but he doesn't know how to stop the pasta from growing. It flows through the house, out the door and down the street.
The abundance of media rushes over young people without them even realizing, and they can be swept along in the crush of messages like the spaghetti that flooded this fictional town.
School is still on break, and if the kids you know are anything like mine, they have probably logged a whole lot of screen time in the last few days.
To keep our minds active, last night we turned off the television, video games and computer and assembled a challenging puzzle of the Beatles White Album. The all-white puzzle is double-sided, so we chose the back of the album. We lasted an hour.
My teens and tween may be too old to wish for their two front teeth, but surprisingly, one gift still tops their Christmas list every year--a new book. From the Sandra Boynton board books to Dr. Seuss and on to chapter books, the gift of reading has become a tradition.