HOUSTON – Newspapers used as educational tools have a long history in the United States and schools in the local readership area already have their programs in place for the academic year.
The Chickasaw Journal enlists the support of local businesses and individuals to help provide a copy of the weekly newspaper to fourth grade classrooms in Houston, Houlka, Okolona and Vardaman. Now in the eighth year, the NIE program is going strong and will distribute approximately 322 newspapers each week during the academic year.
Area teachers and students use the newspapers in different ways to facilitate various areas of study and to foster an interest in the community. Cindy Hiland teaches at Vardaman Elementary School and has found many uses for the weekly papers.
“We used them to find the author’s purpose and main idea and then we did our own summary of the articles,” Hiland said. “We use them for all kinds of things.”
Linda Cousins’ class at Okolona Elementary School completed a section on public health and used newspaper articles and photographs to design a bulletin board about the unit.
“We found issuesin the paper on public health,” Cousins said, adding they used sports pictures with information about concussions and advances in helmets as well as advertisements that featured hospitals, nurses and babies.
In Houlka, Michelle Huffman’s class incoporated the newspaper into a reading unit.
“One of the stories we read, ‘The Coyote News,’ had a newspaper in it and we had an activity we used our newspapers with,” Huffman said.
In addition to classroom curriculum, newspapers can inform youth about what is going on in their community and also entertain them as Cousins knows well.
“Of course, the boys all look at sports,” Cousins said.
“We enjoyed looking at all the pretty Homecoming pictures,” added OES teacher Gail Adair.
To see the local classes who participate in NIE, see page 6 and 7 of the Nov. 6, Chickasaw Journal.
To sponsor the NIE program or for more information about it, contact Lisa Voyles at 456-3771 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.