Today marks the beginning of Newspapers in Education Week, which is celebrated annually during the first full school week in March.
It's the week designated by the Newspaper Association of America to honor our yearlong effort to reinvest in our youth - our future readers.
The Morning Journal supplies free newspapers to classrooms throughout Columbiana County during every week of the school year.
This year's NIE theme is "Celebrate the Power of Newspapers."
No matter what their form - print or online - newspapers remain one of the most effective educational resources available to teachers. By reading a daily newspaper, students are exposed to an ever-widening range of subjects and teachers are given fresh resources for teaching both core and enrichment topics.
The curriculum provided by NAA for NIE Week 2011 celebrates the power of newspapers to provide fast, flexible ways for teachers to address topics that need support. The guide targets three areas vital to developing well-rounded, successful students and citizens - civics, math and fine arts.
According to the NAA, an understanding of civics is central to students' growing up to understand and participate in government, elections and community life.
Math is the underpinning of technology, science and financial literacy.
Fine arts inspire the creativity that finds expression in everything from entertainment to architecture to new and dynamic forms of communication.
In each subject area, the NIE Week "Power Pack" provides standards-based activities to enhance student learning in elementary school, middle school and high school. The goal is not only to help students achieve more accomplished lives, but richer ones as well.
The teachers' guide to support this curriculum can be downloaded at www.naafoundation.org/Curriculum/NIE/NIE-Week.aspx.
Reading newspapers is also good for the future of our children. According to the NAA, newspaper reading is a habit shared by the more highly educated and those with higher incomes. NAA statistics show nearly 89 percent of adults with post-graduate degrees read a newspaper in print or online each week, as did 84 percent of college graduates. And, 85 percent of individuals with a household income of $100,000 or more read a newspaper in print or online each week.
At the Journal, we hope our NIE program helps foster good reading habits among youngsters, and we hope that parents will reinforce those habits by reading newspapers and encouraging their children to read them as well.